A Reddit user who has posted anti-Semitic graphics in the past has taken credit for the video that shows Trump pummeling a man with a CNN logo as his head. The video, which superimposes the CNN logo over WWE's CEO Vince McMahon's face, is titled, "Trump takes down fake news." The Reddit user's previous anti-Semitic posts were published before the video Trump tweeted.
A senior White House official, in response to questions about the origins of the video, said Monday that it was not pulled from Reddit, an online message board site.
"The video was not pulled from Reddit," the official said, declining to answer other questions, including how the President was made aware of the video.
An analysis from the Anti-Defamation League said the video appears to have been first posted from Reddit user "Han-------Solo," whose name contains an obscenity. The user also took credit for the GIF on Sunday, posting online, "Holy s—!! I wake up and have my morning coffee and who retweets my s—post but the MAGA EMPORER himself!!! I am honored!!" MAGA is an acronym for the President's campaign slogan: Make America great again.
The video is not the user's first foray into incendiary and controversial content.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said his group's analysis showed that "Han-------Solo" has a "consistent record of racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry."
"When those on the fringes of society feel their messaging is getting mainstream attention, that should raise alarms for all Americans across the political spectrum that reject hatred and bigotry," Greenblatt said. "We must condemn these extremists and keep them on the margins of our society."
In April 2017, after Donald Trump Jr., the President's son, tweeted, "To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize," the Reddit user posted, "Spin the dreidel and find out." The comment is a reference to Jews in power.
The user has also posted racist and anti-Muslim content.
Top White House aides, including Trump's Director of Social Media Dan Scavino, have yet to speak out about the Reddit user taking credit for the video Trump posted.
Here are some of the questions the White House has declined to answer:
- Where was the video from?
- What process was used to vet the video?
- Which White House staffers if any worked with Trump on the tweet?
- How did the President come to see this video and decide to retweet it?
- Did anyone at the White House bring the video to his attention?
- Did the White House communications team or anyone else edit the video in any way before it was posted?
- There appears to have been music added since the Reddit posting of the video. Was that done by White House communications?
- Did the White House know before the tweet was sent that the video Trump posted on Sunday came from a Reddit user who posted anti-Semitic, racist content?
- Is the White House concerned that Trump endorsed a Reddit user whose Reddit history is littered with racist, anti-Semitic content?
So far, though, the White House has looked to dismiss the video as insignificant.
Tom Bossert, Trump's homeland security adviser, defended Trump tweeting the video on ABC by arguing Trump is a "genuine president expressing himself genuinely."
"I think that no one would perceive that as a threat," Bossert said. "I hope they don't. But I do think that he's beating up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to."