Outgoing President Donald Trump is scrambling to amplify support of his bogus claims that widespread fraud tipped the 2020 election to President-elect Joe Biden.
On Friday, the President publicly thanked his sister, Elizabeth Trump Grau, for a statement from a Twitter account claiming to be hers, @TheBettyTrump.
The tweet was picked up by conservative outlet Wayne Dupree Media, which Trump gleefully retweeted, saying "Thank you Elizabeth, LOVE!"
The statement read:
"This election inspired me to break my silence and speak out on behalf of my family. My brother Don won this election and will fight this to the very end. We've always been a family of fighters. We are all so very proud of him and the job he has done for our country. 4 MORE YEARS!"
But the article on Wayne Dupree Media discussing the statement warned that fact-checkers hadn't determined the veracity of the account.
Los Angeles Times reporter Chris Megerian dug deeper and found more than a few red flags, including that the account had only been on Twitter for a little over a month.
Sure enough, it was soon outed as a parody account, with the account's owner tweeting:
"I would've clarified sooner that I was a parody but I certainly didn't anticipate President Trump himself taking notice of the account. Don't blame @WayneDupreeShow... it's on me for not making that clear. Hope y'all will forgive me - feel bad for creating any confusion. LOVE!"
The account, which focused primarily on skewering Republicans thought to be disloyal to the President, has since been suspended.
But the bruise to Trump's pride hasn't subsided, with Twitter users across the country mocking the President for falling for the fake account.
Kinda sums up both the incompetence of the Trump years and the president's non-relationship with his own immediate family members https://t.co/sHMhClBqlB
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) November 20, 2020
of course they did. of course he did. https://t.co/WQRNVIz30A
— Tara McGowan (@taraemcg) November 21, 2020
and now, with the [not so surprising] reveal: https://t.co/P6ZtUDszez
— Dennis Herring (@dcherring) November 20, 2020
I...I cannot believe this...then again, yes I can...🤦🏿♂️🤦🏿♂️🤦🏿♂️🤦🏿♂️🤦🏿♂️ https://t.co/IQqNwEwJxj
— Sam Cam Entertainment (@SamCamEnt1) November 21, 2020
This man has the nuclear codes. https://t.co/Ba9Ug1YMBa
— Lex Maria (@spudsforever) November 21, 2020
This is all, definitely, a simulation. https://t.co/g9bNkTHIaW
— Joshua Hill (@JBHill) November 20, 2020
People jokingly adapted the President's tweet to relate to their own lives.
When season 4 of The Crown released https://t.co/gYilnh7aC2
— char (@notorious_cjp) November 20, 2020
Me when I read that the Queen will give us a 4 day bank holiday weekend in 2022 to celebrate her platinum jubilee: https://t.co/rsr0Cf1SOi
— 〽️att (@WaiteMWT) November 20, 2020
you're so welcome, Donald! Glad I could vote you out✌🏼 https://t.co/Ly96PJRFwt
— elizabeth ann lowder (@getlowder) November 20, 2020
Wayne Dupree Media has left its article on the site, with the caveat that "If this is true, we deeply regret the error and apologize."