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The Lincoln Project and others falsely accused someone at the Republican National Convention of shouting “Monkey!” when President Trump named former President Obama in his speech.
The anti-Trump political action committee backtracked and removed a tweet after thousands of views which showed a video clip from the president’s speech on the opening night of the Republican event in Charlotte, North Carolina on Monday.
Obama and Biden spied on the Trump campaign in 2016, and they got caught. “Spygate!” shouted an audience member. “Drain the swamp!”
Now the Democrats are doing something more dangerous: trying to steal the election with universal mail-in voting, which lends itself to fraud. pic.twitter.com/pUzcBghuHF
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) August 24, 2020
The president had been speaking on the Obama administration and its spying on his 2016 campaign when someone in the audience yelled out, “spygate” while another voice was heard saying, “Sleepy Joe!”
“Let’s be nice. Biden…This could only happen in North Carolina,” Trump joked after a pause in his remarks.
“Drain the swamp!” another person yelled.
The video clip was posted by the Trump campaign on Monday afternoon and a short time later, the Lincoln Project posted a version of the video as well, making the claim about someone yelling “monkey” and claiming Trump “relished in” the comment.
“When President Trump mentioned Obama, someone from the crowd shouted, ‘Monkey!’ and the president relished in it. Disgusting. Do you approve of this @ThomTillis?” the tweet read, referring to the GOP U.S. Senator for North Carolina.
As the tweet took off on social media and garnered thousands of views, the Trump campaign fired back, informing the group: “This is false. He shouted ‘spygate.'”
The Lincoln Project eventually deleted the tweet but only after another jab and an attempt to defend their smear in the back and forth.
Yes, because President Trump demures at the mention of the “spy gate” lie.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) August 24, 2020
I thought y’all don’t trust reporters. pic.twitter.com/OeFBFWnVry
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) August 24, 2020
But others had jumped on the smear train and also spread the false accusation. An account of the moment was reported in a piece on the Raw Story website as well as on Talking Points Memo.
TPM took down its story and tweet.
Lincoln Project is going to ride it out, apparently, despite the audio. pic.twitter.com/mxoEjNHB6i
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) August 24, 2020
NBC News and the Guardian also ran with the narrative, as Jessica Chasamr with the Washington Times noted.
NBC News and The Guardian are going with “monkey.” https://t.co/jJueoyaHDm pic.twitter.com/tSLDL9ivfO
— Jessica Chasmar (@JessicaChasmar) August 24, 2020
And many others could not simply admit what was said, choosing to find a way to hold Trump at fault anyway.
My producer and I listened to the original audio with headphones on and it actually sounds like this person is yelling “spygate” but that’s doesn’t explain why Trump stopped, told him to be nice & made a joke about NC. Seems like Trump may have heard something different …. https://t.co/YRXWaKACAE
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) August 24, 2020
Some tried to make a game out of the debate over what was said and what people were hearing in the video clip.
Twitter explodes claiming Trump laughs after an audience member yells “monkey” at the mention of Obama. Others think the man yelled “Spygate”
Another attendee shouts “Sleepy Joe” and the President says “let’s be nice. Biden.”
We report, you decide! pic.twitter.com/XXGgIRGmdw
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 24, 2020
But it was clear that the accusations were not correct and even on the left, the Lincoln Project’s take was called out. Vox journalist Aaron Rupar, no fan of the president’s, noted the undeniable facts.
I don’t think this is right. I went back and re-listened. The man yells “spygate!” and then someone in the crowd says, “Sleepy Joe!” That latter remark is the one Trump joked about. https://t.co/mzVr92MBo8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 24, 2020
When AARON RUPAR calls you out for being wrong maybe it’s time to go home pic.twitter.com/f2d8M4dnl4
— Ben McDonald (@Bmac0507) August 24, 2020
As one after another tweet spreading the false smear ended up being deleted, Twitter users slammed the “Lying morons” from the Lincoln Project.
Lying morons from @ProjectLincoln said the man shouted “monkey” referring to Obama, when it’s clear he said “SpyGate”. Left it up and engaged tens of thousands of times before taking it down. Fraudsters. pic.twitter.com/iRuGcXeX3f
— Félix David Mejía (@FelixDavidMejia) August 24, 2020
You also heard “monkey” when everyone else on earth heard “spygate” … then you deleted the tweet … so there’s that
— Patrick Hynes (@patjhynes) August 25, 2020
Anyone else hear Lincoln Project yell monkey during Tim Scott’s speech?
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) August 25, 2020
Oh the irony. Lincoln Project would be the ones to hear “Monkey”
— MajorBear640 🇺🇲 (@MajorBear640) August 24, 2020
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