Il Duce Trump: Republican frontrunner defends retweeting ‘very good’ Mussolini quote

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump © Nick Oxford
Undaunted by the backlash, Donald Trump has no regrets about retweeting a famous quote by Italian fascist Benito Mussolini.

A long-running online sting to get the presidential candidate to post a quote by the World War II dictator has finally paid off.

On Sunday morning, Trump retweeted a post which read: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”

The words were attributed to Donald Trump from a parody account with the Twitter handle @IlDuce. While the sentence sounds like something Trump might say, the words were actually uttered by fascism’s founding father and Adolf Hitler ally, Benito Mussolini.

The gossip news website Gawker claim they set up the account, which sports a mocked-up image of the Italian dictator donning Trump’s famous comb over, to trick the Republican frontrunner.

But avid Twitter user Trump says he knew all along the quote was from Mussolini. In fact, he’s defended his retweet and admitted he likes the orator’s “very good quote”.

“It’s okay to know it is Mussolini… It’s a very a good quote, it’s a very interesting quote, and I know who said it,” a flustered Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

“What difference does it make, whether it is Mussolini or somebody else, it’s certainly a very interesting quote.”

Asked whether he wanted to be associated with the fascist dictator, whose troops carried out bombings on Red Cross field hospitals and used poison gas on enemies, Trump said he wants to be "associated with interesting quotes”.

The incident has led to much debate on Twitter.

Meanwhile, actress Bette Midler’s early morning tweet now looks almost prophetic. 

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