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Outraged US congressman, journalists fall for fake Trump quote by TIME contributor

Outraged US congressman, journalists fall for fake Trump quote by TIME contributor
Twitter went into overdrive over a fabricated quote of US President Donald Trump praising North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The fake quote drew real outrage from Rep. Ted Lieu and other members of the anti-Trump resistance.

The 'quote' was posted by foreign policy expert and TIME magazine contributor Ian Bremmer on Sunday and was quickly picked up by media people and politicians, including Democratic US representative and fervent Trump critic Ted Lieu.

The since-deleted tweet by Bremmer read: "President Donald Trump in Tokyo: 'Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better president than Sleepy Joe Biden.'" It was retweeted almost a thousand times before being taken down.

Also on rt.com Kim 'sending me a signal'? Trump joins in N. Korea's mocking of 'Swampman Joe Bidan'

In all fairness, the fictitious remark sounded almost on par with a recent tweet by Trump, who on Saturday complimented the North Korean state news agency's insult towards Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, saying that he "smiled" when it called Biden "a low IQ individual."

Still, none of the journalists and pundits – CNN political commentator Ana Navarro, former Clinton campaign staffer Zac Petkanas, ex-CIA Emily Brandwin and others among them – double-checked the quote before crying foul over it.

Navarro took to Twitter to post a lengthy rebuke, seizing on the opportunity to bash Trump for cozying up to a "cruel dictator."

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Ca) likewise did not miss out on a chance to remind his followers of Trump's misdeeds as interpreted by the #Resistance narrative: "kowtowing" to Russian President Vladimir Putin, "obstructing justice" in the Mueller probe, controversial Charlottesville remarks, and a zero-tolerance migration policy – it was all there.

While Twitter was focused on ravaging Trump for singing fresh praise of Kim, Bremmer came clean. When actually asked if the quote was real, he responded with "It's plausible," and framed it as "a comment on the state of media and the twitterverse today."

He further added that the quote was "objectively completely ludicrous" but might have seemed plausible to those who think uncritically. "Especially on Twitter, where people automatically support whatever political position they have."

The various commentators were not pleased at having completely proved Bremmer's point, with many demanding an apology and accusing him of giving ammunition for Trump's crusade against "fake news."

While Bremmer's stunt left some demanding that Twitter remove his blue tick, others, like conservative political commentator Mike Cernovich, lauded the researcher for exposing the modern-day media's lack of diligence and uncritical acceptance of statements that validate their views.

Bremmer has since deleted not only the original fake quote, but also his own explanations and responses amid the growing backlash.

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