Republican frontrunner Donald Trump retweeted a famous quote by fascist leader Benito Mussolini on Sunday because he found it interesting. He said that he was aware it was a quote from the dictator when he reposted it.
The quote that was first tweeted by a parody account said, “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”
When asked about the tweet, Trump said he reposted it because he wanted to be associated with interesting quotes.
“Mussolini was Mussolini. What difference does it make?” Trump said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” programme. “It’s a very good quote; it’s a very interesting quote, and I know it. I saw it. And I know who said it. But what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else? It’s certainly a very interesting quote. That’s probably why I have between Facebook and Twitter 14 million people when other people don’t.”
The Gawker website claimed that it tricked Trump into retweeting the post by creating a Mussolini bot on Twitter, which is the most preferred social media of the Republican presidential hopeful. The website said that the bot was created with the assumption that Trump would retweet anything to praise himself, without confirming the source. Gawker senior writer Ashley Feinberg and Gawker Media Editorial Labs director Adam Pash together created the account, @ilduce2016.
“Today, Donald Trump proved him—and all of us—right,” the website said in a blog post.
According to correspondents, it is the kind of behaviour which would have blown a considerable amount of damage to the image of any candidate. But, it seemed to have no effect on Trumps popularity, the BBC reported.
It is also not the first time that Trump retweeted something from an unverified source and made the news. In January, he retweeted a post that mocked Florida Governor Jeb Bush by a user with Twitter handle @WhiteGenocideTM.