Now that Gen. John Kelly has taken over as White House Chief of Staff with the goal of getting Donald Trump to stop acting so erratically, Trump is already making a point of rebelling against him. Trump has resumed his former habit of quoting the tweets of a few random supporters who have said nice things about him. In so doing, he thanked a fake Russian bot account which has since been suspended from Twitter entirely.
Trump quoted a flattering tweet from a user named Nicole Mincey who had the username @ProTrump45, adding “Thank you Nicole!” But as it turns out, that account wasn’t real, and there is no Nicole Mincey. Instead, as first pieced together by movie producer Robert Schooley, the supposed photographs of “Nicole” wearing a Trump t-shirt were instead just stock images of a random woman, with the Trump logo clumsily superimposed onto the shirt (link). In fact everything about the account screamed that it was a fake.
Based on the explosion of pro-Trump bot accounts on Twitter that have been created by Russian hackers, and the fact that this particular account had posted a tweet specifically calling for the Russia investigation to end, it’s nearly a given that the account quoted by Donald Trump was a Russian bot.
It’s possible Trump chose to retweet this particular account because it purported to be an African-American Trump fan, which is rare, and he wanted to highlight what he thought was a minority supporter. But it’s worth noting that out of the millions of replies and mentions that Trump receives on Twitter in any given month, he has only retweeted four of them thus far in August. What are the odds that it was mere coincidence that one of the replies he retweeted just happened to be from a Russian bot? In any case, the account in question has now been suspended.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report