For years now, President Trump has proven that he isn’t at all careful about what he tweets to the American people — just take his infamous “covfefe” tweet. Trump does more than just brazenly tweet random messages, though. He also retweets random people who may or may not be real.
On Saturday, Trump was “catfished” by a fake supporter.
It all started when, in the midst of his regular afternoon rant, Trump retweeted a message from one of his “supporters,” Nicole Mincey, who had written, “Trump working hard for the American people…..thanks.”
Thank you Nicole! https://t.co/KlWN05uFOx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2017
The only problem with Trump thanking Mincey is the fact that she does not seem to be a real person.
In reality, according to Eliot Higgins, who is a senior fellow at Atlantic’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, Mincey’s account is one of many fake accounts that a pro-Trump merchandising website is using to sell products.
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) August 6, 2017
To make matters worse for Trump, a merchandising company using fake accounts is not where the Nicole Mincey issue ends.
Mincey first came into the spotlight in June, when The Daily Caller published a story saying that, as a black Trump supporter, she is a “heartwarming reminder of how big the minority Republican movement really is.”
It seems The Daily Caller was also duped.
On Sunday, Heavy.com revealed that Mincey’s Twitter account has a real person’s name attached to it, which implies that it is not a bot. However, the name is that of a 21-year-old college student from New Jersey who has said that she is a victim of identity theft.
The student, who asked Heavy not to use her real name, said that she planned to take legal action against the person who stole her identity. She added that she is “not even interested in politics” and does not sell Trump merchandise or “have anything to do with Trump.”
It gets even more complicated from there, though. There’s also a possibility that this student’s claims of identity theft are false.
Heavy noted at the end of its report:
‘A Google cache-version of another Trump store shows that the real college student’s name appeared on its contact page in March, although the page has now been deleted. The real college student was referred to as “Nicole” last month in two responses to her real Twitter page regarding customer service questions. The details of her biography track an interview that purported to quote “Nicole Mincey,” the pro-Trump entrepreneur; for example, the real college student attended a Newark, New Jersey charter school as did “Nicole Mincey.”‘
The story is clearly still developing, and it’s unclear whether the student really is a victim of identity theft.
There are still some loose ends, but one lesson can be learned from all of this drama: Trump should do a little research before he retweets people who are singing his praises.
A number of people have commented on his retweet, mocking him for having been tricked.
Featured image via Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images.