On August 21, the Occupy Democrats Facebook page shared two memes regarding President Trump that wildly distort the truth.
The first meme features side-by-side photos of President Trump and the Bible. Over the photo of the president, the following is written: “I’m the king of Israel. I’m the chosen one.” Over the photo of the Bible, it says: “The Anti-Christ will pretend that he is the son of Almighty God.” The meme is captioned: “If the shoe fits …”
The second meme shows the same photo of President Trump, but reads differently:
1. Promoted the idea that he is “King of Israel.”
2. Retweeted that he’s “the second coming of God.”
3. Then said he’s “the chosen one.”
This isn’t funny anymore. The “president” of the free world is mentally ill.
Combined, these memes have been shared 36,819 times as of publication, and “liked” approximately 41,000 times.
According to their official website, Occupy Democrats, which was founded in 2012, “is a political organization and news website that provided an online counterbalance to the Republican ‘Tea Party.’ Since then, it has grown into the largest and most active community of Democratic voters in the world and has spearheaded the resistance to President Trump and his radical supporters.”
Here’s the problem — these memes are misleading, and even Snopes has ruled them “mostly false.” Let’s go over each claim separately.
The Chosen One
During an exchange with reporters on August 21, the president was asked about the ongoing trade war with China.
He replied in part:
We are winning against China. They’ve lost two and a half million jobs in a very short period of time. They want to make a deal; it’s got to be a deal that’s good for the United States. When they want to make a deal, probably we will make a deal … somebody said it’s Trump’s trade war. This isn’t my trade war; this is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago by a lot of other presidents. Over the last five or six years, China’s made $500 billion, five hundred billion, ripped it out of the United States — and not only that, if you take a look, intellectual property theft, add that to it, and add a lot of other things to it …
So, somebody had to do it. [Looks back and toward the sky] I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it. So, I’m taking on China; I’m taking on China on trade, and you know what? We’re winning … I was put here by people to do a great job, and that’s what I’m doing, and nobody’s done a job like I’ve done.
Although the president’s remark appeared to be a rather obvious jest, one could be forgiven for coming away with a different impression after reading the headlines from mainstream outlets, including Sky News, which wrote: “Donald Trump declares ‘I am the chosen one.’”
The president defended himself on Twitter several days later:
When I looked up to the sky and jokingly said “I am the chosen one,” at a press conference two days ago, referring to taking on Trade with China, little did I realize that the media would claim that I had a “Messiah complex.” They knew I was kidding, being sarcastic, and just having fun. I was smiling as I looked up and around. The MANY reporters with me were smiling also. They knew the TRUTH…And yet when I saw the reporting, CNN, MSNBC and other Fake News outlets covered it as serious news & me thinking of myself as the Messiah. No more trust!
King of Israel/Second Coming
President Trump never said, “I’m the King of Israel,” nor did he retweet that he is the “second coming.”
On August 21, the president posted a tweet in which he quoted Newsmax’s Wayne Allyn Root, an avid supporter of the president with a long history of promoting numerous conspiracy theories:
Thank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world … and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God … But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he’s good for everyone in America who wants a job.” Wow!
Root later stated that the media had taken his words out of context, and that he hadn’t called President Trump “the King of the Jews.” He then explained that being treated “like” something doesn’t mean that one is that thing.
It’s quite clear that President Trump did not call himself the “King of Israel” or the “second coming of God.” The president was simply quoting a media figure who claimed that the Jewish people “love him like he’s the King of Israel,” and that they “love him like he is the second coming of God.”
The word “like” is imperative in the above statements. Although one might argue with Root’s assessment, as well as the president’s quoting of the media personality, one cannot honestly claim that President Trump called himself the “King of Israel” or the “second coming of God,” nor that he “promoted” that idea.
Such a claim would either be a failure of the author to understand the basic nature of the English language, or a deliberate mischaracterization meant to discredit the president.
It wasn’t just Occupy Democrats that shared this misinformation — author and columnist Seth Abramson, radio host and commentator Michelangelo Signorile, and activist Ryan Knight, among others, all shared variations of it on social media, garnering tens of thousands of retweets.
Abramson, Signorile, and Knight have a combined follower count of 1.1 million on Twitter, while Occupy Democrats reaches 7.9 million people on Facebook.
Regardless of intent, the memes from Occupy Democrats, as well as the various Twitter users that made similar claims, are spreading damaging misinformation to thousands of Americans.
None of the memes or tweets have been deleted.