President Trump once again ran afoul of Twitter terms of service on Thursday when he took a swipe at the ‘fake news’ media by posting a doctored ‘CNN’ clip showing a black toddler run away in terror from a ‘racist baby’ who is ‘probably a Trump voter.’
The president shared a deceptively edited version of the adorable clip from last year which showed two little boys, Maxwell and his friend Finnegan, run toward one another as they giggle and laugh before giving each other a big hug.
In the original video, the two two-year-olds are seen racing towards one another for a ‘besties’ hug.
The heartwarming encounter between Maxwell, who is black, and Finnegan, who is white, was filmed by Maxwell’s father, Michael Cisneros.
President Trump on Thursday shared a doctored video with a CNN chyron that reads: ‘Terrified toddler runs from racist baby’
The clip is a selectively edited and spliced version of a viral video from last year showing two two-year-old boys – one black and one white – embracing
Trump tweeted the clip, which showed the actual footage of young Maxwell (above) running with open arms to embrace his friend Finnegan (below) in New York City last fall, as a way of criticizing media coverage of racial tensions in America
The two boys are seen embracing in the clip that the president shared on social media on Thursday
Trump’s tweet prompted Twitter to add a disclaimer warning users that it was ‘manipulated media.’ The disclaimer links to a web page outlining Twitter policies as they relate to selectively edited clips
The two boys, who up until that point had been close friends for about a year, had not seen each other for two days when they embraced on a Manhattan sidewalk.
After embracing, Maxwell playfully runs in front of Finnegan, who gives chase. The adorable video went viral, having been viewed online millions of times.
The clip that Trump posted to his more than 82 million Twitter followers shows the same clip except that it is edited deceptively to make it appear as Finnegan, the white child, is chasing Maxwell.
As dramatic music plays in the background, the video flashes a ‘CNN BREAKING NEWS’ chyron at the bottom of the screen with the headline: ‘Terrified toddler runs from racist baby.’
The headline then changes to read: ‘Racist baby probably a Trump voter.’
The clip then shows the snippet that preceded the ‘chase’ segment – Maxwell and Finnegan running toward one another with open arms and then embracing.
The video ends with a blacked out screen that shows the message: ‘America is not the problem’
The next message that is flashed reads: ‘Fake news is’
‘If you see something, say something,’ reads the message flashed on the screen. ‘If you see something, say something’ is a phrase that was more widely used in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when Americans were encouraged to be vigilant in reporting suspicious behavior
‘Only you can prevent fake news dumpster fires’ is a play on words of the phrase made popular by Smokey Bear, the mascot used in the famous ad campaigns run by the United States Forest Service
That part of the video is shown with the cover version of the 1970 hit song (They Long to Be) Close to You playing in the background.
The clip then shows the original footage depicting Finnegan giving chase as Maxwell runs several feet in front of him.
The video ends with a blacked out screen that shows the message: ‘America is not the problem. Fake news is. If you see something, say something.
‘Only you can prevent fake news dumpster fires.’
‘If you see something, say something’ is a phrase that was more widely used in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when Americans were encouraged to be vigilant in reporting suspicious behavior.
‘Only you can prevent fake news dumpster fires’ is a play on words of the phrase made popular by Smokey Bear, the mascot used in the famous ad campaigns run by the United States Forest Service.
The ads show Smokey Bear encourage the public by saying: ‘Only you can prevent forest fires!’
Trump’s tweet prompted Twitter to add a disclaimer warning users that it was ‘manipulated media.’
The disclaimer links to a web page outlining Twitter policies as they relate to selectively edited clips.
‘You may not deceptively promote synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm,’ Twitter’s guidelines state.
‘In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.’
In recent weeks, Twitter has attached similar disclaimers to tweets by Trump, including one that was flagged for promoting violence toward protesters.
The real story behind the edited viral video of two two-year-old ‘besties’ posted by Trump
Maxwell, left, and Finnegan, right, became best friends after their parents met in a restaurant
Now they ‘hang out all the time’, with their two families vacationing together, pictured
Toddlers Finnegan (left) and Maxwell (center), both aged two, raced towards each other with arms ready to embrace after they hadn’t seen for two days
President Trump on Thursday used a deceptively edited video of two toddlers to claim that CNN was distorting coverage of racial tensions in America.
But the actual video was first posted last fall and went viral as a show of cross-racial solidarity.
The two little boys who melted hearts in the video are seen racing towards each other with open arms for a big hug.
They became best friends after their parents met in a New York restaurant and have been ‘inseparable’ ever since.
Now the youngsters ‘hang out all the time’ and are such firm friends that the two families vacation together upstate, Maxwell Hanson’s dad Michael Cisneros told DailyMail.com last September.
In the adorable clip shared last fall, Maxwell and his friend Finnegan, who are both two years old and separated in age by just a month, can both be seen running towards each other giggling and laughing.
Maxwell Hanson was on his way home from daycare in Brooklyn with his dads Alex, 39, and Michael when they bumped into Finnegan and his dad, Dan.
Speaking to DailyMail.com Michael, 43, said: ‘We really got on with his parents so we started all hanging out and their friendship just blossomed.
‘Once they saw each other they immediately started running towards each other, and that’s when I pulled out my camera.’
The two boys are said to share a love of Disney, watching Moana, Coco and The Lion King together and live just one block away from each other.
Michael, who adopted Maxwell as a newborn baby with partner Alex, added: ‘His parents and us met just over a year ago and really connected.
‘They are always super excited to see each other, even if they’ve only been a part. They are partners in crime and when one does something, the other does as well.
‘We have a place upstate with a pool, and Finnegan and his parents come stay with us often.’
Michael said the boys now share their toys, food and clothes and even ‘communicate with each other in ways we don’t understand’.
He added: ‘And whenever they are apart, they each ask for each other. It really is the cutest thing.’
Finnegan is described by Michael as the ‘more outgoing one’, while his son Maxwell ‘is a bit shy until he gets to know someone’. But he added: ‘They are both super active.’
The two boys share a love of Disney and live one block away from each other. ‘They communicate with each other in ways we don’t understand’, Maxwell’s dad Michael says
The heart-melting reaction came after they hadn’t seen one another in two days. Finnegan is described as the ‘more outgoing one’, while Maxwell ‘is a bit shy’
Since Michael shared the video it’s been viewed many times and drawn loving comments from strangers who adore the boys’ sweet friendship.
The dad explained that the pair were so excited in the video because they hadn’t seen one another in two days.
With their arms open-wide they edge closer before briefly pausing to give one another a long hug.
‘My friend you are just adorable,’ Cisneros can be heard saying.
Then Maxwell points at Finnegan’s yellow truck toy, causing him to fiddle with it and squeal before they both continue running down the road.
Cisneros wrote: ‘It’s Thursday. These two haven’t seen each other since Tuesday. So many feels, it’s beautiful. So thankful.’
He added that they also share hobbies, both attending a weekly music event where they ‘love to dance — both are excellent dancers.’
Facebook user Taira Withani wrote: ‘Why in the world have we ever stopped showing how happy we are to see everybody like this everyday!’
‘They are the definition of love!!! You all are amazing parents!!!we need more this unconditional love!!!’ Ayanna Reid added.
Dnesey Armour posted: ‘I can watch this over and over. So innocent and adorable.’
Dana Lor wrote: ‘Both adorable, some people need to learn from them because real love does not see color of people’
In a another video of the two boys, they raced around holding hands before Finnegan shows Maxwell how to climb up a step and then jump off.
The two boys became best friends after their parents met in a New York restaurant and have been ‘inseparable’ ever since. The two families are pictured together here on Halloween
As looting and rioting spread in the wake of Floyd’s death, the president warned on Twitter that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts.’
Critics said the tweet was an implicit threat by Trump to put down riots using force, a charge that the president denies.
The doctored clip that Trump posted on Thursday implies the media is distorting events in order to promote a narrative that America is a racist country – a criticism often made among right-leaning conservatives who support Trump.
In recent weeks, America has been in the midst of upheaval following the police-involved death of George Floyd.
Floyd, 46, died in the custody of Minneapolis police on May 25.
Video of his arrest shows a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on his neck, cutting off his air circulation for nearly nine minutes.
Chauvin and three other police officers have been arrested and charged.
Floyd’s killing sparked massive unrest that spread nationally and then globally as societies confronted the issue of racial injustice and police violence.
Trump has been criticized for his response to the protests as a growing number of Americans consider the president a divisive figure.
A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that a majority think the president is exacerbating tensions in a moment of national crisis.
Most Americans – including 63 per cent of Republicans – say the country is heading in the wrong direction.
Trump (seen above on Thursday at the White House) is considered a divisive figure by a majority of Americans, according to a new poll
And close to two-thirds – including 37 per cent of Republicans – say Trump is making America more divided.
That pessimism poses reelection challenges for Trump in his face-off against Democrat Joe Biden.
Presidents seeking four more years in office typically rely on voters being optimistic about the direction the country is headed and eager to stay the course – a view most Americans don’t currently hold.
Just 24 per cent say the country is headed in the right direction, down from 33 per cent a month ago and 42 per cent in March.
That’s when the COVID-19 pandemic began taking hold in the United States, killing nearly 120,000 Americans to date and upending most aspects of daily life.
Overall, 37 per cent of Americans say they approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak – a dip from 44 per cent in March.
The fallout from the pandemic has been sweeping.
Beyond the public health risks, the economy suffered from a sudden jolt as states implemented strict stay-at-home orders.
Though some of those restrictions have started to ease and businesses in many places are now beginning to open, the unemployment rate still sits at 13.3 per cent.