President Donald Trump retweeted a comment and thanked a woman named Nicole on Aug. 5, 2017 through his personal Twitter account. However, that Twitter account with 146,000 followers, belonging to somebody named Nicole Mincey, is believed to be a fake. Twitter suspended the account a day later.
Nicole posted this message: “Trump working hard for the American people…..thanks❤????????” Trump gave it his official stamp of approval: a retweet. “Thank you Nicole!” he added. Trump’s retweet got 49,000 likes and 10,000 retweets of its own.
“Nicole Mincey was a fake character,” a woman calling herself Lorraine Elijah, believed to have run the Twitter account and a web site associated with it, told Yahoo Finance. “We obviously went to [sic] far. I joined twitter to make money and now this is a nightmare gone wrong.”
Thank you Nicole! https://t.co/KlWN05uFOx
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2017
Trump has defended his habit of tweeting about policy changes and using the platform to throw barbs at foreign rivals as being “modern-day presidential.” Trump, who has more than 35 million Twitter followers, has said the medium allows him direct access with the American people without having to pass through the prism of what he dubs the “fake news media.”
Further investigation reveals that “Nicole Mincey” is a fabricated Internet persona based loosely on a real person who was most likely recruited by scammers through social media. Nicole Mincey appears to be the creation for the purpose of selling some hats and T-shirts.
The original tweet showed an image of the president emblazoned with the message “Trump fights for us.” The user had shared the image in a reply to Trump that read “Trump working hard for the American people….thanks,” followed by emojis of a heart and the U.S. flag.
Here are some reactions on social media to Trump retweeting a phony Twitter account.
Yep. It was a fake account to scam Trump supporters…and scam Donald Trump. LMAO…he RT a fake bot account. ☺️
— Dave Shoffner (@Shoffner1974) August 8, 2017
Donald trump thanked a fake Twitter account for praising him yesterday. The account was FAKE. He loves FAKE news! No commander at helm!
— Elaine (@Elainey0007) August 7, 2017
DONALD TRUMP TWEETED AT SOMEONE WHO IS PROBABLY FAKE.
PHONY ACCOUNT… https://t.co/CUIrRkMiHH
— Andrew Adams (@andrewadms) August 8, 2017
— DUMP TRUMP (@Kegan05) August 7, 2017
The Twitter account linked to the website ProTrump45, which sells pro-Trump T-shirts, hoodies, and hats, and hosts a pro-Trump blog. The site also offers businesses an opportunity to advertise on the site, and sells sponsored blog posts, tweets and emails.
The online store was promoted with Twitter and Instagram accounts, some of which told the personal story of “Nicole Mincey,” ProTrump45’s purported founder. According to those accounts, as well as a ProTrump45.com post titled “Learn About Nicole Mincey,” she is a 21-year-old black female entrepreneur from New Jersey, who had been a liberal until switching her loyalties to President Trump.
Yahoo Finance could not fully document who created her but were confident that there is no such person, and that her creator duped gullible consumers, a few mainstream media organizations and even the president himself into trusting that she was real.
What do you think about Trump retweeting in the first place and having retweeted a phony Twitter account praising him? Let us know in the comments section.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr