During Monday night’s presidential debate, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of calling climate change “a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.”
Trump swiftly rebutted Clinton’s assertion.
“I did not,” he said. “I did not. I do not say that.”
But many fact checkers were quick to point out that Trump did, in fact, say just that in a tweet from 2012:
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Washington Post fact checkers pointed out that Trump later referred to the tweet as a “joke,” though many other tweets exist on his timeline exist in which he does refer to Global Warming as a hoax, as well as a con, stupid, fictional, and mythical.
But the story took a strange turn when an image appeared on Twitter that carried the implication Trump’s campaign team had deleted the tweet during the debate.
The image quickly went viral as journalists, analysts, pundits, and comedians criticized and poked fun of what they perceived to be a colossal misrepresentation. The tweet, however, remains live.
As a result of the noise surrounding it, Trump’s initial tweet became the most retweeted content on Twitter throughout the course of the debate.
This is the top Retweeted Tweet during the first US presidential debate: https://t.co/fOOoPvtZHK
— Twitter Government (@gov) September 27, 2016