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This article was published on February 28, 2016

Gawker created a bot to trick Donald Trump into retweeting Mussolini

Gawker created a bot to trick Donald Trump into retweeting Mussolini
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

In November of 2015, Gawker’s Ashley Feinberg created a Twitter bot that posted quotes from the writings and speeches of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator who created the Facist party. The bot’s tweets were Mussolini quotes attributed to Donald Trump, the thinking being: this guy will retweet anything as long as it sounds like praise for, well, himself.

It certainly doesn’t hurt that Trump has had nearly three decades of media exposure and may not have written his own best selling book: “The Art of the Deal.” After all, who can keep track of everything they’ve said in a 30+ year career?

The bot has been responsible for the following gems:

After months of tweeting Benito Mussolini quotes falsely attributed to Donald Trump, today Trump finally took the bait.


We should note the complete lack of attention to detail here by Trump. Gawker practically gave away the scam by using a photoshopped Mussolini bust with Trump’s hair for the profile photo. And then there’s the name itself, ‘Il Duce’ (the leader), which was how Mussolini was identified during World War II.

But if you’re thinking that Gawker trapped Trump into a ‘gotcha’ moment, ‘The Donald’ says he knew the quote belonged to Mussolini all along.

“Chuck, it’s OK to know it’s Mussolini. Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. It’s OK to — it’s a very good quote, it’s a very interesting quote, and I know it,” Trump said this morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I saw it. I saw what — and I know who said it. But what difference does it make whether it’s Mussolini or somebody else? It’s certainly a very interesting quote.”

How We Fooled Donald Trump Into Retweeting Benito Mussolini [Gawker]

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