US President Donald Trump was left red-faced on Tuesday after he re-tweeted a post which labelled him a fascist.
The notoriously prolific tweeter shared a link to a Fox news story which read: “FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: President Trump ‘seriously considering’ a pardon for ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”
FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: President Trump 'seriously considering' a pardon for ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio https://t.co/Rgw8l7i9Xl— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 14, 2017
The tweet went horribly wrong for the president after Twitter user Mike Holden left a reply under Trump’s post which read: “He’s a fascist, so not unusual”.
The post was re-tweeted by Trump and swiftly deleted moments later – but it did not go unnoticed among some of his 36 million followers.
I'm announcing my retirement from Twitter. I'll never top this RT. pic.twitter.com/HuGHkiPoyR— Mike Holden (@MikeHolden42) August 15, 2017
Holden has since changed his Twitter bio to reflect his new-found fame, and has made the tweet, which has gone viral with thousands of likes and re-tweets, his header photo.
I'm going to put "Endorsed by the President of the United States" on my bio, as soon as they have a decent one!— Mike Holden (@MikeHolden42) August 15, 2017
The 53-year-old IT worker from Manchester told the Washington Post that his notifications went “completely bananas” after he unassumingly posted the tweet.
It took me a while to realise The Don RTd it! My notifications just went nuts!— Mike Holden (@MikeHolden42) August 15, 2017
He added: “[Fascist] is strong term to use, but I wouldn’t apologise for it. Why he re-tweeted it is beyond me, but maybe he got a taste of his own medicine.”
Predictably, many were left baffled as to how such a blunder could occur in the first place.
He probably was half asleep and saw "that is fanstastic".— Eric Kauffmann (@Eric_Kauffmann) August 15, 2017
But others pointed out that the commander-in-chief’s mistake will live on forever – in his presidential archives.
A digital Freudian slip captured for all time.— Lance A. Perry v3 (@LAPv3) August 15, 2017
You calling Trump a fascist is officially part is the Presidential record!— Wattrat (@rlhumphreys) August 15, 2017
Even if he deleted it, we all scree shot it pic.twitter.com/B7e9WCUWih— Still a real person even without a checkmark 💙🦋 (@JerseyDutchGirl) August 15, 2017
Trump also briefly re-ignited his hostile attack on CNN, by re-tweeting a photo-shopped image of the “Trump train” crashing into the news network’s logo. The post was also deleted.
If you're just joining us, these are the two tweets the President of the United States of America just retweeted, then deleted. Scenes. pic.twitter.com/Q8ENfKaLD2— Alastair Reid (@ajreid) August 15, 2017
Trump’s slip-up could add to the pressure he has been under following his clumsy response to the events in Charlottesville over the weekend, where a deadly white supremacist rally took place.
Arpaio is a former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt last month, for “wilfully” continuing to detain people he suspected were undocumented immigrants, despite a judge’s ruling. He faces up to six months in jail but could be spared if Trump issues him a pardon.
Arpaio has sparked controversy over his stringent views on illegal immigration and extreme tactics against criminals. He once forced inmates at Arizona’s Tent City jail to wear pink underwear and endure temperatures higher than 100F (43C).
Arpaio has also been heavily criticised for failing to investigate hundreds of sex crimes while in office.
Donald Trump has lauded Arpaio as “an outstanding sheriff” and said “he doesn’t deserve to be treated this way”.