The source of the inflammatory GIF that President Donald Trump tweeted of himself pummeling CNN originated in Reddit's largest alt-right forum.
Vox reported Reddit user HanAssholeSolo posted the original GIF version of the clip to r/The_Donald, on Wednesday, June 28, and later said he'd edited and watermarked it himself.
Vox – which describes The_Donald as "Reddit’s main alt-right hub" and frequent conduit for conspiracy theories including the anti-Hillary Clinton Pizzagate – reported at some point in the four days after the original post, the GIF was modified with added audio and converted to a video format that "apparently found its way into the hands of the president, who tweeted it."
“Wow!! I never expected my meme to be retweeted by the God Emporer [sic] himself!!!” the poster responded.
According to Vox, the poster's Reddit history features many racist remarks, some of which were captured on screenshots before they disappeared.
In the past, Trump has disavowed the alt-right and its extremism, stating, “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group, and if they are energized I want to look into it and find out why.”
But members of The_Donald "reacted as though the president has been lurking among them," Vox reported, with one poster gushing: "The emperor reads our shitposts and re-tweets yours."
Meanwhile, Vox reported freelance writer Jared Yates Sexton, who was one of the first people to unveil the tweet’s origins – was hit by a firestorm of abuse online, tweeting he received "numerous threats" and was "told people wanted to shoot, strangle me, hang me, throw me out of a helicopter."
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