Supporters of Pres. Donald Trump and the coalition of white nationalists and internet trolls known as the "alt-right" are spreading a phony image claiming to show a tweet by CNN's Jake Tapper calling for the assassination of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange.
Mediaite.com reported that the clumsily photoshopped image started circulating on Wednesday morning on alt-right and pro-Wilileaks threads.
"Needless to say," wrote Alex Griswold, "he didn’t actually say anything of the sort (and the blurriness of parts of the image makes that obvious). But that didn’t stop the image from going viral."
#vault7 . The @jaketapper from CNN just tweet this and delete real fast. #adaywithoutwomen https://t.co/J0nr13FUkT— Vincent (@Vincent) 1488980882.0
#JaketTapper wants #JulianAssange #Killed I wonder who else @jaketapper wants #Murdered #InternationalWomensDay… https://t.co/8GilcWA0vK— No Bully Zone (@No Bully Zone) 1489005233.0
@jaketapper You mind explaining this tweet you posted and deleted? Sounds like you want a 'hit job' on Julian Assan… https://t.co/ZP0QI9vIJ9— Bama DeplorableKaren (@Bama DeplorableKaren) 1489004719.0
Demonstrating what today's media is really about, Jake Tapper calls for the assassination of the one source of true… https://t.co/aXYFmIEvMo— Philip Schuyler (@Philip Schuyler) 1488996242.0
JAKE TAPPER UNHINGED Calls on CIA to ASSASSINATE Julian Assange https://t.co/yAAMniQWss #MAGA #Outnumbered #Vault7 #WikiLeaks #CIAHacking— Boca Vista (@Boca Vista) 1488990378.0
The "#Vault7" hashtag refers to Wikileaks' publication on Tuesday of a fresh trove of stolen U.S. documents which were purportedly swiped from the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence.
CNN has become a special target for Trump's rants about the dishonesty of journalists who refuse to report on his administration in sufficiently flattering terms. He has repeatedly singled out CNN as "fake news" and told his followers that the media is the enemy of the American people.
This is not the first time right-wing Twitter has run with a phony story about Tapper. Recently, a doctored video claiming to be a racist diatribe by Tapper made the rounds before Tapper and other Twitter users pointed out that the audio was actually a recording of reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter.