President Donald Trump tweeted out a fake meme video on Thursday to take down the “fake news” media. The video, which was created by pro-Trump comedian Carpe Donktum, whose real name is Logan Cook, shows a black toddler running away from a white toddler. While scary, suspenseful music plays in the background, the fake CNN ticker tape reads, “Breaking News: Terrified Todler Runs From Racist Baby.”
The next headline on the video reads, “Racist Baby Probably A Trump Voter,” and then the screen cuts to black with the text: “WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.” The two toddlers once again appear on the screen, but there’s happy music playing in the background this time.
The video is edited to then show what happened just before the black toddler was seen running from the white toddler, and they’re shown running toward each other for a big hug. After they embrace, they’re happy checking out the white child’s toy and then start running with joy down the street — showing the exact same scene that opened the video but in a much different, “real” context.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2020
The video closes with another fade to black with text that reads: “AMERICA IS NOT THE PROBLEM. FAKE NEWS IS. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING.”
“ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FAKE NEWS DUMPSTER FIRES,” flashes on the screen before the video comes to an end.
Twitter flagged the video as “manipulated media,” since the footage was doctored from its original form.
After Trump’s tweet went viral, Michael D. Cisneros, who shot the original viral video featuring his son Maxwell and his friend Finnegan McKenna hugging, made it clear that he was not a fan of the new meme. Cisneros wrote on Facebook of the video Trump shared, “HE WILL NOT TURN THIS LOVING, BEAUTIFUL VIDEO TO FURTHER HIS HATE AGENDA‼️‼️‼️” and “HE CAN NOT GET AWAY WITH THIS!!!”
Heavy has reached out to Cisneros and Finnegan’s father for comment on Trump tweeting out an edited version of their kids’ viral video.
On Friday afternoon, Jukin Media, a company that represents creators and parents of the toddlers featured in Trump’s tweeted video told CNN it was an unauthorized use of their footage and a clear example of copyright infringement. Twitter has since deleted the video Trump’s Twitter feed.
CNN Actually Did Report on the Viral Video Starring Toddlers Maxwell & Finnegan in 2019
In 2019, CNN did actually report on the two toddlers hugging in the viral video, and it was a positive story.
The video, which was originally posted on Facebook last year, stars Maxwell, who was 26 months old at the time, and 27-month-old Finnegan. The two had been friends for nearly a year. CNN’s article read, “It was pure joy at first sight. Two toddlers, one black and one white, saw each other on the streets of New York. Instantly they both ran to each other to give the biggest hug like true best friends do.”
CNN’s affiliate WPIX spoke with Maxwell’s dad, Cisneros. “They just took off toward each other and I just got my phone out as quickly as possible, and just tried to record it,” Cisneros said. “They are just too cute together.”
“The reason that it’s getting attention [is] because it is with a little black boy and a little white boy,” Cisneros continued. “But if it can change someone’s mind, you know, or just change their view on things, then it’s totally worth it.” After the video went viral, Finnegan, Maxwell and their respective parents were invited to appear on The Ellen Degeneres Show.
Carpe Donktum Has Created Numerous Viral Videos Over the Years That Attack CNN & Liberals
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2020
Carpe Donktum has been creating pro-Trump and anti-liberal meme videos for years, and numerous times, Trump has shared these controversial videos on his official Twitter page. In an interview with FOX News, Donktum said he prefers to stay anonymous “because the current political climate is unpredictable and the anger level of many liberals makes them unstable.” However, FOX reported, “his identity has been revealed by critics.” Donktum told FOX that before Trump became president, he was only casually following politics.
“I have always been interested in politics and I have voted in every single election since I was first eligible in 2000,” Donktum said. “I would say that my political activity was very limited before 2015, and went up exponentially after Donald Trump entered the race.”
Avenatti Press Conferencepic.twitter.com/VJRg6PE740
— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) December 31, 2019
As for how Donktum, who was a guest at the White House twice in July 2019, got started in the world of right-wing comedic videos, he told FOX that while he was always interested in Internet memes, he started taking them more seriously in 2017:
I had been dabbling with image creation and photoshop during the campaign and I decided to branch out into video creation. My very first video was a parody of the Pokemon Go launch trailer called Strawman Go. Immediately after that, I began working on a video I ended up calling “The Madman Maestro,” which I finished just a few days before President Trump posted the now infamous WWE Wrestling GIF. The video I made was a classic Bugs Bunny video where he trolled an opera singer, eventually making him hold a note until the building collapsed. I replaced Bugs with Donald Trump. I was shocked that CNN tried to ruin that poor guy’s life and it spurred me to double my efforts. I went back and re-edited the Madman Maestro to include a CNN bowtie and MSM underpants.