US Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has shared a doctored video showing President Donald Trump on a podium, while Sanders sneaks up on him from behind and pretends to scare him.
POTUS, who looks frightened, is then surrounded by bodyguards, who jump up on the stage to protect the president.
The bizarre video was uploaded to raise money for his fundraising campaign ahead of its midnight deadline.
“Want to really scare Trump? Help us show the strength of our campaign to defeat him – chip in before our fundraising deadline at midnight at the link in bio”, the caption read.
The actual footage was recorded in March 2016 during Trump’s campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio, where the then-Republican candidate was indeed frightened by college student Thomas DiMassimo, who attempted to storm the stage, but was rapidly intercepted by security.
The man was taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct, as well as inducing panic. At the time, rumours had it that DiMassimo was wielding a knife. He eventually pleaded guilty to entering a “restricted area where a person protected by the Secret Service was temporarily visiting, without lawful authority” and was fined $250.
Given the context of the original footage, Sanders’ mischief caused mixed reactions online: while some thought that the edited video was hilarious…
lol @ everyone calling this “disgraceful” y’all wanna be boring so bad 😂— salima the creator (@limacake) July 1, 2019
I saw this on IG and it made me donate again...I love sassy Bernie! #Bernie2020— Free Spirit (@carriechelle1) July 1, 2019
…others argued that the senator was openly inciting violence and suggested that if Trump had done something like that, he would have been savaged in the media:
Now this is closer to incitement than anything Trump has ever done.— Howard Prime (@BluishCheckMark) July 1, 2019
It’s funny until you realize it’s from an actual violent incedent.— Reagan & Maverick (@AngleOfAttack1) July 1, 2019
If Trump did this,MSM would go nuts.— Frank J Lomanno (@LomannoJ) July 1, 2019
I can’t stand Trump or Sanders, but this is just the type of garbage the guy in Oval Office would use about an opponent. Not cool.— Jeremy Pond (@JeremyPond) July 1, 2019
Sanders, who announced his presidential bid on 19 February, has raised $18 million in new donations in the second quarter of the year for his 2020 White House run, his campaign said on Tuesday, while Trump’s re-election campaign has raised $54 million in the second quarter.
This will be Sanders’ second attempt to win the Democratic Party’s nomination after he lost his candidacy bid in 2016 to Hillary Clinton.