Donald Trump used his Twitter handle to retweet a quote attributed to the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on Sunday, and was met with a wide range of reactions on the social media site.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2016
What Trump probably did not realize was that the account he posted the quote from was a parody account, in the name of "Il Duce," a nickname of Mussolini's, displaying a profile picture which is a Photoshopped image of Trump's hair and Mussolini's face, reports The New York Times.
The website Gawker immediately claimed credit. "Last year, we set a trap for Trump. We came up with the idea for that Mussolini bot under the assumption that Trump would retweet just about anything, no matter how dubious or vile the source, as long as it sounded like praise for himself. The account, @ilduce2016, was created by Gawker senior writer Ashley Feinberg and Gawker Media Editorial Labs director Adam Pash. It has tweeted solely at Donald Trump, multiple times a day, since December 2015," read a Gawker post.
But Trump was unabashed in the face of widespread criticism on his not-so-subtle Fascist inklings.
"Look, Mussolini was Mussolini. It's okay to - it's a very good quote, it's a very interesting quote, and I know it. I saw it. I saw what - and I know who said it. But what difference does it make whether it's Mussolini or somebody else? It's certainly a very interesting quote," Trump said when asked about the tweet during NBC's "Meet The Press."
"No, I want to be associated with interesting quotes. Hey, it got your attention, didn't it?" he added when asked if he wanted to be associated with a fascist dictator like Mussolini, reports NBC.