When you post to Twitter at the furious rate that Donald Trump has accelerated to in recent months, there are bound to be glitches and mistakes that creep into your feed.
The president learned the hard lesson of the riskiness of unvetted retweeting this morning when he retweeted a birthday greeting for the U.S. Navy on the occasion of the 224th anniversary of its founding in 1775.
The tweet was originally posted by Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL) and seemed an innocent enough and suitably patriotic meme to retweet at a time when Trump’s own commitment to the American armed forces and its allies has come into question over his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria and abandon our Kurdish allies.
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Featuring a picture of an impressive battleship, the meme presented an impressive portrait of America’s naval might on the open seas.
There was only one problem.
The vessel in the picture was not a U.S. warship, as David Brown, the deputy defense edit of Politico, pointed out in a tweet that was a major embarrassment to both Congressman Mast and President Trump.
That's the Russian battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy pic.twitter.com/FJKsRYU1g0
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) October 13, 2019
It’s not certain if Trump was aware that he was promoting Russian naval capabilities rather than American mastery of the seas, but once the mistake became public, the White House quickly removed the erroneous tweet and replaced it with a more appropriate — if less obviously powerful — image containing actual U.S. Navy ships.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2019
Perhaps the picture postcard of the Russian battleship was a sly inside joke between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, sent as a belated birthday joke to the Kremlin leader who celebrated his 67th birthday earlier this week.
Putin had already received a substantial birthday gift from Trump, however, in the form of the American president’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, a move that solidified Russia’s interests in the Middle East at the expense of the United States as Trump moves to institute a new isolationist foreign policy for our nation.
Given that timely present to the Russian birthday boy, it’s more likely that the retweeted gaffe was simply another example of the Trump administration’s lack of attention to detail and overall incompetence.
It’s difficult to sweat the little stuff when impeachment is looming, apparently.
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Original reporting by Sarah K. Burris at RawStory.