Donald Trump Jr. on Wednesday claimed that the Reddit user behind a controversial CNN meme (HanA——Solo) is a 15-year-old boy, jumping onto the #CNNBlackmail bandwagon, however the news network says that is simply not true.
“So I guess they weren’t effective threatening the admin so they go after & bully a 15 y/o? Seems in line w their ‘standards’ #CNNBlackmail,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 5, 2017
Andrew Kaczynski, a CNN reporter who interviewed HanA——Solo, said the President’s son was spreading fake news.
The Reddit user “is a middle aged man,” Kaczynski said on Twitter.
Again. HanAssholeSolo is not 15 or anywhere close to it. This is POTUS’ son spreading misinformation. pic.twitter.com/AB98NLn7nc
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) July 5, 2017
“People claiming he’s 15 are wrong. Some are intentionally spreading this,” he wrote.
In another tweet, he retweeted Trump Jr.’s tweet and wrote, “Again. HanA——Solo is not 15 or anywhere close to it. This is POTUS’ son spreading misinformation.”
The New York Daily News added:
“Kaczynski wrote in a story that he spoke with HanA——Solo, who confirmed his identity but asked not to be named “out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.” The user deleted his Reddit posts and issued a lengthy apology for the CNN meme that ended up in Trump’s Twitter feed.
Kaczynski’s story noted that CNN “reserves the right to publish his identity” if the user, who has a history of bigoted posts, goes back on his promise to stop online trolling. That line sparked the #CNNBlackmail campaign.”
CNN backed up its reporter in a statement issued Wednesday.
“Any assertion that the network blackmailed or coerced (the Reddit user) is false,” it said.
“The user, who is an adult male, not a 15-year-old boy, apologized and deleted his account before ever speaking with our reporter. CNN never made any deal, of any kind, with the user. CNN included its decision to withhold the user’s identity in an effort to be completely transparent that there was no deal.”
Twitter users responded as well:
The middle-aged racist who created the video isn’t 15. Neither is your father, who disseminated it. Although he sure acts 15. https://t.co/c4cHMNKb2b
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) July 5, 2017
Keith, don’t insult 15 year olds. I was thinking more like a 9 year old.
— Charles Fracchia (@cfrac22) July 5, 2017
Let’s not insult the 15 year olds… my 3 year old twins don’t throw as many tantrums as 45 combined!
— Ashley Fant (@ashleybundy) July 5, 2017
My fifteen year old students act much better than our President.
— Chelsea Cruse (@chelsrob) July 5, 2017
— Bridget (@Hopeless_Mod) July 5, 2017