On 26 June 2018, a rumor started in a sourceless tweet asserting that Harley Davidson’s chief executive officer, Matthew Levatich, called President Donald Trump “a moron”:
Harley Davidson CEO Matthew S Levatich says:
“Our decision to move some of our operations is 100% based on President Trumps tariffs. Mr. Trump knows nothing about economics and even less about trade. The man is a moron.”#MAGA @DailyCaller @realDonaldTrump @CNN @GOP pic.twitter.com/Q1wpjUaSx4
— Judy Tinsleman (@tinsleman) June 26, 2018
The tweet appeared to reference remarks made by President Donald Trump about Harley-Davidson’s decision to move some manufacturing outside the United States:
A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2018
In some versions, users claimed Levatich used the word “moron” in a statement. No such statement exists. Not unlike a rumor claiming that Michelle Obama orchestrated Roseanne Barr’s firing from her ABC sitcom, the rumor seemingly stemmed from a single tweet with no additional information and it was not substantiated.
We contacted Harley-Davidson to ask for more details. A media representative affirmed the claim was untrue:
Thanks for your message. That tweet is completely fake.