A fake tweet mocked up to look like it was written by former U.S. President Barack Obama went viral, likely because if it were real, it would have represented quite a clap back.
The image, posted on March 31, 2022, is a screenshot of what looks like Obama’s verified Twitter account and a tweet that states, “I think most Americans would agree that I’m a level-headed individual, not a man who’s prone to indulging in conspiracy theories. I’ve certainly had a fair number directed at me. But has anyone checked to make sure Donald Trump doesn’t have a Russian birth certificate?”
The fake tweet is a play on the “birther” conspiracy theory, of which Obama’s successor, former U.S. President Donald Trump, was a major proponent before he took office. Birtherism is a racist conspiracy theory that falsely posits Obama, the first Black president, wasn’t born in the U.S.
The tweet also plays on news stories that took off after Trump took office, reporting the latter’s campaign had received help from the Russian government. When Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, Trump referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military strategy as “genius.”
The Obama tweet doesn’t appear on his Twitter timeline, nor does it appear on PolitiWoops, a database of deleted tweets by political figures operated by the non-profit news organization ProPublica.