On Dec. 14, 2020, social media users began circulating an image of a tweet purportedly posted by U.S. President Donald Trump, in which the chief executive announced his intention to grant a pardon to comedian Bill Cosby, who in 2018 was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison on sexual assault charges:
Among others, I am considering a FULL PARDON for America’s Dad, the great Bill Cosby who is in all likelihood totally innocent. Sad we live in a country where great men like “Dr” Cosby are in prison and crooked Hillary is not!
By mid-December 2020, Trump had issued — or telegraphed his intent to issue — a number of controversial pardons, one for the disgraced TV star was not among them. Trump tweets on Dec. 14 were all about Trump’s typical concerns of the moment — himself, the election he lost but refused to concede, and the upcoming rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine — and not about Cosby or any potential pardons.
This tweet image was merely a fabrication, with the use of quotation marks around “Dr” likely a reference to the then-current controversy about the use of that honorific title by first lady-to-be Jill Biden, who, like Cosby, holds a doctorate in education degree.