While Donald Trump’s response to Hurricane Harvey was widely criticized for failing to show empathy with the hurricane’s victims, and focusing on the supposed size of the crowd that turned out to see him when he appeared not in Houston where the hurricane his hardest, but in Corpus Christi, Texas, some Trump supporters took to Twitter to defend the man they say is “Making America Great Again” — and blast the media for allegedly ignoring Trump’s good deeds during the hurricane response effort.
In fact, it now appears that some Trump supporters on the social media platform Twitter believe that Trump personally waded into floodwaters and rescued a drowning cat, circulating a photograph allegedly showing Trump waist-deep in water with two waterlogged housecats in his arms.
The photo was posted on Twitter with the caption, “Things the media forgets.” In the photo, Trump wears one of his trademark “Make America Great Again” red baseball caps — but as other Twitter users quickly noted, Trump’s head was simply, and crudely, pasted on another man’s body using digital photo editing software such as Photoshop.
In fact, as the rumor-checking site Snopes.com discovered, the photo of “Trump” was not even taken during Hurricane Harvey. Or even in Houston. Or even in this decade.
This is being shared on Facebook as real. By lots and lots of people. pic.twitter.com/BwluNumL1h
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) September 12, 2017
According to Snopes, the photo was snapped in 2008, during a flood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. An article from 2009 in the Des Moines Register newspaper, identified the man as Brandon Smith, who was in the process of removing his two family pets from his flooding home when the photo was taken.
Whoever created the Twitter meme did nothing more than digitally paste Trump’s face over Smith’s, leaving the remainder of the photo unaltered.
Trump Voters thinking Trump saved cats during Harvey is almost as embarrassing as when they thought Obama was POTUS during Katrina. pic.twitter.com/kMvhPkuczV
— PROUD RESISTER (@ProudResister) September 15, 2017
But that apparently didn’t stop some Trump supporters from falling for the fake meme, at least according to Twitter users who had plenty of fun mocking the Trump fans.
WHO would think that’s him? Oh/ my 70+ Aunt in law and she’d share it. pic.twitter.com/HVwCxNvxCH
— Lisa Pilkington (@lapilkington) September 16, 2017
And the stomach is way too small.
— Jim Ogier (@OgierJim) September 16, 2017
And the “Trump saving cats” meme wasn’t even the only fake photo that circulated during the hurricane. One doctored image purported to show Trump aiding in the rescue of a human being, which also drew ridicule on Twitter.
I think I’d die of shock if I saw Trump rescuing someone. And from a small boat? No way.https://t.co/txto9yhQ18
— So Sez Chey (@chey_cobb) September 2, 2017
The meme of Trump saving a cat, or two cats, wasn’t the first misconception that his supporters circulated during Hurricane Harvey. Another meme went viral on Twitter and other social media outlets blasting President Barack Obama for his alleged lack of response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Obama was a Senator from Illinois in 2005 and did not become president until 2009.
Just to make sure this is clear: Katrina happened in 2005. Obama became President in 2009. pic.twitter.com/J4zps97NXI
— JenAshleyWright (@JenAshleyWright) August 30, 2017
The Obama meme became so pervasive that Snopes actually published an article explaining that Obama was not president during Katrina.
[Featured Image by Susan Walsh/AP Images]