In recent days, an image purportedly showing that the Clinton Foundation gave money to liberal groups and “Never Trump” conservatives to oppose the candidacy of Donald Trump has been circulated on social media by supporters of the Republican nominee.
The “invoice” shows “payments” made by the Clinton Foundation to individuals such as radio host Glenn Beck, independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol for their “voter suppression” efforts.
The image was circulated on social media and several websites as if it were a real document — except it’s completely fake, according to the man who created it. And not only is the invoice fake, but it lists fake organizations.
The man behind the meme, identified only as Chris, told The Daily Beast that he intentionally fabricates documents he then calls “leaked” in an effort to get internet users to be more discerning about what they believe — but people fall for it.
“Conspiracy-theory nonsense drives me crazy, as do the random Facebook political hoaxes you see every day,” Chris, who goes by “MassRafTer” on Twitter, told The Daily Beast. “I’d like to think people who aren’t in a true-believer camp feel embarrassed when they fall for something obviously fake, and then think twice the next time.”
He said he is amazed at the number of people who have fallen for his fake documents.
“The wonderful thing is this is the third time 55 dips**ts per minute have fallen for my Photoshop and MSPaint work,” Chris said.
As supporters of Trump circulated the meme online, McMullin’s campaign pushed back, calling it “the silliest meme on the internet.”
“A few folks have been taken in by one of the most blatant forgeries I've seen in a long time,” a spokesperson for the McMullin campaign wrote on their website. “Of course, it's a lie. But it's not just a lie. It's a dumb and desperate lie.”
“We get it. Evan is a threat to Trump now, and his people are losing their minds as we close in on him in Utah and beyond,” the spokesperson added. “Expect more of this kind of ridiculous garbage in your social media feeds as the Trump campaign collapses. We're ready. You should be, too.”
A candidate for President of the United States with kind of a chance of winning a state was forced to make a statement on this idiocy. pic.twitter.com/Lpa4CTq3OO— MassRafTer (@mongo_ebooks) October 15, 2016
Beck openly mocked the meme on his radio program last week.
Glenn Beck discussed the totally real Confidential Clinton Foundation Accounts Payable Invoice. This is real life. https://t.co/jzCYKvdcv9— MassRafTer (@mongo_ebooks) October 16, 2016
Beck and his co-hosts poked fun at the “very credible” document.
A similar incident took place when social media users circulated a video purportedly of Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine yelling at his daughter in a voicemail — but the audio was really actor Alec Baldwin.
“I don’t know what’s funnier, the people who believe it’s real, or the people who don’t take 10 seconds to see if I think it’s real, and debunk it to me,” Chris said.
This post has been updated.