It was the perfect story to excite the liberal segment of the U.S. population wholly opposed to President Donald Trump’s every move. But there was one problem: It wasn’t true.
On Sunday, several progressive media personalities and liberal Twitter users fell for a false post claiming a new billboard advertising Trump Tower Manila had been erected and featured the president’s daughter Ivanka, who now serves as a senior White House adviser.
Even an NBC News correspondent picked up the photo and Raw Story, a progressive news site, covered the fake story, writing: “Ivanka Trump hawks family’s new development in Philippines as dad invites strongman to White House.”
The hubbub ensued when venture capitalist Peter Brack posted an image of the billboard to his Twitter account, tying the advertisement to Trump’s decision to invite controversial Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House. For what it’s worth, Duterte has since said he might be too “tied up” to visit the U.S. president.
“Assistant to POTUS models in an ad for POTUS’s new Tower in Manila,” Brack wrote in a tweet that has garnered nearly 20,000 retweets. “President of Philippines just got WH invite.”
The sign, however, is five years old. And according to a spokesperson for the Trump organization, the billboard was taken down years ago.
“This is an old photo. The developer of Trump Tower in Manila has confirmed that this particular billboard was removed several years ago,” a spokesperson told NBC.
But the image had already made its rounds on the Twitterverse. In fact, the photo began circulating almost immediately after it was posted.
“Ivanka has full clearance and sits in on state dinners. She has a billboard promoting Trump Tower in Manila and her ‘fine jewelry’ line,” Twitter user Josh Jordan wrote, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Jordan corrected the mistake late Monday morning.
Apparently this billboard is from 2012 and no longer up. I'm sure the 19K people that retweeted it (myself included… https://t.co/juAwEBrCCk— Josh Jordan (@Josh Jordan)1493652287.0
Jon Lovett, who worked as a speech writer for former President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, tweeted: “The conflicts are unchecked because the GOP Congress has put deregulation and tax cuts for millionaires above all other considerations.”
MSNBC correspondent Joy Reid sarcastically tweeted, “Total coincidence I’m sure.” She later added, “Well... the murderous autocrat [Duterte] did green light a Trump condo in his capitol, and Ivanka got a modeling gig out of it so...”
Total coincidence I'm sure... https://t.co/91nj8BvaC9— Joy Reid (@Joy Reid)1493611821.0
Well... the murderous autocrat did geenlight a Trump condo in his capitol, and Ivanka got a modeling gig out of it… https://t.co/Jf7BKtVwnZ— Joy Reid (@Joy Reid)1493613046.0
Neither Lovett nor Reid had corrected their erroneous tweets at time of publication.
The errant report comes on the heels of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus revealing that the Trump administration has explored changing libel laws, an issue then-candidate Trump raised on the campaign trail.
“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at. How that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story,” Priebus said Sunday. “[I] think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news."