Trump Hits Bette Midler Over Spreading Fake Quote

Trump Hits Bette Midler Over Spreading Fake Quote
Bette Midler attends the 2017 Tony Awards-Red Carpet at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 11, 2017. (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump hit back at actress Bette Midler for spreading a falsified quote attributed to him, saying she’s a “sick scammer.”

“Washed up psycho Bette Midler was forced to apologize for a statement she attributed to me that turned out to be totally fabricated by her in order to make ‘your great president’ look really bad,” Trump said.

“She got caught, just like the Fake News Media gets caught. A sick scammer!” he added.

Midler took to Twitter this week to share a quote she claimed President Trump once uttered.

The fake quote was spread among opponents of Trump in 2015, gaining enough traction to require debunking by fact-checking site Snopes:

“If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican,” it reads. “They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.”

“He certainly knew his crowd,” 73-year-old Midler captioned the post.

A number of people took the liberty to point out to the Hollywood actress that it was fake.

“This is a blatant fake and a blatant lie,” noted filmmaker Robby Starbuck. “Even left-wing fact-checking site Snopes had debunked it.”

“Despite People’s comprehensive online content archive, we found no interview or profile on Donald Trump in 1998 (or any other time) that quoted his saying anything that even vaguely resembled the words in this meme,” Snopes stated in an October 2015 article.

“Trump appeared somewhat regularly in the magazine’s pages before he came to star on The Apprentice, but the bulk of the magazine’s celebrity-driven coverage of him back then centered on his marriages to, and divorces from, Ivana Trump and Marla Maples,” the site added.

“PEOPLE looked into this matter exhaustively when the quote first surfaced,” a magazine spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Politifact. “We combed through every Trump story in our archive and did not find anything remotely like this quote–and no Trump interview in 1998.”

Midler later deleted her tweet.

Midler has pushed anti-Trump material on Twitter since before he was elected, receiving negative attention at times when some people felt she crossed a line. On Tuesday night, she wrote: “Maybe someone in his camp can gently give him a shiv,” referring to stabbing someone with a crude knife, like a switchblade.

Midler took to Twitter earlier this year to suggest someone should attack Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

“Where’s Rand Paul’s neighbor when we need him?” she wrote.

Paul was assaulted by his neighbor in November 2018 and suffered several serious injuries including broken ribs and bruises to his lungs.

The tweet has not been deleted as of June 5.

Sergio Gor, one of Paul’s aides, hit back after Midler sent the tweet out.

“This is disgusting @BetteMidler calling for violence. She should be ashamed,” Gor tweeted.

Other people expressed dismay over Midler’s call for violence.

“Usually I don’t care what celebrities say about politics, I’ve loved Bette since I was a little kid—but this statement made me lose all respect for her. Ick,” said one.

NTD reporter Tiffany Meier contributed to this report.

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