Within the confines of a Reddit group dedicated to Donald Trump, one user has become a hero.
A video posted five days ago by user “HanAssholeSolo” shows a man in a business suit, with the CNN logo superimposed over his head, getting slammed into the floor outside a wrestling ring by Trump. It appears to be the same video shared by the president himself on Twitter Sunday morning.
By Monday, the post had been retweeted 295,000 times.
“Congratulations,” one Reddit user commented. “Your dankery has been tweeted by the president of the United States.”
“Solo” posted Sunday night that he was “honored” to have his post re-shared by the “the MAGA EMPORER himself!!!” (Here is a link to the group, with the warning that certain posts may be considered offensive by some.)
Asked where the White House got the video, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said: “It did not come from Reddit.”
While it’s not easy to verify that this user actually created the video that dominated Sunday’s news cycle, there doesn’t seem to be anyone else in the Reddit group arguing his claim. He commented Sunday saying that the moving CNN logo in the video Trump posted matched the one he created, except that someone added music to it.
A cursory glance at this user’s posting history, even just the posts he penned this weekend, show material that could be described at best as questionable, and at worst racist and xenophobic.
There was backlash to the CNN video, because it was interpreted by some as sending a message of support for violence against journalists.
“Around the world, journalists are murdered with impunity on a regular basis,” said Ben Mullin, an editor with the journalism nonprofit Poynter Institute. “This isn’t funny.”
White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert was asked about such criticism on ABC’s This Week, and he responded, “I think no one would perceive that as a threat. I hope they don’t. But I do think that he’s beating up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.”
HanAssholeSolo’s user page reveals a focus on race, religion and politics that is often threatening and violent.
On Sunday, he wrote “most blacks don’t know who their fathers are,” in a thread about how much money Americans spend on holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
In a post about a Swedish music festival being cancelled, he wrote “F— ISLAM.”
The left is also a frequent target. He said he would get satisfaction out of seeing billionaire investor and prominent Democratic supporter George Soros’ “dead bloated corpse being dragged through the streets.”
The Anti-Defamation League released a statement Monday condemning his language, and the fact that President Trump chose to retweet a video he appears to have created.
“This individual traffics in online hatred and at times violent rhetoric, has created an image labeling CNN journalists with Stars of David and has written about stabbing Muslims among other violent rhetoric,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the Anti-Defamation League CEO, in a statement.
“When those on the fringes of society feel their messaging is getting mainstream attention, that should raise alarms for all Americans across the political spectrum that reject hatred and bigotry.”
HanAssholeSolo did not reply on Reddit to an NPR interview request.