Anti-Semitic, Racist History of Trump Wrestling GIF Creator Uncovered, & Things Only Got Worse for Everyone From There

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When Donald Trump tweeted out a video of himself punching an anthropomorphized CNN (made from an old wrestling stunt), few people, if any at all, were surprised to learn the video originated from the right-wing Reddit hate swamp of /The_Donald. Perhaps even fewer people, then, were surprised when other posts from the originating user, HanAssholeSolo, started being revealed.

Yes, Trump signal boosted a man who, among other bigoted, violent posts, once made an antagonistic meme of all of CNN’s Jewish employees. Some (on both the far right and the left) have speculated Trump was aware of his racist and anti-Semitic posting history and was using that as a dog whistle for his more deplorable followers.

Things took a turn over the 4th of July holiday (happy birthday, America), when HanAssholeSolo posted a lengthy apology to Reddit.

This is, in short, a terrible apology. It’s centered around the idea that he’s not a bad guy; he just does a lot of bad things. He blames an addiction to trolling for his “racist, bigoted, and anti-semitic” posts, insisting he is “in no way this kind of person,” saying, “I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life.”

No. He doesn’t get credit for not meaning these disgusting things in his deepest heart of hearts. He claims he posted bigoted content to “get a reaction” from people. What reaction is there but to make those who have to deal with racism, antisemitism, and other forms of bigotry on a daily basis feel insulted, unsafe, and denigrated? The only people who can view posts like his as the “satire” he claims it to be are those who have never been systemically and repeatedly made to feel targeted, to feel less than.

The apology drips with “but I’m a nice guy” logic and reads as rushed and fearful—which, it turns out, it probably was. Reddit is based in anonymity, but a lot of users seem to forget that they have to actually work to maintain their own. CNN uncovered the identity of the man (who, yes, is a grown man, not a 15-year-old as many on Twitter have been saying) and reportedly reached out for comment. The next day, his past posts on The_Donald had been deleted and he put out the apology.

But because Trump’s supporters still have to be the victim here, they’ve grabbed hold of one line from CNN’s article detailing the apology:

“CNN is not publishing “HanA**holeSolo’s” name because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again. In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same.

CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

Many are taking that last sentence as a Godfather-style threat of blackmail. #CNNBlackmail has been trending on Twitter, in large part to due to the pot-stirring of Trump’s anger-mongering son.

Once again, the user in question is a middle-aged man. Trump Jr. is deliberately spreading misinformation and ignoring the facts provided by the CNN reporter behind the story.

By CNN’s report, HanAssholeSolo is shooting down the accusations of blackmail.

Not that it makes any difference to those who have decided on their own alternative facts.

There are no winners here. Many are calling this entire ordeal a distraction, and it very well may be. But it can’t be ignored, because there are some big issues at the core of Trump’s tweet. His disdain for the media is dangerous, and the process by which he came to use this specific image is absolutely worth questioning.

(featured image: screengrab)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.