Lee Harvey Oswald, started trending on Twitter after a journalist duped several prominent right-wing figures into honoring the gunman who assassinated President John F. Kennedy on Memorial Day.
The Intercept reporter Ken Klippenstein tricked the likes of Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, Matt Schlapp, and Dinesh D'Souza into retweeting a military portrait of Oswald on Monday.
'My Grandpa's a Big Fan of Yours'
Klippenstein tagged them in a tweet containing a picture of Oswald as a young private first class along with the request, "My grandpa's a big fan of yours and is a veteran, he would be thrilled if you could RT this photo of him for Memorial Day."
Gaetz retweeted the photo with an American flag emoji in the caption (the post has since been deleted) while Schlapp tweeted, "Wow @kenklippenstein it's my honor to retweet the photo of a veteran on a day we remember his fallen friends. God bless your grandfather." D'Souza also retweeted Klippenstein's tweet. Here are the screenshots:
Candace Owens Thought Oswald was Photoshopped into a Uniform
Twitter users mocked the Republicans for falling for the prank. However, conservative commentator Candace Owens, criticized Klippenstein for photoshopping "murderers" into military uniforms.
"It is not 'political correctness' to have a soul and modicum of decency. Reminder: these men DIED – the majority of them on foreign soil – so you could be free," Owens tweeted at Klippenstein. "You do not photoshop murderers into their uniforms so you can have a laugh."
However, Twitter users were quick to point out to Owens that Oswald was a member of the U.S. military prior to the assassination of JFK and the image Republicans were retweeting was not, in fact, photoshopped or digitally altered.
"I think I made Candace Owens short circuit lmao," Klippenstein tweeted alongside screenshots of their exchange on Twitter.
Klippenstein later posted a series of tweets claiming Owens got her fired from her job. It's unclear if he was actually fired. While his Twitter handle has been changed to "Ken Klippenstein #FiredForTruth," his LinkedIn profile still lists him as The Intercept's National Security Reporter.
Klippenstein's History of Trolling
Klippenstein has a history of pranking high-profile figures on social media. In 2019, when he was a senior investigative reporter at The Young Turks, he tricked Republican Rep. Steve King into sharing a message of support for his "marine" uncle with an image of Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men.
In 2020, he fooled former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell into bidding a happy Veterans Day to his "grandpa" Bill Calley, the war criminal behind the Mỹ Lai massacre. He also pranked ex-Clinton aide and anti-vaxxer Naomi Wolf into tweeting out an anti-vaccine quote that was attached to a photo of a prominent male porn star in March this year.