The explanation offered by the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. that hackers were behind Wednesday's retweet of President Donald Trump's statement on alleged voter fraud left several Twitter users unconvinced. The embassy's Twitter account was flooded with memes and jokes over the clarification.
On Wednesday, Trump questioned the legitimacy of the presidential election and accused the Democrats of cheating. Since major news organizations in the U.S. called in the presidential race for Joe Biden last month, the president insisted on voter fraud without providing evidence.
"If somebody cheated in the election, which the Democrats did, why wouldn't the Election be immediately overturned? How can a country be run like this?", Trump's tweet read. Twitter tagged the tweet as: "This claim about election fraud is disputed." The tweet received over 50,000 retweets, one of them from the Chinese embassy in the U.S. It was not until Reuters journalist David Shepardson screenshot the retweet and shared it with his followers that the Twitterverse was aware of it.
The Chinese embassy claimed that its Twitter account was targeted by hackers and that it did not retweet on Dec. 9. However, Twitter users were not unconvinced with the explanation and mocked the embassy for shifting the blame on hackers. "This is like 12-year-olds keep yelling 'HACKER' after screwing up in Call of Duty," one Twitter user wrote.
Chinese Embassy Mocked
"The internet version of 'I was kidding'," tweeted another user. Dan Froomkin, the editor of Press Watch, believed that an intern must be behind the gaffe. "Another social media intern in big trouble," he tweeted.
The social media gaffe came at a time when the diplomatic ties between Beijing and Washington deteriorated this year over the coronavirus pandemic, trade, technology, and human rights among various other things. The strained relations were further highlighted last week as a Chinese journalist and a U.S. senator was engaged in a nasty Twitter spat.
Chen Weihua, state-run China Daily's EU bureau chief, called Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn "a lifetime b**ch" after she said that China had a "5,000-year history of cheating and stealing." The spat led to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio jump in to defend against Blackburn, while China's state-run Global Times newspaper's editor-in-chief Hu Xijin criticized her for her comments.