The former acting Director of National Intelligence under President Trump, Richard Grenell, recently tried to publicly shame presidential hopeful Joe Biden for not wearing a mask. The problem? The photo he used was from last year, before mask mandates were a thing.
In a tweet which has since been taken down, Grenell referred to Biden as a "Washington DC Phony."
"Washington, DC phony!@JoeBiden doesn't wear a mask on a plane – but wears one OUTSIDE!?"
This is not the first time Grenell has tried to criticize Biden on social media. Earlier this year Grenell, who is openly gay, lashed out at the former vice president for choosing a heterosexual running mate, of all things.
Twitter users were quick to ridicule Grenell for what many have asserted was intentional, albeit quite sloppy, disinformation.
Just the former U.S. director of national intelligence spreading disinformation on eve of an election. (The photo i… https://t.co/EglJA3dzTk— Greg Miller (@Greg Miller) 1604327380.0
@WDCreports @gregpmiller @mehdirhasan Of course he knew. By the way we are happy he left Germany.— Imke Plischko MD (@Imke Plischko MD) 1604334882.0
@gregpmiller He’s been spreading disinformation on a daily basis for several months now. It’s a huge part of his job.— ⚖️ Dylan Truth & Justice ⚖️ (@⚖️ Dylan Truth & Justice ⚖️) 1604327481.0
The first photo is from November 2019. What is this illness? This guy was Trump Cartel Ambassador to Germany for… https://t.co/dgerPANcEJ— Jeffrey Vote Out This Gameshow Clown Wright (@Jeffrey Vote Out This Gameshow Clown Wright) 1604328411.0
@marklevinshow Awesome propaganda. Great lying for dear leader Trump.— fig newton, rn 🐌 (@fig newton, rn 🐌) 1604335515.0
@steph_turkey @marklevinshow And here!!! How rude. https://t.co/vjp0rZGT5i— Macrobug (@Macrobug) 1604329992.0
It would seem that not everyone noticed that the photo was a year old, though. Right-wing pundit Mark Levin retweeted the image unironically, calling Biden a fraud.
Biden wears a mask outside but not on a plane. Fraud. https://t.co/Ifj44claPP— Mark R. Levin (@Mark R. Levin) 1604275968.0
@DrBobbyUlich @marklevinshow Except he did make it up. That photo is from 2019.— Rebecca Schuman (@Rebecca Schuman) 1604343699.0
@KevinMKruse @galletly_mike @marklevinshow Wait, you mean fact-checking includes reading photo captions? Huh.— Daniel Schultz (@Daniel Schultz) 1604356212.0
While this is far from Grenell's first Twitter rant, it may be the most obviously false. Instead of accepting the loss, though, Grenell has doubled down. He posted another tweet with 2 images of Biden, without captions that make them easy to date this time.
Joe Biden outside vs Joe Biden outside. https://t.co/rhLK53WBEL— Richard Grenell (@Richard Grenell) 1604323299.0
People were quick to drag Grenell on the new tweet as well.
@RichardGrenell https://t.co/Ij6FPkpw7L— Meghan Elizabeth (@Meghan Elizabeth) 1604325091.0
@RichardGrenell I know this is hard for you to understand, but in one photo is he near other humans. In the other photo he is not.— Misanthropic Birdwatcher (@Misanthropic Birdwatcher) 1604324649.0
@RichardGrenell Our former “head” of National Intelligence has been passing around pics of Biden without a mask tak… https://t.co/2n3EpOw5zD— shadow raven (@shadow raven) 1604330870.0
Things may not have gone according to Grenell's plans, but he doesn't show any signs of changing his strategy.