In a since-deleted tweet, Democratic hopeful Marianne Williamson falsely suggested that President Donald Trump had pardoned notorious cult leader Charles Manson.
“There is something deeply sinister about Trump pardoning Charles Manson, even posthumously,” Williamson wrote. “Dog whistles of the very worst kind.”
This would indeed be troubling news, except that it never happened. Manson, who died in jail in 2017, had been convicted on California state charges. The president only has pardon power for federal criminals, and so could not have pardoned Manson even if he wanted to. (via Washington Post).
Williamson was apparently duped by a satirical article making its way around the web. She later issued an apology, before deleting both the original post and the mea culpa.
In her bid to be the Democratic presidential candidate, Marianne Williamson participated in the first two debates, but failed to reach the donor and polling thresholds for subsequent debates. Even so she has not dropped out, and as recently as October she vowed to keep fighting. Throughout it all, her campaign has been marked by controversy. Last week, she was criticized by vaccine activists for a Facebook post claiming that “neurons-toxins” are being packaged with vaccines.
Humans are naturally lazy creatures, and in today’s polluted media environment, it can be a lot of work to sift the fake news from the real. But we should all try harder. Especially those of us who are currently running for President.
This is absolutely the first thing Donald Trump will do in the morning when he sees this (just deleted) tweet from Marianne Williamson. pic.twitter.com/wGg9fGid5eAdvertisement
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) December 9, 2019
— Brandy Zadrozny (@BrandyZadrozny) December 6, 2019