After months of waiting, Gawker’s long con on Donald Trump finally came to an end on Sunday.
The New York City-based blog, which describes itself as the source for “daily Manhattan media news and gossip,” tricked the Republican frontrunner into retweeting a quote widely attributed to Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. For the “dumb project”—Gawker editor Alex Pareene’s words, not mine—Gawker created a Twitter account called @ilduce2016 that exclusively tweeted out Mussolini quotes that it falsely attributed to Trump.
The account has been automatically tweeting at Trump multiple times a day since December. After probably hundreds of tweets, Gawker’s scam was finally realized.
“Il Duce” is Italian for “the leader,” and is widely known to have been a nickname for Mussolini during his 21 years as the leader of the National Fascist Party. Considering how thinly veiled the joke was, Gawker wrote that one editor was concerned it was “far too obvious, and wouldn’t trick anyone but a complete idiot.”
When confronted about his retweet on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd asked Trump if he wanted to be associated with a fascist. He responded: “No, I want to be associated with interesting quotes.”