Journalists and critics of Donald Trump on Monday spread a false story claiming that the president committed a diplomatic faux pas while participating in a traditional Japanese ceremony.
In a video posted early Monday morning, CNN noted that Trump fed fish with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by "emptying the whole box of food into a koi pond" during his tour of Asia.
— CNN (@CNN) November 6, 2017
President Trump feeds fish with PM Shinzo Abe in Japan, then pours the entire box of food into the koi pond. pic.twitter.com/CQjGGf5k0J
— Veronica Rocha (@VeronicaRochaLA) November 6, 2017
Critics quickly jumped on what they characterized as an insensitive mistake that would kill fish.
We've reached the stage of Trump's senility where "Donald Trump pours entire box of fish food into koi pond as Rex Tillerson looks on in horror" is a true headline.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) November 6, 2017
— AFP news agency (@AFP) November 6, 2017
Abe: These are for feeding koi. Just drop a few in and…
— Holly O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) November 6, 2017
Trump told to feed koi fish by spoonful, gets impatient and tips entire box in https://t.co/VlIq51Muqx
— Metro (@MetroUK) November 6, 2017
But other angles of the event show that Trump only dumped his full box in the pond after Abe dumped his own box.
— Axios (@axios) November 6, 2017
Some journalists who initially shared the video later deleted it and corrected the record.
I've deleted this tweet which was based on multiple news reports but the video clearly shows Abe dumping his box of food first. pic.twitter.com/nsdt8U0awj
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 6, 2017
This is correct, and my tweet about the Koi pond was incorrect. I’ve since deleted it. https://t.co/uxMhj4EYBp
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) November 6, 2017
Me too. Important to own these mistakes. Multiple reports fooled me as well. https://t.co/LhMCn5LQXf
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) November 6, 2017