President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired off a tweet claiming Americans who protested against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh were supposed to be paid ― and were angry that they didn’t get their money.
He also repeated that claim at a rally in Iowa Tuesday night, saying “phony protesters” were supposed to be paid “and now they want to protest because they didn’t get paid yet and they want their money.”
The only problem?
Trump’s claims appear to be based on an off-hand and sarcastic comment made on Fox News.
Writer Asra Q. Nomani appeared as a guest on “Fox & Friends,” a show Trump is known to watch, to talk about her Wall Street Journal article linking billionaire George Soros to a number of groups that have organized protests.
But she was talking more about his financial support for organizations, not individuals.
She wrote in the Journal:
“Yet while most demonstrators are not paid for their efforts, the protests at the Capitol Saturday, and the ones that have included stalking lawmakers inside and outside their offices, are organized by groups of which Mr. Soros is an important patron.”
Asked on Fox News if protesters were being paid, she cracked that “because people have sent me lots of messages that they’re waiting for their check, a lot of sincere people are protesting.”
Nomani confirmed to Mediaite that the line about “waiting for their check” was sarcasm.
But the sarcasm was lost on Trump, who tweeted about 45 minutes after the “Fox & Friends” appearance:
The paid D.C. protesters are now ready to REALLY protest because they haven’t gotten their checks - in other words, they weren’t paid! Screamers in Congress, and outside, were far too obvious - less professional than anticipated by those paying (or not paying) the bills!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2018
Twitter critics were quick to respond:
If people were “Paid Protesters” and weren’t “Paid” as you say.. Why would they protest again? Oh right! Because none of them were paid or ever expected to be! They did it and will do it because this is their country!
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) October 10, 2018
Again: Trump's campaign launch included paid attendees and the campaign didn't pay the firm that hired them for months. https://t.co/WsxJ5xe7Oo
— Philip Bump (@pbump) October 9, 2018
If someone paid me to protest every time I did, I'd finally be rich enough to benefit from the tax cuts you gave the 1% https://t.co/f7w1m1Bmp7
— maura quint (@behindyourback) October 9, 2018
What I want to know is which person is paying them to protest not being paid for previous protesting. https://t.co/G861yQ5pnR
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) October 10, 2018
This a lie. Like all the others. Don’t ever allow this to feel normal. Somebody soon we will have a President doesn’t make stuff up out of thin air. https://t.co/lawXlBAlmm
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 9, 2018
No one is paid to protest, people really don’t like you. #fatpresident
— John Fletcher (@JohnFitz17) October 9, 2018
If that’s the case, wouldn’t they sue? Just like the students at Trump University did to you?
— 🔪PARIAH-BOO👻 (@Pariah22130806) October 10, 2018
Trump apparently misunderstands ‘Fox & Friends’ joke, makes baffling tweet https://t.co/RGu2CYtGRY
Wait! I supposed to get paid for my dissent? Crap, where is my check for all the stupidity I'm having to deal with, protest against,take my valuable time in an attempt to enlighten?
— James Rinehart (@14James) October 9, 2018
I didn’t get paid for this protest by Mar-A-Lago. Can you please have someone send me my check? George Soros must have gotten my address wrong. pic.twitter.com/mGFl8tnOIj
— Carolyn Walsh (@mollyandhenry) October 10, 2018
Hey everyone, I will pay you exactly $0.00 to keep protesting and to vote in large numbers on Nov 6. However, the fringe benefit is that we continue on the path of removing the corrupt, soulless @GOP from power. Any takers?
— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) October 9, 2018
Not paying bills is definitely something Trump knows all about
— Jim Johnson (@Reid2Augie) October 10, 2018
Like I've said before. I'll be glad to come protest for free. The GOP and the Trump Administration are deplorable. Hillary was not wrong! https://t.co/pIunVhh0kQ
— Angela Maloney (@musique913) October 9, 2018
I actually joined a protest at the Supreme Court over the weekend. Can somebody ask Trump who I need to contact about getting my check? https://t.co/3VEMMPTSo6
— Phillipe de Gravaux (@DreadPhil1) October 9, 2018
I am planning to protest Trump and his crime family. Where do I get this check for doing so. Please forward all factually correct info on this Soros who pays all us people to tell our stories or protest. I’ll wait
— Dee🎸✌️ (@deeguitard) October 9, 2018
If I was being paid for the all the protests I have attended since your lame Inauguration Day, I’d have money for a new vacation. #liarinchief
— Margarita Mendez (@margaritamendez) October 10, 2018
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.