Fact Check: Banner Was NOT Unfurled At Trump Tower That Said 'For More Top Secret Nuclear Documents RAID Here'

Fact Check

  • by: Courtney Kealy
Fact Check: Banner Was NOT Unfurled At Trump Tower That Said 'For More Top Secret Nuclear Documents RAID Here' Parody Graphic

Was a banner unfurled at Trump Tower in New York City that said, "For more top secret nuclear documents RAID HERE"? No, that's not true: It's a digitally altered video, according to its creator. "Basically the full Adobe Suite," he said.

The altered video appeared in a tweet on September 3, 2022, by the account @PaulLahticks (archived here) with the title:

Trump Tower, NY.

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-09-07 at 1.57.14 PM.png

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Wed Sep 7 18:57:14 2022 UTC)

Lead Stories had a question-and-answer session using Twitter direct messenger on September 6, 2022 with the creator of the post. He said Paul Lahticks is a pseudonym because he gets suspended by Twitter "about every six months and has to come up with a new name."

He told Lead Stories that he made this post and others similar to it:

Yeah I made it - and it's not even that well made (I was budgeting time). I've made like 20 of these banners at various Trump towers and ALL of em going viral cuz people think they're real. Which to me, is fine - cuz the point is to publicly ridicule the giant orange Fuhrer.

This one is "digitally altered with Photoshop and After Effects, he said. "Basically the full Adobe Suite."

While he does not call this post a political parody of former President Donald Trump, he did say:

Yeah, and it's not just Trump - it's his followers and ideology. And I don't even make a DIME off of any of this, which sometimes gives me pause ya know ...

He further clarified that he's a "like monster" who gets the same thrill out of a post going viral as when he gambles and hits the jackpot.

But ultimately he said that while he likes to get people "to point and laugh" at Trump:

the point is to

DRAW attention to the cause

At the time of writing other examples of his digitally altered posts are on Twitter and can be seen here and here.

Lead Stories previously debunked a similar tweet with a fake Trump banner by the same Twitter account that can be found here.

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  Courtney Kealy

Courtney Kealy is a writer and fact-checker at Lead Stories. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, she specializes in national and foreign affairs with more than two decades experience in the Middle East. Her work has appeared on FOX News, AlJazeera America, ABC News, the New York Times, Marie Claire, Time and Newsweek.

Read more about or contact Courtney Kealy

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