Virginia Mayo/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Thousands of Twitter users have shared a false quote from Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, regarding US President Donald Trump.
The message refers to an anecdote in a new book by former US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, which contains a number of disparaging remarks about Trump.
On Saturday, a tweet falsely claimed that Marin had responded to the US President over revelations that he did not know whether Finland was an independent country or a Russian state.
It was suggested that Marin had also wondered whether the US was under Russian control since January 20, 2017 – the date Trump was inaugurated as president.
The tweet has received more than 130,000 ‘likes’ and has been shared over 37,000 times, including by the retired former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), General Michael Hayden.
The former Estonian President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, had also shared the false message on Twitter, praising Marin.
But Finland’s director of government communications, Päivi Anttikoski, said the claim is false.
“Prime Minister Marin has never commented on anything related to John Bolton’s book in any way,” Anttikoski tweeted on Sunday.
“The tweet that spread about the subject yesterday in the United States is not true.”
A message similar to the false quote had been shared on social media by the UK satirical television programme Have I Got News For You on June 18.
Helena Liikanen-Renger, press spokesperson at the Finnish Embassy in Washington DC, has also stated that the Finnish Prime Minister has not commented on Bolton’s book.
In 2019 Trump caused controversy by suggesting that California should learn how to protect against wildfires from Finland.
Hundreds of Finns responded to the US President on Twitter under the hashtag #rakefinlandgreatagain, many posting pictures of themselves in the forest or their gardens with rakes.
Click on the player to watch Seana Davis’ coverage in #TheCube.