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Russian Media Think Trump Called The Paralympics Ban “Mean" (He Didn't)

The fake quotes have spread all over the country.

Posted on August 26, 2016, at 3:42 p.m. ET

On August 25 one of Russia's largest news agencies, Interfax, quoted Donald Trump as saying that the "complete idiots" who banned Russia from the Paralympic Games "are the ones that are really disabled here."

Interfax / Via webcache.googleusercontent.com

Yes, really.

Here's a translation of the full Trump quote from the story:

The decision to not admit Russian paralympians was made by complete idiots, they are the ones that are really disabled here. How do you explain the fact that athletes from Russia with all these scandals around doping, still competed at the Olympics in Rio and all of the Russian Paralympic team, which has never been involved in doping scandals, will not go to Rio? Isn’t it just meanness and baseness?

Interfax attributed Trump's remarks to an interview with the BBC. But Trump has never said anything like that to the BBC, or to anyone else. It's a complete fabrication. At some point after publishing the story, Interfax realized this and deleted it.

Interfax / Via interfax.ru

A cached version is still available here.

But because Interfax is a large and trusted news agency in Russia, tons of other Russian media outlets picked up the story. Now it's all over the country.

Life.ru / Via life.ru

The story was covered by news site Life.ru, a big conservative newspaper, a business paper in Saint Petersburg, the large broadcaster NTV, and even the official paper of Russian Parliament, to name a few.

Russians are also posting on social media about Trump's support for their Paralympians. This post on Odnoklassniki, one of the largest social networks in Russia, was flooded with comments from people praising Trump's honesty.

ok.ru / Via ok.ru

"Here’s the difference between us and Americans," one woman said. "They think Trump is stupid, but he’s the only one who speaks the truth. And most importantly, he’s not afraid to say it."

An Interfax spokesperson told radio station Govorit Moskva they removed the story after checking with the BBC to confirm Trump never said those words in an interview. He also offered an apology.

Voice of America's Russian-language service also confirmed with the BBC that Trump never said those words.

So where did the fake quotes come from? It appears Interfax was duped by an article on a Russian fake news website. "Disabled people are not in Russia, disabled people are in IPC, GAS and WADA," reads the headline on its story.

hollivizor.ru / Via hollivizor.ru

That story was published two days before Interfax's and contains the same Trump quotes, though it attributed them to nameless "American newspapers."

It seems someone at Interfax read the story, thought it was real, and then attributed the fake Trump quotes to the BBC for a story. Now people all over Russia think Trump called the International Paralympic Committee a bunch of disabled idiots — and they couldn't be happier.

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