2020-09-18 16:09:02 UTC
for the truth'
*Lawsuit filed in NY Supreme Court on Thursday, seeking unspecified damages
*Alleged those behind the video behaved in 'extreme' and 'outrageous' manner
*Original video from 2019 showed a black two-year-old embracing white friend
*President posted doctored version showing the black boy running away
*Twitter and Facebook later removed Trump's post due to copyright complaint
*Michael Cisneros and his husband Alex adopted Maxwell as a newborn - they met
Finnegan with his dad and mom Daniel and Erica McKenna in a restaurant
The parents of two toddlers who featured in a doctored video which was shared by
Donald Trump on Twitter earlier this year are suing the president.
The lawsuit was filed in the New York Supreme Court on Thursday and alleges that
those behind the video, including pro-Trump meme maker Logan Cook, behaved in a
manner that was 'extreme, shocking and outrageous' and 'beyond the bounds of
It also accused Trump of pushing 'his brand of sensationalism in complete
disregard for the truth'.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages, according to a report in The Wrap.
The original video showed the moment two-year-old boys named Maxwell and
Finnegan were filmed racing towards one another for a big hug.
The doctored version had been edited to look like a package from CNN.
It showed the black child running in the opposite direction from the white boy
with a fake CNN strap which read: 'Breaking news. Terrified toddler runs from
racist baby. Racist baby probably a Trump voter.'
The shot cuts away to a black screen with the message 'what actually happened'.
It then shows the two boys running towards each other in the street to hug.
Michael Cisneros and his husband Alex adopted Maxwell as a newborn.
They met Finnegan with his dad and mom Daniel and Erica McKenna in a New York
restaurant and they two have been 'inseparable' ever since.
Cisneros has previously taken to Facebook slamming Trump. He wrote: 'He (Trump)
will not turn this loving, beautiful video to further his hate agenda.'
The real video, of the two boys hugging in the street, went viral last year and
recently resurfaced in joyful memes about reuniting with friends and family when
the coronavirus pandemic is over.
Trump shared the edited version on Twitter in June.
He was criticized for making use of a video featuring two young children to
promote a political message.
The White House defended Trump's tweet as sarcastic and funny. White House press
secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump was making 'a satirical point that was
quite funny' and noted his tweet was specifically targeted at CNN, a TV network
the president regularly blasts as fake news.
Twitter and Facebook later removed the video posted by President Trump after one
of the parents who filmed the encounter last year filed a copyright claim.
Jukin Media, the online company that entered into a licensing agreement with the
parent who filmed the original encounter, submitted a notice to Twitter
demanding that the tech companies remove the clip.
'A doctored version of a video that belongs to one of Jukin Media's video
partners was posted to Twitter by President Trump,' a Jukin spokesperson told
'Neither the video owner nor Jukin Media gave the President permission to post
the video, and after our review, we believe that his unauthorized usage of the
content is a clear example of copyright infringement without valid fair use or
Twitter marked the tweet as 'manipulated media' just hours after Facebook banned
adverts for the president's re-election campaign which they said featured a
symbol used by the Nazis.
CNN reacted angrily to the president's tweet and said Trump was 'tweeting fake
videos that exploit innocent children'.
'CNN did cover this story - but exactly as it happened. Just as CNN has reported
your positions on race (and your poll numbers).
'We'll continue working with facts and invite you to do the same, rather than
tweeting fake videos that exploit innocent children. Be better,' a spokesman
said at the time.
President Trump on Thursday used a deceptively edited video of two toddlers to
claim that CNN was distorting coverage of racial tensions in America.
But the actual video was first posted last fall. The two little boys who melted
hearts in the video are seen racing towards each other with open arms for a big
Maxwell and Finnegan became best friends after their parents met in a New York
restaurant and have been 'inseparable' ever since.