People are accusing Trump of copying Obama’s Twitter tribute to Kobe Bryant, after the president’s first message was slammed

People are accusing Trump of copying Obama’s Twitter tribute to Kobe Bryant, after the president’s first message was slammed

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4 mins read
  • Social-media users have accused President Donald of copying Barack Obama’s tribute to Kobe Bryant.
  • Trump’s tweet matches the structure of Obama’s, sent two hours before, and both tweets used the phrase “just getting started.”
  • An earlier Trump tweet about the Los Angeles Lakers legend was met with anger, with many pointing out that Bryant had openly criticized the president.
  • Bryant was one of nine killed, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

People have noted similarities between President Donald Trump’s tribute to Kobe Bryant on Sunday and one his predecessor, Barack Obama, posted on Twitter two hours earlier.

“Kobe Bryant, despite being one of the truly great basketball players of all time, was just getting started in life,” Trump wrote at 11:54 p.m. on Sunday. “He loved his family so much, and had such strong passion for the future. The loss of his beautiful daughter, Gianna, makes this moment even more devastating.”

“Melania and I send our warmest condolences to Vanessa and the wonderful Bryant family. May God be with you all!” he added in a second tweet.

—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020

Some Twitter users were unhappy with the response, saying it clearly mirrored the structure of Obama’s tribute, posted at 9:56 p.m., almost two hours before Trump’s tribute.

This was Obama’s tweet:

—Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020

“Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act,” the tweet said. “To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”

“Trump’s tweet about Kobe is remarkably similar to Obama’s,” the Vox journalist Aaron Rupar tweeted.

“Trump’s Instagram post on Kobe Bryant is worded in an extremely similar way to Obama’s earlier tweet,” Business Insider’s John Haltiwanger tweeted.

Trump shared the same tribute to Bryant on both Instagram and Twitter.

Smoke rose from the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Bryant in Calabasas, California, on Sunday.

Ringo Chiu/Reuters


Trump’s initial tribute, posted at 8:48 p.m., three hours before his second, received criticism as well. 

“Reports are that basketball great Kobe Bryant and three others have been killed in a helicopter crash in California. That is terrible news!” he tweeted.

—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2020

Trump was accused of jumping on the bandwagon to score points in line with public sentiment.

“Kobe hated you,” the top reply to Trump’s tweet said as of 5 a.m. ET on Monday.

“You don’t respect Black athletes,” another wrote.

Bryant was killed alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others.

Associated Press


Numerous Twitter users posted links to one of Bryant’s tweets from 2017 in which he criticized Trump.

“A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger,” Bryant said. “Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can’t possibly ‘Make America Great Again.'”

—Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) September 23, 2017

  • Read more:
  • Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed in foggy conditions considered so dangerous that the LAPD grounded all its flights
  • Gianna ‘Gigi’ Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s daughter, also died in the tragic helicopter accident that killed her father
  • NBA has no plans to cancel games basketball icon Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash
  • Kobe Bryant’s last tweet before he died was to congratulate LeBron James on surpassing him for the NBA all-time scoring list
  • Moments of silence were held at a Rockets-Nuggets game and at a Biden campaign event to honor NBA legend Kobe Bryant

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