Same-Sex Parents of Toddler Seen in Altered Pro-Trump Video Sue President, Campaign

Saturday September 19, 2020

The parents of two toddlers featured in a doctored pro-Trump video — including the same-sex parents of one of the boys — are suing the president, his campaign, and the man who altered the original video, reports The Wrap.

The suit, filed in New York on Sept. 17, claims that the making of the altered video was "extreme, shocking and outrageous," and accuses the president of exploiting the children for "his brand of sensationalism in complete disregard for the truth."

The altered video, made to resemble a CNN clip, changed around a viral video that captured the moment two young children — best friend Maxwell and Finnegan — caught sight of one another and rushed together for a hug. The video was taken by Maxwell's father, Michael Cisneros, who, together with his husband, Alex, adopted the boy as a newborn, reports UK newspaper the Daily Mail.

The video went viral in 2019 and appeared in its original form on CNN, the Daily Mail reported. It was later altered by a man named Logan Cook, who has created memes in support of Trump. In Cook's altered version Maxwell was seen running away from Finnegan. A CNN-style chyron labeled "Breaking News" said that a "terrified" child was running from a "racist baby" who was "probably a Trump voter."

After a blackout, new text appeared, reading "What really happened," at which point the boys were seen running joyously toward one another.

The president re-tweeted the video in June and, the Mail reports, "was criticized for making use of a video featuring two young children to promote a political message." Twitter removed the video when a copyright claim was filed against the altered version. Facebook also scrubbed the clip.

Cisneros took to Facebook to critique Trump for re-tweeting the doctored video, posting that the president "will not turn this loving, beautiful video to further his hate agenda."