On Monday afternoon, 16-year-old Jeff, who uses the last name “Tutorials” for both his YouTube business and his Twitter account, began a thread of tweets in response to a tweet from the president about his proposed travel ban.
“THANK YOU MR. TRUMP,” Tutorials, who did not want to provide his last name to The Daily Beast, began. “THE LIBERAL MEDIA KEEPS LYING,” went another one in the thread.
Then Jeff got a little more inventive with a meme depicting “FNN” in CNN’s font, an acronym for “Fake News Network.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the tweet has over 7,000 retweets and over 23,000 likes. That’s because President Trump retweeted it from his own account.
“I was very surprised because usually he only retweets news organizations so I was one of the very few people that was lucky recently to get a retweet,” Tutorials said in a phone conversation on Tuesday. “I was very surprised and also super happy that he saw the tweet.”
During the presidential campaign, Trump made a habit of retweeting messages from his fans including memes from various accounts with questionable usernames. He has cut down on retweeting civilians since becoming resident, often pushing tweets from the official account for Fox & Friends and other right-leaning outfits.
According to Trump’s timeline, the last time he retweeted a personal account was in June of this year when user @joegooding tweeted a screenshot from Watters’ World, a Fox News show.
“I put a story on my Snapchat saying that I got retweeted,” Tutorials continued, saying that he got permission to use the meme in a tweet. “I got a ton of replies from my fans like, ‘Whoa that’s so cool’ and ‘wow, I couldn’t believe that.’”
Jeff, who declined to give his last name and claimed to be 16 years old, told The Daily Beast that he’s set to become a senior in high school and runs a YouTube channel by the same name. The site mostly features videos about the video game Grand Theft Auto and relevant “News, Tips, Tricks & Glitches.” Jeff Tutorials’ most watched video is titled “GTA Online Mods- How To Be A Modder! (GTA V Modding.)”
“I do YouTube videos actually completely different from politics. I really don’t do anything political in my life other than Twitter,” he told The Daily Beast. “I do gaming informational videos so it really has nothing to do with politics.”
But he’s a keen follower of the news and shares the president’s disdain for mainstream media, even tweeting that The Daily Beast was a “fake news outlet” before the interview took place.
While Jeff said he makes the gaming videos on YouTube “full time,” he expressed interest in the potentially bringing his political views to the page, now that he’s been retweeted by the president.
“The thing is that you can’t judge someone by their age, so if someone that’s 16 knows more than someone that’s 50, then you can’t really judge someone by their age,” he told The Daily Beast.
Jeff’s animus for CNN and mainstream media was further fueled by a release from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas on Tuesday that showed a CNN employee expressing doubt about the network’s coverage of an ongoing investigation into alleged ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.
“The sad part is that they have the ability to actually do, like, honest reporting, but as exposed in those leaks last night, they choose to report negatively on the president,” Tutorials told The Daily Beast. “So, honestly, right now, I don’t support them at all because they’re choosing to report negatively.”
For Tutorials, this emphasized the need for more independent media, like YouTuber Mark Dice, the author of 2005’s “The Resistance Manifesto,” a book about New World Order conspiracy theories.
“Independent journalism, especially on YouTube, is a great platform, not only because you get a very large reach to people,” Tutorials said. “You also get a very good monetization program. So if people start seeing your videos, start seeing and watching, no matter what topic it is—it could be political, it could be gaming, it could be whatever—if people like your videos, they’ll subscribe, they’ll watch and you can turn that into your full-time day job.”
And maybe even the president will hear about it.