It didn't seem like the most promising venue for memes, but Monday's Senate committee hearing on Russian influence in the 2016 election provided two of them nevertheless. One of them was former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates owning Sen. Ted Cruz. The other was provided by the president's own hand — as usual, on his Twitter account.
In the hearing, former CIA Director James Clapper and Yates were questioned about evidence of possible collusion between Trump associates and Russia.
Shortly after the Senate hearing ended, Trump changed the top banner on his account to a picture of him surrounded by what has become a visual staple — a throng of people with shiny alabaster skin, in this case, all flashing the thumbs-up — and text reading, "Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows – there is 'no evidence' of collusion w/ Russia and Trump."
That was factually incorrect: During the hearing, Clapper did not say that there was no evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump associates. He said that during his time at the CIA, he didn't see such evidence.
Clapper resigned from the CIA in November. His last day on the job was Jan. 20, the day of Trump's inauguration. Clapper also said he was unaware there was an FBI investigation into Russian collusion until FBI Director James Comey announced it in March.
Twitter immediately offered commentary on, and some alternate options for, Trump's banner:
Nixon: "I am not a crook"— Diego Nava Martinez (@madlobo) May 9, 2017
Clinton: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman"
Never really believed there was collusion between Trump & Russia.. until he just put that twitter header up.— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) May 9, 2017
Hours later, Trump changed his Twitter banner to his usual visual motif, sans any text commentary.