Leach tweets false video of former President, receives strong backlash

Post has been deleted, WSU distances itself from his statements



Football Head Coach Mike Leach tweeted a fake video of a speech in 2014 by former President Barack Obama on Sunday.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

WSU head football coach Mike Leach created a stir on Twitter after tweeting out a fake video of former President Barack Obama insulting citizens’ intelligence.

Leach tweeted the video a little after 9:30 p.m. Sunday night, adding “Listen to this. Text your thoughts. There is a lot of disagreement on government, so I think that an open discussion is always in order. Tweet your thoughts. Maybe we can all learn something.”

This is a screenshot of the Mike Leach tweet that links to a fake Barack Obama video. This tweet has been deleted from his account.

The video in the now deleted tweet showed Obama delivering a speech in Brussels, Belgium, in 2014, according to the Seattle Times. The video used several different audio clips edited over the original video to falsely portray Obama as saying citizens are “small-minded to govern their own affairs, but order and progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign.”

Associate Director of Athletics Bill Stevens said via email that Leach was not available for an interview.

Leach attacked USA Today sports columnist Dan Wolken over Twitter on Tuesday as well, who criticized Leach actions and wrote a column titled “Mike Leach’s tweet of an anti-Obama hoax showed why many schools won’t hire him” in response to the tweet.

“So a guy, who no one knows, Wolken, has an axe to grind,” Leach tweeted. “I’m not sure who he is, but at the risk at building his career, I am willing to debate him, anywhere and anytime.”

Leach tweeted a second time about Wolken before retweeting several posts by people supporting the coach.

“Wolken is clearly a brilliant man, because he can write an article, without any sources, only his brilliance,” part of the second tweet read.

WSU released a statement Monday in response to Leach tweeting out the fake video.

“As a private citizen, Mike Leach is entitled to his personal opinions. Coach Leach’s political views do not necessarily reflect the views of Washington State University students, faculty and staff,” the statement read.

Many people replied to the original tweet by Leach, with some pointing out the video was a hoax, while others defended the coach, saying the video was intended to foster discussion. Leach later tweeted out a copy of the official transcript from the actual speech given in the video.

“This is the complete speech. I agree that the video was incomplete. However, I believe discussion on how much or how little power that our [government] should have is important,” part of the tweet read.