Thursday, June 20, 2024

AMLO renews attack on journalist with previously debunked tweet

President López Obrador was accused of “lying again” after he presented a tweet Monday that was supposedly written by journalist Carlos Loret de Mola.

The president referred to the tweet to promote his government’s fiscal prudence, which he said was evidenced by the valuation of the peso against the U.S. dollar.

López Obrador mockingly called Loret an economist before reading a tweet he’d allegedly written in 2018, which predicted the devaluation of the peso. “Take note. Today, June 17, 2018, the dollar is at 22 pesos. In December when López Obrador enters the presidency, it will be at 25 and most likely by 2021, it will be at 35. I’m already buying my dollars,” AMLO read from a large screen.

“He didn’t buy dollars, he bought apartments,” the president added, alluding to a report by news site Contralínea which detailed the large property portfolio of Loret’s family.

The president added that due to his government’s policy the peso was “one of the most stable currencies in the world.” One dollar was worth 19.96 pesos at the time of writing.

Loret quickly called out the president, accusing him of dishonesty.

“He’s lying again. This supposed tweet of mine is false. It has been debunked a hundred times. But he cited it today in the morning news conference to slander me because he hasn’t been able to explain how his son became a millionaire,” Loret wrote.

The spat between the two intensified in January after Loret collaborated in an investigation into the president’s son, José Ramón López Beltrán, which alleged that there was an element of corruption in his U.S. property arrangements. The report was published by media company Latinus and Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI).

However, Loret had already pointed out that the tweet was false. “This tweet that is circulating on social media is false. Some creative person used my photo and verification to share a message that I didn’t write,” he wrote at the time.

Associated Press reported in May that it found no record of the tweet on Loret’s social media accounts, even after consulting the internet archive system WayBack Machine.

Since the report into López Beltrán’s living arrangements was published, the president has directed a barrage of criticism at Loret, including near daily demands for him reveal his wealth and salary. In February, the president exposed what he claimed to be Loret’s hefty salary.

More than 60,000 Twitter users joined a virtual protest in support of Loret earlier in February and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz accused López Obrador of intimidating Loret, which led to a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling for better protection of journalists.

With reports from El Universal

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