Wilders Deletes Twitter Party Snap Taken With US Right-Wing Politician

Ah, the United States of America! What causes more outrage than your bleach-haired president xenophobic outbursts? When your potentially-racist southern senator gets a happy snap selfie with the Dutch racist MP. That’ll do the trick.

We’ve all had those regretful social media moments on a night out, whether it’s a drunken status update, a not-so-flattering picture, or a regretful message to an ex. It seems politicians can also fall prone to these situations.

Our favourite (cough, cough, COUGH) Dutch far-right politician, Geert Wilders, posted the picture of him side-by-side with Lindsey Graham on his Twitter account last night. But, once American’s got hold of the image, in particular Washington Post political journalist John Hudson, Wilders deleted the post (let’s hope Graham wasn’t too offended!).

Who is Lindsey Graham and Geert Wilders?

Lindsey Graham is a Republican and Senator from South Carolina. While he was previously somewhat progressive on some issues including immigration reform and was critical over the one-and-only Donald Trump, since March 2017 he’s developed a close relationship with the small-handed leader, causing some major scrutiny over his flip-flopping ways.

Meanwhile, Geert Wilders has made a reputation for himself as the Donald Trump of the Netherlands. But maybe worse. Yep, actually, definitely worse. He’s got hardline views on immigration, wants to reduce the number of Moroccans in the Netherlands, and is slowly trying to ban Islam. He’s also the subject of a number of court cases for racist statements made during his time as an MP.

Why is the post important?

It’s not only the posting of the photo that was significant, but the deletion of it almost immediately. The picture was taken at a European security conference in Italy, where Wilders predicted that far-right parties in Europe would make a comeback.

It puts Graham in a tricky situation – does the photo show support for Wilders extremist views? Remember, we’re talking about a Dutch politician who once stated he ‘doesn’t hate Muslims’, but ‘hates Islam’.

Why was the post deleted?

That’s the bizarre thing – no one really knows. It was Wilders who deleted the post, not Graham. A spokesperson for the American politician told the Washington Post that Graham has no idea why Wilders deleted the tweet.

“Mr. Wilder took a photo with Sen. Graham as did many others at the conference,” spokesperson Kevin Bishop said. He doesn’t have an explanation for why the photo was removed, but told Washington Post “you may want to ask [Wilders].”

Perhaps it wasn’t Wilders best angle? Not instagram-worthy enough for a repost? Bad lighting? Needed to retouch his hair? We may never know.

What did Twitter have to say?

Well, as always, the Twitter comments were absolute gold. A lot of people chose to comment on the bizarre size difference between the two politicians:

Others preferred to just comment on the size of Wilders head:

While others speculated on the political future:

And still others were focused on the ramifications such a photo could have for their political campaigns:

Are these two best buddies or just wayward politicians? What do you think of the outrage over the pic of the pair? Justified, or an overreaction? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Peter van der Sluijs [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons 

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