A YouTube user who posted a video insinuating that Barron Trump is on the Autism Spectrum has decided to remove the video and issue an apology, after Melania Trump threatened to sue.
The seven-minute video, posted by James Hunter, features clips of 10-year-old Barron from his father’s presidential campaign, and lists certain behaviors as consistent with the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Hunter says the video was designed to call attention to autism and build awareness to stop bullying.
The caption for the video reads, “Donald Trump’s youngest son Barron Trump might be autistic, and it’s time for people to stop bullying him for his ‘strange’ behavior. Let’s follow Melania Trump and #StopTheBullying.”
On November 27, Hunter wrote about the video:
1) Yes, I myself am on the spectrum, and I made this because I instantly noticed the symptoms I had as a kid in Barron. I saw social media bullying him, and I wanted people to STOP and understand what he’s going through.
2) This video is NOT meant to fuel the theory that vaccines cause autism. I’m simply trying to explain WHY Trump might believe in this theory.
3) I’m aware Rosie O’Donnell has been getting criticised for sharing this video. I’m sending a million prayers to her and her beautiful family, and I really wish the media would stop attacking her for wanting to learn.
O’Donnell highlighted the video when she tweeted out, “Barron Trump Autistic? if so-what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.”
In a letter from her lawyer, Melania says the video and Rosie’s tweet, while seeking to stop the bullying of Barron, actually instigated it.
After TMZ contacted Hunter, and told him that Melania is threatening to sue and wants a public apology from him, he wrote, “I’m absolutely terrified right now.”
I just want to repeat myself and say that I never ever meant this as a bullying video. As someone who was diagnosed at age 5 and has gone through bullying myself, I would NEVER do something like that. I made this because I truly believed Barron was on the spectrum, and I wanted people to stop bullying him over his “weird” behavior and explain to them that it might actually be due to a condition.
If this rumor turns out to be true, and Ms. Trump really wants this video deleted, I will. I have a great respect for her and her family. I never meant to hurt anyone.
Soon after this posting, Hunter was contacted by Trump’s lawyer. In response, Hunter wrote, “This video will be deleted in 24 hours and I will publish a full retraction and apology to Melania and Barron Trump.”