Downing Avenue’s congratulatory message to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on successful the US presidential election comprises a hidden message congratulating Donald Trump for successful a second time period in workplace.
The message, posted on Twitter as a picture a number of hours after the US TV networks referred to as the election for Biden, congratulates the president-elect on his election, and Harris “on her historic achievement”.
However the picture, a easy white-on-black block of textual content, is greater than it appears. A easy color adjustment reveals a second message hidden within the background.
Above and behind the phrases “Joe Biden on his election”, the shadow of the phrases “Trump on” change into faintly seen. The place the primary message reads “the US is our most vital ally and I stay up for working intently collectively”, the phrases “second time period” seem. And beneath the phrases “shared priorities” is the phrase “on the way forward for this”.
The message, first reported by the Guido Fawkes weblog, means that No 10 was getting ready for the potential for congratulating Donald Trump on a re-election lengthy after it had change into clear that Joe Biden was successful the rely in key battleground states.
However the baffling choice to change a pre-existing picture quite than create a completely new one, not to mention to not then absolutely delete the unique message, appears to be like prone to create extra friction between the UK authorities and the incoming administration.
A UK authorities spokesperson mentioned: “As you’d count on, two statements have been ready upfront for the result of this intently contested election. A technical error meant that elements of the choice message have been embedded within the background of the graphic.”
The revelation comes amid a relationship already troubled by Biden’s memorable description of Johnson because the “bodily and emotional clone of Donald Trump”.
Even earlier than the hidden message was revealed, Tommy Vietor, a former Obama speechwriter and podcaster seen as a marketing campaign surrogate for Biden, reacted to No 10’s message of congratulation with disdain. “This shapeshifting creep weighs in,” Vietor tweeted. “We are going to always remember your racist feedback about Obama and slavish devotion to Trump however neat Instagram graphic.”
The hidden message suggests No 10 was unsure till the very finish about who the successful candidate was, at the same time as Biden’s lead in key states grew and the Trump marketing campaign started its more and more frantic authorized efforts to frustrate the conclusion of the rely.
Even after the election was referred to as on Saturday afternoon, UK authorities ministers continued to hedge their message. On Sunday morning, Dominic Raab, the international secretary, declined to agree with the assertion “each vote needs to be counted in a democratic election”.
“What you’re actually making an attempt to do is to pull me into the authorized claims about whether or not or not all of the votes have correctly been counted,” Raab informed Sky Information’s Sophy Ridge. Ridge famous that it was not solely Raab who had sidestepped the query: the prime minster’s personal spokesperson had given a equally evasive reply final week.