Politics

9-Year-Old Trump Fan 'Pickle' Is Real (Photo)

| by Michael Doherty
A letter.A letter.

During a July 26 press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a letter from a young supporter of President Donald Trump.

After Sanders had read the letter, from a 9-year-old named Dylan, who added that "everybody calls me Pickle," the hashtag #PickleTruther was trending on Twitter, with internet users doubting that Pickle actually existed.

While some had questioned whether the letter was actually written by a 9-year-old, The Washington Post has investigated the story and reports that Pickle is indeed real.

"I like you so much I had a birthday about you," said Dylan in the letter to the president. "My cake was the shape of your hat."

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The child also had a few questions for Trump.

"How old are you?" Asked Dylan. "How big is the White Hose? How much monny do you have?"

"I don't [know] why people don't like you," wrote Dylan. "You seme nice, can we be friends?"

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Dylan also included a picture, "so if you see me, you can say hi."

Some social media users pointed out how Pickle's question about how much "monny" Trump has were similar to previous requests for the president to release his tax returns.

Trump and his surrogates have argued that Americans don't care what's in his tax returns, according to Vox.

"As a candidate, Trump took a calculated risk with his financial transparency. He could take the hit for secrecy, or he could take the hit for the truth," said Vox's Matthew Yglesias. "He decided that the truth would be worse, and while most voters didn't vote for him, just enough did in just the right places to make him president. And he did, in fact, win."

Shortly after Sanders had read the letter, social media users were expressing their doubts.

Users pointed out a number of possible inconsistencies in the story, such as the fact that the letter, which was supposedly mailed to the White House, did not have any crease marks from being in an envelope, and that it was strange that the child had spelled some words, like "people" and "president" correctly but misspelled simpler words like "are" and "how."

Some questioned the writer's nickname, with one user pointing out that Vice President Mike Pence's cat is also named Pickle.

"In all of this Pickle letter stuff, has anyone pointed out that Dylan Pickles is literally the name of a fictional child from Rugrats?" asked another Twitter user.

Professor Deborah McCutchen, who studies cognitive processes in literacy, said that the spelling errors and use of phonetic spellings like "pitcher" for "picture" suggested the letter was written by a child, but that the use of a hyphen was advanced for a 9-year-old.

The Washington Post managed to find Dylan, contacting his mother, SueAnn Harbin, who lives in California. According to SueAnn, she is not very political, but supports her son "one-hundred percent" and baked his Trump-themed birthday cake herself.

"Yes. He's alive," said Dylan's mom. "He's real. He's not fake."

"Honestly, I thought, how can adults be so mean about a 9-year-old boy?" said SueAnn.

Sources: The Washington Post, Vox / Photo credit: Manoj Vasanth/Flickr, White House via The Washington Post, Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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