US President Donald J Trump’s lawyer and long-time associate Rudy Giuliani on Friday wrote a tweet attacking special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating into Russian meddling into the 2016 US elections and possible collusion with the Trump campaign and has already indicted several of former Trump aides.
Mueller filed an indictment just as the President left for https://t.co/8ZNrQ6X29a July he indicted the Russians who will never come here just before he left for Helsinki.Either could have been done earlier or later. Out of control!Supervision please?— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 30, 2018
On the face of it, it seemed a routine attack by Trump's lawyer on Mueller, whose investigation Trump has several times loathed as a "witchhunt".
However, there was a catch. By leaving no space between sentences, Giuliani had inadvertently enabled a hyperlink "G-20.In" in the tweet, which redirected to an India-based website.
This happened because Twitter by default recognises the letters following a full-stop in any hyperlink as representing an established top-level domain (TLD) name, which in this case, was ".in", meaning an Indian domain name.
Interestingly, Giuliani was named as the "cybersecurity adviser" to president Trump in 2017. He also reportedly owns a cybersecurity firm.
While it was an inadvertent error which should have been harmless for Giuliani and Trump, prankster Jason Velazquez was quick to site the mischief potential in the tweet and upon finding out that the domain was open to purchase, he bought it for $5.
Rudy didn’t separate g-20 from .in so ya boy bought the domain. ðÂÂÂ https://t.co/mlEw39ue20— Jason Velazquez (@jasondotgov) November 30, 2018
Once he had the domain to himself, Velazquez quickly set upon creating a page that displayed a message attacking Trump "Donald J Trump is a traitor to our country".
As the word about his faux pas spread on social media, it created another embarrassing controversy for Giuliani, who has previously been trolled for his incorrect and inadvertent tweets.
Twitter users jumped in with their take on the saga with witty comments. Some even thanked India, only because of the domain name of course.
Some time today, the personal lawyer of the @potus will realize that the missing space in his tweet meant he created a https://t.co/MGg4qSvdTm URL (because .in is a top level domain name; thanks, India!) that links to a page stating “@realDonaldTrump is a traitor to our country.” https://t.co/wvOANOkVHD— Alex Howard (@digiphile) December 3, 2018
Mexico's former President Vicente Fox Quesada, who has publicly expressed his displeasure with Trump's policies in the past year, tweeting the URL said "Whoever is behind the g-20.in , is a goddamn genius!"
Whoever is behind the https://t.co/cUVDgTbHOQ, is a goddamn genius!— Vicente Fox Quesada (@VicenteFoxQue) December 4, 2018
When Giuliani realised that his twitter fumble was being exploited by users to poke fun at him Trump, he ranted about it in a follow-up tweet on Wednesday, blaming Twitter for his own fault saying "they are card-carrying anti-Trumpers."
Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen. Don’t tell me they are not committed cardcarrying anti-Trumpers. Time Magazine also may fit that description. FAIRNESS PLEASE— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 5, 2018
However, no one bought into Giuliani's belated blame game antics, as was made clear by many users on Twitter.
Hey "cyber czar," here's how it worked.— Mike Flacy (@mikeflacy) December 5, 2018
1. YOU accidentally tweeted a URL that didn't exist.
2. Someone bought that URL and sent it to a web page.
3. YOU left the tweet up.
Twitter had nothing to do with it. There was no invasion.
Here's some recommended reading for ya: pic.twitter.com/0dtkt7IL4U