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"Informed of the Photoshopping conspiracy theory, Cooper replied, “Obviously that's not what happened.”
But Cooper suspects a different kind of chicanery. She thinks the man who hoisted the deplorable sign might have been one of The Deplorables — as in, a Trump supporter who wanted to make the demonstrators look bad. Trump backers on social media have pointed to the sign in an effort to discredit people protesting the election of a candidate who insulted women and minorities during the campaign.
Cooper's wife, Dana Fikes, is also suspicious of the sign holder's motive.
“I noticed this sign to the right of where we were standing,” Fikes said. “He was holding the sign facing away from the crowd and toward his friend, who had a camera. As soon as nearby protesters saw his sign, I saw at least two people go over and talk to him. He rolled up his sign, and he and his friend left.”
A third demonstrator, Amy Whetzel, told The Fix that she, too, thinks the man with the sign was pulling a dirty trick.
“When we asked him to leave, there was a mild confrontation, and he confirmed as much,” Whetzel said.
Alan Beck, a Trump supporter who posted the first photo on Twitter, denied that his picture was part of a stunt.
“It's not staged,” he said. “I saw it and took a picture. That's all.”
Beck posted a 22-minute, selfie-style video on a pro-Trump YouTube channel called the Last Stand in which he goes on at length about how the sign shows “how intolerant the left really is.” Filmed in a parked car near the site of the protest, the video also features Jack Posobiec, special projects director of a group called Citizens for Trump."