The truth behind the viral ‘US treasury secretary suicide video’

The clip being circulated shows a man in a suit, speaking in a press conference, after which, he pulls out a gun from an envelope and points it towards his face. (Screengrab)

For days now, social media users in the Middle East have been sharing a video that depicts the current US treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, committing suicide. Many believed the video’s content to the extent some were openly celebrating his death.

The clip being circulated shows a man in a suit, speaking in a press conference, after which, he pulls out a gun from an envelope and points it towards his face. The audience attempted to protest, only to fail after the man pulled the trigger.

It is very easy to spot that this footage is extremely old due to its low quality. It almost seems inspired from an old cinema movie. It is also very easy to spot the Mnuchin looks very different to the man in the video.

In fact, the same day the video was released, Mnuchin was reassuring that US President Donald Trump does not want to launch a was against North Korea. He also said that laws on reducing taxes were non-negotiable.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (AP)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (AP)

The truth is that the footage goes back to January 22, 1987. The man who committed suicide in the video was in fact Robert Budd Dwyer. He was the 30th State Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

It was Dwyer who called for the press conference in Harrisburg Pennsylvania. The footage of the incident was televised that same day.

Dwyer’s suicide came in a time during which he was accused of corruption and financial billing imbalances. Dwyer pled innocent and that he was a victim of a political plot. He refused to go through with trial and took his own life.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
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