Gosar explained that his intent was simply to criticize both political figures — not to suggest that the image was authentic. He took particular aim at Daniel Medina, a reporter for The Intercept who took the congressman to task, suggesting that Gosar was trying to say Obama and Rouhani had actually met and that Rouhani was now out of power.
“To the dim witted reporters like @dmedin11,” Gosar wrote, “no one said this wasn’t photoshopped. No one said the president of Iran was dead. No one said Obama met with Rouhani in person. The tweet says: “the world is a better place without either of them in power”.”
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The image has bounced around social media for several years and was created from a real photo of Obama meeting with then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, The New York Times reported.
Obama and Rouhani, who is still in power, have never met in person, according to The Times.
Also criticizing Gosar was Gen. Michael Hayden, a former CIA director under Obama and President George W. Bush, and head of the National Security Agency under Bush.
“You’re an idiot,” Hayden wrote to the congressman.
In another post, Gosar tried to further clarify why he posted the image of Obama and Rouhani.
“Obama coddled, appeased, nurtured and protected the worlds No. 1 sponsor of terror,” Gosar wrote. “The world is better without Obama as president. The world will be better off without Rouhani.”