Donald Trump is blaming an intern after he seemingly took a shot at Iowa voters in a Twitter post Thursday insinuating that the reason Ben Carson is now beating him in the early voting state is because GOPers are eating too much genetically modified corn.
Monsanto is an agricultural biotechnology corporation that has come under scrutiny for genetically engineering crops.
A few hours later, Trump wrote, "The young intern who accidentally did a Retweet apologizes." His campaign then issued a statement saying, "This was mistakenly tweeted from Mr. Trump's account by an intern. Mr. Trump loves the people of Iowa and looks forward to being back in Sioux City on Tuesday."
This isn't the first time Trump has blamed interns or staffers for ill-advised tweets. In April, his campaign said that it was one of 10 staffers handling the candidate's social media account who retweeted a comment about how Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton "can't satisfy her husband." Back in July, Team Trump said it was an intern who tweeted out a photo that included Nazis on an American flag.
While Trump did not write the original tweet and insists he had nothing to do with the Thursday's retweet, he has suggested in the past that his frequent use of retweets are often endorsements. Last month, in Iowa, Trump was asked if he supports what he retweets. “Well, I do retweets, and I mean, to a certain extent, I do, yeah. I think that’s right. Do you want me to say no? You know, I retweet, I retweet for a reason,” he said.
The remark comes as a new Quinnipiac University poll of Iowa Republicans shows Carson opening an 8 point lead over the billionaire real estate mogul, booting Trump from his previous top spot. According to the survey, 28% of likely caucus-goers said they backed Carson, with 20% for Trump, 13% for Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and 10% for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
David Kochel, a senior campaign strategist for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- who has been battling Trump for the Republican nomination -- criticized the billionaire for the retweet. "So @realDonaldTrump has decided after losing one IA poll that Iowans are dumb! Wow. Unreal. #thinskin #cantwin" he wrote.