Donald Trump’s team just learned a hard life lesson: Nothing ever truly disappears from the internet.
At most, it just travels to a more obscure location.
The Trump administration was in court on Monday to defend the constitutionality of a temporary ban Trump issued on March 6 that blocked travel to the United States from from six predominantly Muslim countries. Legal challenges have said the ban violated the First Amendment and it’s clause protecting free exercise of religion, despite the Trump team’s insistence that the order was implemented for national security reasons alone.
However, the administration seemed to have forgotten that on Dec. 7, 2015, the Trump campaign uploaded a press release to its website titled “Donald J. Trump Statement On Preventing Muslim Immigration,” which sounds a lot like banning a religious group from the country.
Realizing that this info was floating around the internet, someone then tried to delete that release … but they did so by only deleting the text of the release, not the actual web page. And, well, that web page still had the incriminating URL, which pointed to the existence of said release, which means everyone knows the administration tried (and failed) to delete that info from the site.
Then Trump’s team appeared to realize its mistake … so they deleted literally every last press release from Trump’s site. Check it out for yourself. The press releases are nowhere to be found.
Buuuuttt … unfortunately, that’s not how the internet works.
Trump’s team may have pulled the press releases from his website, but they are still available on the Wayback Machine, a project run by the Internet Archive that keeps records of the internet’s past for all to see.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” the deleted press release reads. Oops.
So let this be a lesson learned, Trump and company: While you may want to rid yourselves of some digital baggage, that baggage, really, never truly goes away.