On Monday night, Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a pussy by informing the crowd at a New Hampshire rally that someone had just called Ted Cruz a pussy.
Since then, Donald Trump has defended his decision to call Ted Cruz a pussy by saying "it was like a retweet."
This is exactly right. Donald Trump has a long, exquisite history of repeating things that he says other people have said to him. He is a human retweet button.
The IRL retweet functions in a few different ways for Trump, but the two big ones seem to be: hiding his noxious views behind other people's noxious views, and attempting to lend credibility to his noxious views by saying that other people share them.
Let's take a look.
This was a big year for Trump repeating things that other people told him, particularly when it came to President Obama.
Trump was a little calmer in 2013 when it came to repeating things he heard from other people, but he still took the opportunity to repeat something that Arsenio Hall allegedly told him about the reboot of the Arsenio Hall Show.
He also said that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that President Obama "sucks."
Another quiet year, but Trump did repeat that professional golfer Patrick Reed told him that one of his golf courses was the best.
This was a breakthrough year for Trump repeating things that other people told him, like the idea that he should run for president.
Or that the government of Mexico sends rapists and murderers to the United States.
"I've heard it from five different sources," he said of the claim on MSNBC's Morning Joe. When asked to name his sources, Trump replied: "I'll reveal my sources when you reveal your sources… I have a lot of information on it and so does everyone else. And you probably do, too. And for some reason, they don't want to put out this information."
Later that year, someone with a swastika in their Twitter profile told Donald Trump that the majority of white homicide victims were killed by black perpetrators. Naturally, he repeated it.
When asked by Fox News host Bill O'Reilly why he repeated false crime statistics from a pretend agency called the Crime Statistics Bureau, Trump told him: "It came from sources that are very credible, what can I tell you.”
In 2015, people also said that Donald Trump should host Meet the Press. You can guess what he did next.
Before Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a pussy because someone had told him Ted Cruz was a pussy, he said that Ted Cruz could not run for president because someone had also told him that:
And leading up to the Iowa caucuses, Trump believed he did not need to invest more time and staff in the state because–you guessed it—someone had told him so.
"I think in retrospect we should have had a better ground game," he said on MSNBC after placing second. "I would have funded a better ground game, but people told me our ground game was fine."
Donald Trump is very amenable to saying things that other people have said (or allegedly said) to him. In this way, he is a little like a baby acquiring language skills—if, you know, people said mostly racist and factually incorrect things to the baby.