UK
28/02/2016 09:37 GMT | Updated 01/03/2016 10:59 GMT

Donald Trump Retweets Mussolini Quote About 'Living One Day As A Lion'

Donald Trump, who is on course to win the Republican nomination for president, has approvingly retweeted a quote from Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

Trump, who has been called a fascist for advocating a ban on Muslims entering the US and reportedly writes his own tweets, retweeted the quote by Mussolini, an actual self-proclaimed fascist: "It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep."

Trump, who has suggested building a wall to keep Mexicans out of the US, had not deleted the tweet three hours after he posted it.

donald trump mussolini

Trump's retweet of the account

The original tweet was from @IlDuce2016, a parody account whose picture is Mussolini with Trump's trademark hair over it.

"Il Duce" is Italian for "the leader", the title Mussolini gave himself when he Italy's dictator and Hitler's key European ally during the Second World War.

One person said the tweet was "dispelling doubt" about whether Trump was a fascist.

Trump defended sharing the quote, saying it was "interesting". "It's a very interesting quote and people can talk about it," he told 'Meet The Press'. "Hey, it got your attention, didn't it?"

Trump's victories in early primaries, including New Hampshire and Nevada, have made him the frontrunner in the quest to be the Republican nominee for president. His endorsement by moderate New Jersey governor Chris Christie makes his triumph all the more likely.

He is famously outspoken on Twitter and his campaign team claims he writes his own tweets. He previously retweeted a tweet by someone who told him he had "the best crowds" and turned out to be a white nationalist. He later deleted it.

In the UK, people have made a bit of sport out of tweeting pictures of famous and infamous Britons to Trump, claiming they are "big supporters" of his and asking for retweets.

Trump retweeted what was purportedly a picture of another tweeter's late parents who said Trump was a "big inspiration".

The picture actually showed serial killers Fred and Rose West. Trump suggested he might sue the person who posted it.