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Harley-Davidson CEO Levatich slams fake Trump 'moron' quote, calls it 'shameful'

 Patrick Leary 
Matthew 'Matt' Levatich
Norman Ng | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In his first public statement since Monday's news that his company would move operations overseas, Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) CEO Matt Levatich slammed a fake quote about President Donald Trump that was circulating throughout Twitter Wednesday morning, saying he would never say such a thing about a president, or anyone else.

The fake quote, tweeted by user @tinsleman, attributed comments to Levatich which referred to Trump as a "moron" who knows nothing about economics or trade. Just after 11 a.m. central time Wednesday, Levatich broke his silence about Trump to denounce the tweet.

"It’s shameful we live in a time when people create fake quotes," Levatich said in a tweet. "There’s one attributed to me on Twitter. I have not, nor would I ever speak about the President of the United States or anyone else in that way."

Trump: Harley-Davidson, please build motorcycles in the USA
Trump: Harley-Davidson, please build motorcycles in the USA

The tweet, which was originally sent Tuesday afternoon and tagged Trump, CNN, conservative outlet The Daily Caller and the official GOP Twitter account, has 25,000 retweets as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. While Levatich and many Twitter users have debunked the quote as a hoax, it's still making its way around the social media platform, as user @Millennial_Dems, an account with nearly 80,000 followers, tweeted the quote as fact at 1:26 p.m. Wednesday.

Trump meanwhile continued his criticism of Harley-Davidson in yet another tweet about the company Wednesday. Trump has been criticizing the company in a series of tweets that followed a Monday morning Securities and Exchange Commission filing in which Harley-Davidson announced it would move some production of motorcycles sold in the European Union overseas to offset the effects of the EU's tariffs in retaliation for tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

"Harley-Davidson should stay 100% in America, with the people that got you your success," Trump wrote. "I’ve done so much for you, and then this. Other companies are coming back where they belong! We won’t forget, and neither will your customers or your now very HAPPY competitors!"

Harley-Davidson has remained tight-lipped about the president's tweets. Trump is scheduled to stay overnight Wednesday at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee and attend a morning breakfast fundraiser at the hotel before speaking at Foxconn Technology Group's headquarters in Mount Pleasant Thursday at around 1 p.m.