When the leader of Romania's ruling party claimed he was the target of a failed assassination attempt, he raised a lot of questions and a large slice of scepticism.
Social media users quickly got sucked into poking fun at Liviu Dragnea, after he said in a TV interview that four foreign nationals were sent to Romania by an infamous world figure with the intended purpose of killing him.
“The four deadly assassins have arrived in Bucharest”, wrote one Facebook user, accompanied by a picture of the notorious penguins from the animated film Madagascar.
“Dragnea's assassination attempt, 2017, black&white”, another Facebook said, adding a picture of John F Kennedy.
When asked by the moderator whether he suspected financial George Soros was behind the attempt, Dragnea responded: "I'm not thinking of him, he's thinking of me." Vilifying George Soros is a frequent tactic of Dragnea and his supporters in their critique of the anti-corruption fight.
“4 assassins. Soros. One wish, one desire”, wrote another post parodying a Die Hard movie poster.
“I believed these are the four foreign assassins paid by the well-known world figure”, another user said, with a picture of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Others suggested more directly that Dragnea might be suffering delusions.
“Nino-Nino... the four assassins are here”
Although the vast majority of comments on social media were critical of Dragnea’s claims, some people came to his support on the facebook page of a pro-government tv show.
“If this is true, something needs to be done against those planning such actions”, said a supporter.
Another wrote: “It doesn’t surprise us. Let’s not forget the social-democrat party attacked multinationals and now they fight back.”
Institutions involved with protecting and defending dignitaries, including the Romanian Protection and Guard Service stated that they were unaware of any threat to Liviu Dragnea and had no investigations ongoing.