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Donald Trump Has Tweeted A Lot Of Fake Albert Einstein Quotations

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits” — not Albert Einstein.

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Among the insults and boasts that litter Donald Trump's Twitter feed are fortune cookie-esque nuggets of wisdom from famous figures in history.

One of Trump's go-to sages is theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. whose wisdom Trump has quoted several times. A review of Trump's tweets, however,

reveals that many of the quotations Trump has attributed to Einstein have been found by experts to not actually have come from the famous scientist.

Trump, for example, is very fond of this quotation and has tweeted it at least seven times:


You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. -- Albert Einstein

"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." -- Albert Einstein

On Monday, Einstein's Twitter account, which is run by his estate, noted the quotation could not be traced back to Einstein.

Sorry @realDonaldTrump, but there's no confirmation that Albert Einstein ever said this quote.

Oddly enough, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said this exact phrase in a 1985 Cosmopolitan article when speaking about being a women running for political office.


Einstein's famous quotations have been compiled by Princeton University Press in The Digital Einstein Papers, a now-digitalized and searchable site for Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. They also published The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, a collection of Einstein's quotations.

Many of the quotations tweeted by Trump are listed by the book as most likely not from Einstein or not listed at all. Trump, in two instances, did tweet verified Einstein sayings.

This quote, tweeted twice by Trump, is listed by Princeton's The Ultimate Quotable Einstein as "probably not by Einstein":

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. - Albert Einstein

This quotation, tweeted by Trump at least seven times, is also listed in the book as not by Einstein:

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." Some good words from Albert Einstein. It pays to be tenacious.

Also not by Einstein:

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein

The book notes that the quotation is "similar to Gustave Flaubert’s 'Human stupidity is infinite,' written to Guy de Maupassant."

Still not Einstein:

“Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”–Albert Einstein

Notes the book: "the first 'rule' is probably a paraphrase of Einstein’s many quotations about the value of simplicity. I traced the second rule to Horace, the Roman poet and satirist, who had it as Concordia discors (harmony in discord) in his Epistles I, xii. 19. And the third rule has probably been in general use for ages."

Trump's books also contains spurious Einstein quotations:

Writes Trump in Why We Want You To Be Rich: Two Men: "India invented the number system. Albert Einstein said: 'We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.'"

This doesn't appear in Einstein papers. The earliest attribution to Einstein in a book is 1997.

Another quote attributed to Einstein, "the mind that opens to a new idea Never comes back to its original size," is featured in three different books by Trump.

The quote does not appear in Einstein's papers, and is similar to a sentiment expressed by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. is his book, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table. The earliest attribution to Einstein comes in the 21st century.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

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