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Obama's Response to Charlottesville Shatters Twitter Record

Former President Barack Obama quoted Nelson Mandela in a record-breaking tweet.
President Barack Obama greets children at a preschool in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 9, 2011.
President Barack Obama greets children at a preschool in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 9, 2011.Pete Souza / The White House

Former President Barack Obama's response to the deadly car attack and violent protests during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday is now the most-liked tweet of all time.

Obama's record-breaking tweet included a photo of him greeting a group of small children of various ethnicities along with part of a quote from former South African president Nelson Mandela. Obama sent two additional tweets to complete the full Mandela quote:

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

The photo Obama included was taken at a daycare center in Bethesda, Maryland, in 2011 when then-White House photographer Pete Souza captured the president stopping to say hi to the children during a visit to daughter Sasha's nearby elementary school. Souza shared the photo on Instagram later that night, thanking Obama for using it in the tweet.

Twitter announced after midnight on Wednesday that the former president's tweet had hit the milestone. As of Wednesday morning, Obama's first tweet in the series had 3.3 million likes.

The previous most-liked tweet on the social media platform belongs to pop star Ariana Grande, who responded in May to the deadly terror attack outside her concert in Manchester, England. Grande's tweet has 2.7 million likes.

As of Wednesday morning, Obama’s tweet is also ranked the fifth most retweeted of all time with 1.3 million retweets, according to tweet-tracking tool Favstar. The champion for most retweeted ever is Carter Wilkerson, a teen boy who tried to solicit free chicken nuggets from Wendy's by begging for RTs.

President Trump tweeted a response to the violent protests just after 1 p.m. ET Saturday, saying "We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!"

Trump's tweet was sent before news that a car had driven into a group of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring several others.