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CPAC: Riley Gaines says media pushed 'propaganda' to defame Trump interactions

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Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines said the media had pushed "propaganda" to clumsily fend off a kiss on the cheek from former President Trump on the Conservative stage. Last week's Conference on Political Action (CPAC), which I believe made it look like I did. 

"I think recent headlines show that the media is pushing propaganda to match their narratives," Gaines told Fox News Digital. . "Never, not for a moment on that stage, did I feel uncomfortable sharing that space with Trump." . Thomas' situation sparked a national debate over whether transgender women should be allowed to compete in sports with biological women. 

Former U.S. President Donald Trump is joined onstage by SEC champion swimmer Riley Gaines at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., August 6, 2022. 

Former President Donald Trump Takes the Stage  (REUTERS/Brian Snyder )

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Famous for tying Thomas for 5th place in the 200 freestyle finals of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Her sideways glance at Thomas became a flashpoint for discussion. Along the way, Gaines was interviewed by Tucker Carlson, invited to speak at CPAC, and emerged as a hero among many conservatives. 

She appeared with skateboarder Taylor Silverman at the conservatives' annual gathering to discuss left-wing radical gender politics, but hear the keynote address that night I was going to invite her to the stage.

"I met with Trump before his speech, took pictures and chatted for a while. He said to me, .You can stand. It's cool," she said. 

In his speech, Trump introduced a "beautiful and great swimmer" and "kept men out of women's sports" before surprising her by inviting her to join them on stage. 

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas and Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines react after finishing tied for 5th in the 200 Freestyle finals at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 18th, 2022 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta Georgia.

} University of Pennsylvania swimmer Leah Thomas and Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines place fifth in the 200 Freestyle Finals at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the Macquarie Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia on March 18, 2022. React after finishing in Thailand. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

RILEY GAINES, former Kentucky swimmer, NCAA nominee LIA THOMAS

"Come here, come here," Trump signaled to Gaines, who was sitting away from the camera. This is a great champion, she was beating everyone until one day she looked back and said, 'This is the greatest human I've ever seen.'" In a whisper to her After being seen, I kissed the top of my head. Gaines said to the microphone, "Basically all I'm saying is that you need brains and common sense and a 5th grade biology level understanding to figure this out."  

73} Trump then joked that only a man can beat a swimming champion, and the two embraced to resume their speeches. 

"I never thought I would be on stage, so I was pretty nervous. I'm going out. A little bit," she said. 

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If Gaines was nervous, the raucous CPAC crowd knew nothing and gave her a thunderous applause. But after Gaines walked off stage, she learned firsthand how the media manipulated stories to fit its agenda. 

Newsweek wrote: "Swimmer Riley Trump's kiss attempt on her Gaines creates an awkward CPAC moment for her," Mediaite headlined the video. she goes in for a kiss. The Washington Examiner wrote, "Competitive swimmer Riley Gaines dodges Trump's attempt to kiss her on stage," a viral tweet claiming she "flinched and pulled away." , has been viewed more than 1.5 million times. 

Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines swims the 200 Butterfly prelims at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 19th, 2022 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines , swam in her 200 butterfly qualifier for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on the 200th. March 19, 2022 at the Macquarie Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia.(Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

But Gaines told Fox News Digital 

I was nervous about standing in front of so many people, but I had no idea that Trump was making me uncomfortable. 'Swimmer clumsily refuses Trump's kiss' headlined,' she said. Suggested that the mainstream media may be using the clip to "justify", but in any case, she believes whoever reported her being offensive was wrong. 

"I don't know if they're trying to tell the same story or what it is, but take it from me. I never tried to dodge," Gaines said. She's always had an interest in politics, and I never thought she'd be in a situation where the conservatives who packed the CPAC wanted to hear from her, let alone during her Trump speech. 


"CPAC But I thought it was completely different.You know, I was in the audience and I never thought I would be speaking on that stage." she said. She finished behind Thomas in the 200-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championship earlier this year.

Fox News' Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report. 

Brian Flood is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to . Twitter: @briansflood.