When waitress Leisa Smith tweeted a picture of herself posing with former president George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush, she hoped to elicit a few chuckles—not the wrath of the Internet.

Smith now finds herself mired in controversy after posting a photo with the caption “bush did 911 but he did me a solid and left me a hella tip #,” and in the process, reviving a long-running 9/11 conspiracy-theory meme.


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According to mic.com, Bush left $40 on a $21.47 check, but it was Smith’s cheeky jab at the former president that incited online users to come to his defense and skewer Smith for her joke.


https://twitter.com/Fantine21/status/714444290777346048

https://twitter.com/Polyroid420/status/714125063168069632


https://twitter.com/leisaiscool/status/714125526944710659

https://twitter.com/AntRDean/status/713823863369568257


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Smith, who later issued an apology that she pinned to her Twitter account, told mic.com that she didn’t expect the post to reach beyond her immediate circle of 200 Twitter followers:

“I have a couple of friends that use the meme a lot and they were the only ones I was expecting to see the tweet. I was just trying to get a laugh out of my friends but I in no way actually believe the conspiracy,” she said.


https://twitter.com/leisaiscool/status/714228556851601408

Many credit the meme’s origins to a Charlie Sheen interview back in 2006, and last year it made a comeback when it was seen scrawled on a whiteboard in the Bieber Skrillex “Where R U Now” music video.