Fact Check: Viral Story Claims Democrats Had Secret Plan To Kill Donald Trump
The website The Resistance: The Last Line of Defense published a story claiming that two Democratic Congressmen were arrested for trying to assassinate President Donald Trump. The story says the two legislators were among a group of people arrested in connection with a plot to assassinate Trump while he was in Florida.
The story claims:
“These aren’t some off-the-hook left-wing extremists, they’re typical men with what seem like typical lives but liberalism has turned them insane with jealousy and rage.”
“Rep. Harold Spunkmeyer (D-IL) and Rep. Johnathon Leominster Jr. (D-MA) were taken to a military holding facility under suspicion of terrorism for plotting to murder the President. Several of their closest aides as well as their families have also been detained. As we speak, a special unit of the Secret Service is closing the net on all of their friends and anyone else who could potentially cause harm to President Trump.”
So how do we know this is a fake story? For starters, Snopes reports that there is no Harold Spunkmeyer or Johnathan Leominster. They exist only in the mind of the person who created them.
But that’s not the only thing. If you’re investigating their friends and family, why would you alert them by reporting it? Doesn’t that make it seem like it might be fake?
They ran with this lurid paragraph as well:
“Their plans were hidden from plain sight in what they said was a ‘design for a new video game,'” said special agent George Ketterman, “while they never actually used the president’s name, or purchased any of the items listed in the ‘game,’ like grappling hooks, stinger missiles, bulletproof jetskis or yellow cake uranium, there was enough evidence when presented to the president for him to order us to take them as terrorism suspects.”
“DISCLAIMER: The Resistance may include information from sources that may or may not be reliable and facts that don’t necessarily exist. All articles should be considered satirical and any and all quotes attributed to actual people complete and total baloney. Pictures that represent actual people should be considered altered and not in any way real.”
Another website, USA Healthylife.com, ran with this story and didn’t publish a disclaimer, so it’s hard to know if it ran the story as satire or if the publishers considered it authentic.
Satire can be fun. Andy Borowitz, for instance, is a gifted humorist. But there are far too many people who take satirical stories seriously—especially in the age of a president who verbally assaults the objective press on a near-daily basis.
In the video below you can see what Snopes had to say about the fake news story above.
Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images
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