Fabricated statement from Donald Trump spreads online amid Jan. 6 hearings

The claim: An image shows a June 14 statement from Donald Trump on the Jan. 6 hearings

Amid the House Select Committee’s hearings investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, some online claim former President Donald Trump issued a statement about the hearings on his birthday.

A Facebook post shared June 14 shows a purported statement with Trump’s trademark “Save America” ​​masthead. Trump supposedly said in the statement that he flushed Jan. 6 hearing notes down the toilet that suggested people “storm The Capitol peacefully” on Jan. 6, 2021, and asked his supporters for donations.

“I had a little spittle come up in the back of my throat when I read this!” she reads the caption of the post.

Another Facebook post shared June 14 with the purported statement includes a caption that says, “I really thought this was fake at first.” Similar posts have spread widely on Facebook and Twitter.

But the image of the purported statement is altered. USA TODAY found no evidence the statement exists on any of Trump’s social media accounts or his personal website.

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USA TODAY reached out to the social media users who shared the claim for comment.

Statement is fabricated

The purported statement is fake, Liz Harrington, Trump’s spokesperson, told USA TODAY in an email.

“It’s also going around on Twitter with a lie that I posted it and deleted the tweet,” Harrington said. “I don’t even use Twitter anymore to post President Trump’s real statements.”

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USA TODAY did not find the purported statement on Trump’s personal website, his Truth Social account or in any credible news reports. Archived versions of his website also show no sign of the statement.

The only statement Trump posted on June 14 to his personal website was an endorsement of Abraham Hamadeh for Arizona attorney general. Nowhere in that statement does it use language from the fabricated statement or mention the Jan. 6 hearings.

Our rating: Altered

Based on our research, we rate ALTERED an image that purports to show a June 14 statement from Trump about the Jan. 6 hearings. The statement in the Facebook post was fabricated, his spokesperson said. It was not posted to Trump’s personal website or his Truth Social account.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Liz Harrington, June 17, Email exchange with USA TODAY

  • Donald Trump, accessed June 20, Personal website

  • Donald Trump, June 14, Endorsement of Abraham Hamadeh

  • USA TODAY, June 11, What did Americans learn in the Jan. 6 committee’s hearing on the Capitol attack?

  • Donald Trump, accessed June 20, Truth Social profile page

  • Reuters, June 16, Fact Check-Image purporting to show Trump statement on flushing January 6 notes down a toilet is fabricated

  • Liz Harrington, accessed June 20, Twitter profile page

  • USA TODAY, June 10, A ‘sophisticated’ 7-part plan. ‘Slipping in people’s blood’: Takeaways from prime-time Jan. 6 hearings

  • USA TODAY, June 12, Congressional hearings make for historic moments, but their ultimate impact varies

  • Check Your Fact, June 17, FACT CHECK: DID DONALD TRUMP ISSUE THIS STATEMENT ABOUT FLUSHING JANUARY 6 NOTES DOWN THE TOILET?

  • USA TODAY, June 16, Trump lawyer who pressured Pence to reject electors asked for pardon after Jan. 6: recap

  • WayBack Machine, June 14, Archive of Donald Trump’s personal website

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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Fabricated statement from Donald Trump circulates online

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