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Did the Pope Endorse Trump?

Q: Did Pope Francis endorse Donald Trump? Is Tom Hanks supporting him?

A: No, the pope has not endorsed him, and Tom Hanks does not support him.


Did Pope Francis endorse Donald Trump?

Has Tom Hanks come out in support of Donald Trump?


We’ve received many questions asking whether Pope Francis has endorsed Donald Trump, and a few asking if the actor Tom Hanks has voiced his support for Trump. Neither has.

Let’s start with the pope.

Pope Francis’ supposed endorsement of Trump originated on the satirical website WTOE 5 News, with the headline “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement.” In the bogus statement, the pope is purported to comment on the FBI investigation of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, writing, “The FBI, in refusing to recommend prosecution after admitting that the law had been broken on multiple occasions by Secretary Clinton, has exposed itself as corrupted by political forces that have become far too powerful.”

In the made-up article, the pope then goes on to acknowledge that he is not endorsing Trump as the pope, but rather “as a concerned citizen of the world.”

WTOE 5 News owns up to being a fake news website in its “about” page. “WTOE 5 News is a fantasy news website,” it says. “Most articles on wtoe5news.com are satire or pure fantasy.”

The pope has even criticized Trump before, making headlines back in February when he took a swipe at Trump’s call to build a wall along the Mexican border.

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Pope Francis told a reporter who had asked him about the Republican presidential candidate on the papal airliner as he returned home after a visit to Mexico.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi later tried to avoid the impression that the pope was getting political, telling Vatican Radio, “It is not that the pope wishes to be, in any way, a personal attack nor an indication of voting,” according to a translation from the Vatican press office.

In a press conference on Sunday, Oct. 2, the pope once again maintained that he does not endorse political candidates. “I never say a word about electoral campaigns,” the pope responded when asked how Catholics should vote if they dislike Clinton and Trump. “The people are sovereign. I will only say: Study the proposals well, pray, and choose in conscience.”

Tom Hanks’ supposed support of Trump, on the other hand, comes from an actual interview, but one that has been selectively edited to give a misleading impression.

The website Conservative 101 reported, “Tom Hanks Backs Donald Trump, Destroys Hollywood Libs Who Criticize Him With THESE 9 Heroic Words.”

The article includes a quote by Hanks from an interview on “CBS This Morning”: “America’s going to be fine. We’re the greatest, most resilient nation in the history of, of civilized, in all of civilization. We’ve worked ourselves out of holes many, many times over and over again.”

But Hanks was saying that America would be fine even if Trump becomes president, not because of Trump. One of the reporters had asked him — “So you’re not ready for President Trump?” — after Hanks had mocked Trump, referring to him as the “president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.” Hanks responded by attempting to put his criticism in perspective.

In reality, Hanks has raised money for Hillary Clinton and has donated to her campaign. Hanks also has condemned lewd comments that Trump made in the 2005 video while on the set of “Days of Our Lives” with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush.

Time reported on Oct. 12 that Hanks said in an interview that he was offended by Trump’s remarks “as a man. I’m not offended as a husband or a father. I’m offended as a guy.” In the same interview, Hanks used a metaphor to make it clear that he believes Clinton is more qualified to be president.

“It’s kind of like if you have a horrible, painful tooth, and you need a root canal. Who are you going to see? A guy who says, ‘Oh, I think I can figure out how to do a root canal for you. Lay down,’” he said. “Or are you going to see somebody who’s done 6,000 of them, has a degree on the wall and has a great history and expertise when it comes down to it.”

This doesn’t mean Trump is entirely without celebrity endorsements, however.

Singer Kid Rock, former professional boxer Mike Tyson, and “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson have all voiced their support for the candidate. Singer Azealia Banks did support Trump, but she later withdrew her endorsement after the video surfaced of him boasting in 2005 of making unwanted sexual advances on women.


Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement.” WTOE 5 News. Undated, accessed 21 Oct 2016.

Yardley, Jim. “Pope Francis Suggests Donald Trump Is ‘Not Christian’.” New York Times. 18 Feb 2016.

Bever, Lindsey and Jenna Johnson. “Vatican says pope’s remarks on Trump were not a ‘personal attack’.” Washington Post. 19 Feb 2016.

McElwee, Joshua J. “Francis tells US Catholics to vote their conscience in November election.” National Catholic Reporter. 2 Oct 2016.

Justin. “Tom Hanks Backs Donald Trump, Destroys Hollywood Libs Who Criticize Him With THESE 9 Heroic Words.” Conservative 101. 29 Jul 2016.

Tom Hanks on “A Hologram for the King,” “hilarious” 2016 race.” CBS’ “This Morning.” 21 Apr 2016.

Daunt, Tina. “Kim Kardashian, Kanye, Tom Hanks Among Celebs Raising Money for Hillary Clinton at Scooter Braun Event.” The Hollywood Reporter. 6 Aug 2015.

Fahrenthod, David A. “Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversations about women in 2005.” Washington Post. 8 Oct 2016.

McCluskey, Megan. “Tom Hanks Unloads on Donald Trump’s ‘Locker Room’ Comments: ‘I’m Offended as a Man’.” 12 Oct 2016.

Azealia Banks Endorses Donald Trump for President.” The Hollywood Reporter. 7 May 2016.

McKinney, Jessica. “Azealia Banks Withdraws Trump Endorsement: ‘I Made A Major Mistake.’” 11 Oct 2016.

Hiatt, Brian. “Kid Rock: ‘I’m Digging Donald Trump’.” The Rolling Stone. 1 Feb 2016.

Gebreyes, Rahel. “Mike Tyson Just Endorsed Donald Trump.” Huffington Post. 27 Oct 2015.

Mallenbaum, Carly. “Duck Dynasty star speaks at convention: Why I’m on Trump train.” USA Today 18 Jul 2016.