Q: Did President Donald Trump defend a Confederate flag he hung in the White House?
A: No. That was written by a website that “provides a satirical view of current events.”
A story published by the American Tribune website on Aug. 18 falsely claims that President Donald Trump “just defended the Confederate Flag he hung in the White House.”
Trump, the story says, made the controversial statement after a “photo showing a Confederate Flag hanging in the White House was posted online.”
“During a press conference today,” the story claims, “he was asked to comment on this and stated that the flag was ‘part of history’ and that ‘the Confederates fought for their country during a very terrible war.'”
But Trump didn’t say that. He didn’t even hold a press conference that day. He didn’t hang a Confederate flag in the White House, either. The American Tribune made it all up.
We know that because of the website’s copyright policy page, which states: “The American Tribune provides a satirical view of current events. Our articles should be taken with a grain of salt. Our articles are a parody of the terrible news coverage in 2016 and beyond.”
That explains the part of the satirical story that says: “President Donald Trump has been getting a lot of heat for his comments regarding White Nationalists and the tragedy in Charleston, North Carolina this past weekend.” It’s most likely a reference to genuine criticism that Trump received after comments he made about “both sides” being at fault for violence at a white nationalist rally on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia — not Charleston, North Carolina.
On top of that, the featured photo does not show a framed Confederate flag hanging in the White House. The image was originally used in a 2012 Miami Herald story about a Confederate flag on display at an elementary school in Miramar, Florida.
Skeptical Facebook users flagged the American Tribune post as potentially fake news. Based on reader comments at the bottom of the story, it wasn’t clear to everyone that the story wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label viral fake news stories flagged by readers on the social media network.
“Trump just defended the Confederate Flag he hung in the White House… and we give up.” Theamericantribune.org. 18 Aug 2017.
“About Us.” Theamericantribune.org. Accessed 24 Aug 2017.
Merica, Dan. “Trump says both sides to blame amid Charlottesville backlash.” CNN. 16 Aug 2017.
White House. “Speeches and Remarks.” Whitehouse.gov. Accessed 24 Aug 2017.
White House. “Remarks by President Trump on Infrastructure.” Whitehouse.gov. 15 Aug 2017.
Vasquez, Michael. “Mom protests Confederate flag at Florida elementary school.” Miami Herald. 19 Oct 2012.
Getty Images. “Parent protests Confederate flag in school’s history display.” 18 Oct 2012.