Dozens of former President Donald Trump’s supporters gathered outside his Florida home to protest a recent FBI search of the building. The activity triggered a satirical tweet falsely attributed to Trump’s eldest son, purportedly telling supporters to disperse, and saying, “We have many important people coming through the club and need to keep it clean.”
Agents recovered some materials described as confidential, secret and top secret, according to a list of seized items that was unsealed with the search warrant on Aug. 12.
Although the reason for the search wasn’t publicly disclosed at the time, it was widely assumed that the search was related to the National Archives and Records Administration’s ongoing efforts to retrieve documents from the former president. But Trump’s supporters protested the FBI’s actions and held signs and flags with Trump campaign slogans.
Now a fake tweet attributed to Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is circulating online. The tweet was created as satire, but it’s been shared widely without a disclaimer explaining it was satirical.
The phony tweet said: “While my Father loves almost all his supporters, please do not come to Mar-a-Lago to support President Trump. We have many important people coming through the club and need to keep it clean.”
The original version included a fictitious time stamp of “6:99 AM” and an attribution to “Parody by Back Rub” at the bottom — both of which clearly indicate that the tweet isn’t real. It was shared by a satirical Twitter account.
Even versions of the claim that did include the satirical clues at the bottom have confused social media users. For example, many of the commenters on comedian Kathy Griffin’s Facebook post that shared the fake tweet — with the “parody” label — didn’t appear to understand it was fabricated. One of Griffin’s 1 million followers wrote, “So he admits that his supporters are NOT important or clean people!!”
Similar claims — using either intentionally misleading fake tweets or phony tweets that were originally made as satire — have been going around for years. We’ve written about at least a dozen of them before.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.
Bickerton, James. “Flag-Waving Trump Supporters Protest Outside Mar-a-Lago After FBI Raid.” Newsweek. 9 Aug 2022.
Kiely, Eugene, Robert Farley and Lori Robertson. “Q&A on the FBI’s Search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Home.” FactCheck.org. Updated 13 Aug 2022.
In Re Sealed Search Warrant. Case no. 22-mj-8332. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. 11 Aug 2022.
Hale Spencer, Saranac. “Former Presidents Are Not Allowed to Take Home Official Records.” FactCheck.org. Updated 18 Feb 2022.
Nehamas, Nicholas. “Mar-a-Lago becomes a popular spot after FBI raids former President Trump’s home.” Miami Herald. Updated 9 Aug 2022.
Follow Plz? Faith Back Rub (@FaithRubPol). “Trump to Trump supporters: get off our property.” Twitter. 14 Aug 2022.
Internet Archive. Wayback Machine capture: Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) Twitter page. 13 Aug 2022.