A privately owned company called the White House Gift Shop is selling a coin commemorating the second indictment of former President Donald Trump. But, contrary to a misleading tweet from Sen. Bill Cassidy, the online sales company is not affiliated with the White House in Washington, D.C.
Donald Trump is the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges. Twice.
On June 13, he was charged in federal court in Florida for alleged crimes related to mishandling classified documents and obstructing federal officials who tried to retrieve the files after he left office. Trump has pleaded not guilty.
The day before Trump’s second arraignment, Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, posted a video to his Twitter account admonishing a company called the White House Gift Shop for selling a coin commemorating Trump’s second indictment.
The video was an installment in Cassidy’s recurring Twitter segment called “Outrage of the Week.”
In this installment, Cassidy said: “Outrage of the week — the White House Gift Shop is putting out a commemorative coin for Donald Trump’s indictment. Now, whatever you think about it, whatever party you are, you’ve got to admit it’s poor taste, that it’s capitalizing upon something without his permission, I’m sure. It’s the wrong thing to do. Have a sense of decency, White House Gift Shop.”
Cassidy’s tweet fails to say that the shop is not affiliated with the White House in Washington, D.C., or the federal government, leaving the false impression that the Biden White House is involved.
But the White House Gift Shop is a privately run, web-based retail sales company not affiliated with the White House. We’ve explained this before, when online posts in 2020 criticized the company’s sale of coins commemorating the COVID-19 pandemic and falsely suggested that the shop was affiliated with the White House.
The shop also sold a coin commemorating Trump’s first indictment which, like the coin at the center of the current controversy, sold for $100.
The website describes the coins as “Our Newest Narrative Great Moments in Presidential History in Narrative Coin Art.” It goes on to say, “Epilogue Coin #2 in the Series of the Administration of Presidential Donald J. Trump is a Continuation of the White House Gift Shop’s Historic Moments Original & Unique Global Coin Collection that Chronicles Pivotal Moments in American Presidential & Political History.”
Some other accounts on various platforms have also picked up the claim and repeated it without explaining that the gift shop is not affiliated with the White House. One post on Truth Social, for example, says that Republicans should “insist that the White House Gift shop be closed down immediately under the Biden Cabal.”
We reached out to Cassidy’s Senate office and were referred to his campaign for comment because the video appeared on his campaign Twitter account. We asked his campaign by email if the senator knew that the website isn’t affiliated with the White House and, if so, why he chose to highlight that company’s merchandise. We didn’t get a response.
It’s worth noting that Cassidy, who is not up for reelection until 2026, was one of seven Republicans who voted to find Trump guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors following the former president’s second impeachment after the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Cassidy has also said he doesn’t think Trump could win the general election in 2024.
So, Cassidy hasn’t always supported the former president, but his suggestion that the executive branch is unfairly targeting Trump with commemorative coins is misleading.
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.
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Cassidy, Bill (@BillCassidy). “The White House Gift Shop should not be selling a commemorative coin marking Donald Trump’s indictment. This is totally outrageous.” Twitter. 12 Jun 2023.
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