Thursday, September 1, 2022

Donald Trump statement on Alec Baldwin is fabricated

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The claim: Image shows Donald Trump statement calling Alec Baldwin a ‘total loser’

An image claiming to show a statement from former President Donald Trump criticizing actor Alec Baldwin has gained traction across social media platforms.

“A great President – me – once said ‘I could shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,'” reads the purported statement, shared Oct. 27 on Instagram.

The text continues: “Now Alec Baldwin, a total loser, has taken his impression of me to a new low by testing out this theory. Alec, you aren’t me! Now you’re going to prison, as you should have because of that awful, terrible job you did on SNL – which I have hosted.”

On Oct. 21, Baldwin discharged a prop gun on the set of the movie “Rust” near Santa Fe, New Mexico, accidentally killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. Baldwin tweeted the next day that he was “fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred.”

The image shared on Instagram isn’t dated, but other versions on Facebook and Twitter show Oct. 27 and the “Save America” banner Trump’s statements usually feature.

While Trump did say he could “shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” the image in the post does not show a real statement. A Trump spokesperson has debunked the claim.

Fact check: Claim that actor Alec Baldwin was fired from SNL is satire

USA TODAY reached out to the Instagram user who shared the post for comment.

In this July 24, 2021 file photo, Former President Donald Trump speaks on a variety of topics to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering in Phoenix.

In this July 24, 2021 file photo, Former President Donald Trump speaks on a variety of topics to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering in Phoenix.

Trump spokesperson debunks statement

Trump, who remains banned on Twitter and Facebook, has been publishing statements on his website for months. They are often shared on Twitter by Liz Harrington, a spokesperson for Trump, and Margo Martin, his deputy director of communications.

Neither of them posted the statement shown in the Instagram post.

Martin and Harrington didn’t immediately reply to USA TODAY’s request for comment. But Martin told Check Your Fact, an independent fact-checking organization, the image “is not a real press release.”

Fact check: Image of Alec Baldwin wearing ‘Guns don’t kill people’ T-shirt is satire

There’s also no record of the purported statement on Trump’s site. Archived versions of the website show several statements published Oct. 27, but none mentioning Baldwin.

Our rating: Altered

Based on our research, we rate ALTERED an image purporting to show a statement by Trump calling Baldwin a “total loser.” Trump’s deputy director of communications has said the statement is not a real press release. There’s no record of the purported statement on Trump’s website.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

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

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Trump didn’t call Alec Baldwin ‘total loser’ in statement



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