Donald Trump Shared Fake News on His Facebook Page
On Thursday, February 2, President Donald Trump took to Facebook to share an article with the headline, “Kuwait issues its own Trump-esque visa ban for five Muslim-majority countries.”
There’s just one problem – this isn’t true.
False reports of Kuwait issuing a Muslim ban began circulating online last week among several media outlets. Breitbart (the favored news network of the alt-right – AKA white nationalist movement – that was formerly run by Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon) also reported on the so-called ban, falsely stating that “Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans will not be able to obtain visit, tourism or trade Kuwaiti visas with the news coming one day after the US slapped its own restrictions on seven Muslim-majority countries.”
These reports have largely been debunked over the recent days. A Pakistan embassy official explained, “There has been free movement of citizens between Pakistan and Kuwait for the last 10 years. There is no truth in the reports that Kuwait has banned our citizens (from entering the country).”
Sputnik News, one of the news outlets that originally reported the story, has since published a correction that reads, “the following news article proved to be untrue. As Ghulam Dastagir, Pakistan’s ambassador in Kuwait said on Wednesday, this rumor first appeared in 2011. Mr. Dastagir clarified that Kuwait hasn’t placed any visa ban on Pakistani nationals. No contrary statements have been issued by representatives of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran.”
Furthermore, Kuwait also issued a statement on the false reports, available on Kuwait News Agency. In the statement, they “categorically denied” the claims, saying that the cited nationalities have large communities in Kuwait. “The State of Kuwait believes that granting of visa is a sovereign matter, and is not linked to terrorism or nationality or faith.”
As for Trump, his fake news post has garnered almost 250k likes at the time of writing, as well as over 67k shares. “Smart!” he wrote in his caption.
Both Trump and his presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway frequently decry “fake news.” The president has often taken to social media to accuse noted publications and media outlets – like The New York Times and CNN – of promoting fake news. Fake news is, of course, a real problem, and it’s important to understand how to properly inspect a website or story for elements of falsehoods.