FACT CHECK: Has Trump Ordered American Politicians And Other ‘High Level’ Prisoners Be Sent To Guantanamo Bay?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An article shared on Facebook claims President Donald Trump has ordered the Guantanamo Bay detention center to prepare for incoming “high level” prisoners, including American politicians.


Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Trump has made such an order. The original publisher retracted the story because it was deemed “unreliable.”

Fact Check:

The U.S. government operates a naval base and detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which has been used to hold at least 780 detainees since 2002, according to the New York Times.

The Facebook post links to a May 22 article, titled “Trump Orders Guantanamo Get Ready For ‘High Level’ Prisoners,” that was posted on the website All Major Seven Subjects. It claims American politicians will be among the “high level” prisoners.

But there is no evidence Trump has ordered American politicians be sent to Guantanamo Bay prison. The Daily Caller News Foundation found no news reporting to corroborate the claim, and the article fails to provide credible sourcing to support it. (RELATED: Is Pennsylvania Fining And Jailing People For Not Wearing Masks In Public?)

The article cites the deployment of an Arizona National Guard unit to the base for nine months as evidence of coming detainees. Based on those details, the deployment appears to have occurred in 2018, when a unit of nearly 50 Arizona National Guard military police deployed there to support Operation Enduring Freedom, according to Fox 10 Phoenix. That indicates the claim has been circulating for roughly two years.

The fact-checking website Lead Stories reported that the claim originated in an article published on NewsPunch, which previously went by YourNewsWire, in January 2018. NewsPunch retracted the story, but other websites lifted and further expanded it before that, according to Lead Stories.

“When I closed YourNewsWire down in late 2019 and moved to NewsPunch, the focus on what we would cover editorially changed and it was decided that we would no longer cover unreliable conspiracies whilst also being much more responsible in fact-checking content before publishing,” NewsPunch Editor-in-Chief Sean Adl-Tabatabai told Lead Stories. “This shift in our editorial standards meant that old, outdated conspiratorial content like this no longer had a place on the website. This was one of many articles that got deleted after making the move, primarily due to the fact that the source of the information (Sorcha Faal) is somebody I now consider unreliable.”

It’s also worth noting that Jonathan Hafetz, a professor at Seton Hall Law School who has represented numerous Guantanamo prisoners in federal court, told CNN in 2016 that to “bring anyone from the US – citizen or not – to Guantanamo and put them in military detention would be unprecedented.”

The DCNF found no evidence to corroborate the claim that Trump recently ordered American politicians and other “high level” prisoners be sent to Guantanamo Bay prison, and the original publisher retracted the article because it was deemed “unreliable.” We rate the claim false.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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