FACT CHECK: Is This Statement A Real Trump Campaign Announcement About A Separate Inauguration At Mar-A-Lago?
An image shared on Facebook claims President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign put out a statement announcing that it will hold a presidential inauguration for Trump at Mar-A-Lago.
Trump has not announced his plans for Jan. 20 at the time of publication. The statement appears to be fabricated, as there is no record of it being published.
The Electoral College on Dec. 15 confirmed Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, The Associated Press reported. Trump has not officially conceded the election, though he said to reporters on Thanksgiving that he would leave the White House on Inauguration Day if the Electoral College selected Biden, according to NPR.
Social media users have been sharing an image that purportedly shows a Dec. 16 statement from Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien stating that the campaign will be hosting its own inauguration ceremony for Trump at his Mar-A-Lago resort on Jan. 20, the date of Biden’s inauguration. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Trump Supporters Demonstrating In DC On Dec. 12?)
“President of the United States of America, and winner of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, Donald J. Trump, and his Administration look forward to the January 20th Inauguration of their continuation of power and Second Term,” the statement reads, in part. The announcement further states that, “Any attempt to remove the Trump administration will require force.”
There is no evidence, however, that the Trump campaign has put out the statement shown in the Facebook post. A search of Trump’s campaign website, which holds a list of press releases, does not list the alleged statement from Stepien. @TrumpEmail, a Twitter account that keeps records of fundraising emails from the Trump campaign, likewise did not show any emails announcing a plan to hold a separate inauguration. Media outlets also almost certainly would have covered the statement if the campaign had actually sent it out.
The fabricated campaign statement may stem from Axios reporting that Trump is considering holding a political rally opposite Biden’s inauguration. Trump has not announced his plans for Jan. 20. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a Dec. 2 press briefing that, “He knows what his decision is, and he’ll make his decision at the right time.”