FACT CHECK: Did Donald Trump Tweet That He Has ‘Declared Martial Law’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a tweet from President Donald Trump that reads in part, “Under the Insurrection Act I have declared Martial Law.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of Trump sending or deleting the tweet. It appears to be fabricated.

Fact Check:

The image shows what appears to be a screen grab of a Dec. 18 tweet Trump allegedly sent from his verified personal Twitter account @realDonaldTrump that mentions the Insurrection Act, which, according to NPR, gives the president emergency powers to deploy the armed forces to areas across the U.S. Some social media users appeared to believe the tweet was genuine, with one user saying, “It’s happening.”

“Under the Insurrection Act I have declared Martial Law,” reads the purported tweet. “This was an attempted coup. Arrest (sic) are being carried out all over the nation. Biden has surrendered his passport. More to come!”

The tweet, however, appears to be fabricated. A search of Trump’s verified Twitter accounts — @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS — turned up no matching tweet. ProPublica’s archive of his deleted tweets also shows no record of it. Had Trump sent the pictured tweet, major media outlets would have reported on it, yet no such coverage exists.

Social media users often create fake tweets using websites like FakeTrumpTweet.com and TweetGen.com. (RELATED: Did Donald Trump Tweet, ‘Republican Governors Should Not Be Shutting Down Their States’?)

The fabricated tweet circulated on Facebook amid media reports that Trump recently asked about martial law in a White House meeting after former national security advisor Michael Flynn allegedly proposed invoking it to overturn the presidential election results. Despite Trump’s claims of election fraud, the Department of Justice found no evidence that widespread fraud occurred in the election, Attorney General William Barr said in early December, according to the Associated Press.

Trump addressed reports that he was considering martial law in a tweet on Dec. 20, saying, “Martial law = Fake News. Just more knowingly bad reporting!”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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