FACT CHECK: Was A Clinton Foundation Cargo Ship Raided At The Port Of Baltimore?
An image shared on Facebook claims a cargo ship owned by the Clinton Foundation was raided at the Port of Baltimore.
The Port of Baltimore and the Clinton Foundation have refuted the post’s claims. The claims originated on a satire website in 2017.
The image shows a screen grab of what appears to be a news article titled, “BREAKING: Clinton Foundation Cargo Ship Raided At Port Of Baltimore Reveals Sick Secret.” The body of the article goes on to claim that the ship, which allegedly arrived from Africa, turned out to be transporting “460 people on board illegally” instead of emergency supplies. It also includes a quote “BPA Harbormaster Jake Cummings” purportedly gave CNN about the discovery.
The story is baseless, according to Check Your Fact’s research. The Maryland Port Administration does not mention any raid on a “Clinton Foundation cargo ship” in its press releases, nor has CNN or any other major media outlets reported about the supposed incident. A search of the Port of Baltimore’s online directory yielded no matches for the harbormaster mentioned in the article.
Furthermore, Check Your Fact found no evidence that the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit founded by former President Bill Clinton, owns or operates cargo ships. A spokesperson for the Clinton Foundation confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact that the story is “false” and that the nonprofit does not own any cargo ships.
The bogus story has circulated online since at least 2017 and originates from the website America’s Last Line of Defense, a self-described “satirical publication.” An archived version of the satirical article from May 2017 can be found on the Wayback Machine.
When the satirical article’s claim spread in 2017, the Port of Baltimore’s verified Twitter account refuted claims of a cargo ship raid at the port. (RELATED: Were ‘Kids And Body Parts’ Found On The Cargo Ship Blocking The Suez Canal?)
A story was published on websites mentioning the Port of Baltimore & a cargo ship raid. It is false. None of the events it cites took place.
— Port of Baltimore (@portofbalt) May 11, 2017
“A story was published on websites mentioning the Port of Baltimore & a cargo ship raid,” reads the tweet. “It is false. None of the events it cites took place.”
It is possible the satirical story’s claim reemerged on social media after some supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory attempted to link former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Ever Given, a 200,000-ton cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week this month. PolitiFact and USA Today debunked the allegation that the Ever Given was trafficking humans and connected to Hillary Clinton.