FACT CHECK: Did Donald Trump Tweet, ‘Fauci Didn’t Epstein Himself’?
An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows former President Donald Trump tweeting, “Fauci didn’t Epstein himself!”
There is no evidence Trump ever tweeted the statement. The tweet appears to be fabricated.
The image shows what looks like a screen grab of an undated tweet from Trump that references both Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases, and Jeffrey Epstein, a disgraced financier who died of an apparent suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial for federal sex trafficking charges.
There is no record of Trump sending the tweet. While Twitter did permanently suspend his account, @realDonaldTrump, in early January, a searchable database of his tweets remains available on Factba.se. No such tweet appears in Factba.se’s database. ProPublica’s archive of Trump’s deleted tweets does not show him tweeting and subsequently deleting it.
Check Your Fact also didn’t find any local or national media coverage about Trump tweeting such a statement prior to his Twitter suspension. The tweet appears to have been fabricated. (RELATED: Did Donald Trump Tweet That He Would ‘Leave The Country’ If Joe Biden Wins?)
The fake Trump tweet circulated after troves of Fauci’s emails from the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic were obtained by The Washington Post and BuzzFeed News through the Freedom of Information Act. BuzzFeed News obtained emails from January to June 2020, while The Washington Post obtained emails from March and April 2020.
This is not the first time social media users have shared a fake Trump tweet. In December 2020, Check Your Fact debunked a viral claim that alleged he sent a tweet reading in part, “Under the Insurrection Act I have declared Martial Law.”