FACT CHECK: Did A Captured CIA Agent Claim Lloyd Austin Put A Bounty On General Berger?
A post shared on Facebook purports a captured Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent alleged Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin put a bounty on U.S. Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger.
The claim stems from a satirical website. There is no evidence supporting the claim.
Austin will convene a Ukraine Defense Contact Group session Thursday, the Department of Defense (DOD) said in a press release Tuesday. The defense secretary is also working on a plan to establish a military base in Morocco, according to the Middle East Monitor.
The Facebook post purports a captured CIA agent alleged Austin put a bounty on Berger. The post further claims the agent supposedly told Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) interrogators that a team followed Berger before ambushing him. The bounty was purportedly $10 million dollars, according to an anonymous source in Assistant Marine Commandant Gen. Eric Smith’s office.
The claim is false. There are no credible news reports suggesting Austin allegedly put a bounty on Berger or that a captured CIA agent made such a claim. Likewise, neither the DOD nor the CIA has mentioned the claim on their respective websites or verified social media accounts. In addition, Berger has not publicly commented on the claim.
A keyword search reveals the claim stems from a Jan. 17 article published on the website “Real Raw News.” A disclaimer included on the site’s “About Us” page indicates it contains “humor, parody, and satire.”
The latest article is a follow-up to two previous stories published on the site alleging Berger had been rescued by U.S. Marines after he had purportedly been “missing in action” since Jan. 6. (RELATED: Did David Berger Step Down As Marine Corps General Following A Conversation With Donald Trump?)
Check Your Fact has contacted DOD and NCIS spokespersons for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.