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Fake Trump Jr. tweet about keeping Mar-a-Lago ‘clean’ was parody

August 15, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: A tweet from Donald Trump Jr. asks Trump supporters to stay away from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida because “we have many important people coming through the club and need to keep it clean.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. This fake tweet was first posted on a parody account. It was not tweeted by the former president’s son.

THE FACTS: A week after the FBI recovered “top secret” documents from the former president’s Florida home, according to court documents, a fake tweet is fooling some people into thinking Trump’s son wants his supporters to stay far away from the estate.

“While my Father loves almost all his supporters, please do not come to Mar-a-Lago to support President Trump,” read the fake tweet, which was circulating widely on Twitter and other social media platforms on Monday. “We have many important people coming through the club and need to keep it clean.”

An image of the purported tweet circulated with thousands of shares on Twitter and Facebook. Users believed it was real, commenting that this was what Trump Jr. thought of his father’s supporters.

However, a Twitter search reveals that the tweet originated on a parody account that labeled the image as fake on Sunday. The parody image displayed the time the tweet was published as “6:99 a.m., providing another clue that it was meant as a joke.

Later versions of the image circulated online with the disclaimer and the fake timestamp cropped out.

No tweet matching the image appeared on Donald Trump Jr.’s Twitter account, nor did it appear in an online archive showing screenshots of his account over the weekend.

The search warrant, unsealed Friday, details that federal agents were investigating potential violations of three federal laws, including one that governs gathering, transmitting or losing defense information under the Espionage Act. The seized records include some marked not only top secret but also “sensitive compartmented information,” a special category meant to protect the nation’s most important secrets that if revealed publicly could cause “exceptionally grave” damage to U.S. interests.

Some demonstrators were filmed outside Mar-a-Lago over the weekend protesting the investigation and showing their support for Trump.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.