A screenshot of an alleged report attributed to CNN entitled “Donald Trump dead at 76” has duped some social media users. The content is fabricated and is part of a hoax circulating about the former president.
A spokesperson for CNN, Emily Kuhn, said the image was fabricated, telling Reuters: “CNN did not report this.”
An iteration posted by a verified Twitter user has been retweeted over 1,700 times (here).
Although some acknowledge the report was not real, others appeared confused. “I thought this was a joke. What a way to go. See you in hell, my man,” one Twitter user commented.
No such article came up when searching on the CNN website (here) or verified Twitter handles @CNN and @CNNbrk (here).
The screenshot is likely an altered version of an analysis by CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza, which includes the same cover photo of Trump (here).
The authentic piece, published on Nov. 1, carries the headline “Donald Trump joins the Paul Pelosi conspiracy caucus” instead and unlike the fabricated screenshot, the cover photo does not include a description.
Reuters found no evidence indicating Trump died and the claim appears to have originated as satire.
Newsweek traced the possible origin of the hoax, which started spreading on Nov. 1, to tweets from comedian Tim Heidecker (here).
“Comedy is back on @Twitter,” Heidecker wrote in a tweet linking to the Newsweek article (here).
The earliest iteration of the image Reuters could identify was posted by Twitter user “@mylifeisabiglie” (here) in response to a tweet by Heidecker.
Satire. This article was not published by CNN. Social media claims that former U.S. President Donald Trump died likely originated as satire.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.