A statement attributed to former U.S. President Donald Trump claiming he would pay the legal fees of protesters during his arrest is fabricated as satire.
The fake statement circulated online after Trump said on March 18 (here) that he expected to be arrested the following Tuesday amid reports that New York prosecutors are considering charges relating to a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels.
The statement says, “I WILL PAY THE LEGAL FEES FOR EVERYONE WHO PROTESTS FOR ME ON TUESDAY IN NEW YORK WHEN I AM ARRESTED. I MEAN IT THIS TIME. I WON’T FORGET OR BACK OUT LIKE ALL THE OTHER TIMES! WHERE WE GO 1, WE GO ALL!!! REMEMBER, THEY’RE NOT COMING FOR ME, THEY’RE COMING FOR ALL OF YOU! SO I NEED ALL OF YOU TO STAND IN BETWEEN ME AND THE FBI AGENTS AND BE HUMAN SHIELDS. MAGA!!!!!”
Examples being shared can be seen (here) and (here).
Reuters has previously addressed statements falsely attributed to Trump amid rumors of an imminent indictment or arrest (here) (here).
The earliest iteration Reuters could find of the statement that Trump would pay protesters’ legal fees was shared via a satirical Twitter account on Mar. 19 (here), archived (archive.ph/gaHxQ).
Although some online users took it as satire, others were misled into thinking that the screenshot showed an authentic statement by the former president.
Comments on the posts include, “Wait. - I thought his attorneys said he would surrender peacefully. I guess the LIAR changed his mind”, “He will in fact not pay for anything” and “Until I read the comments, I thought this was totally real, LOL.”
Several indications on the screenshot point to fabrication. Beneath “Save America” in the logo at the top of the page, “President Donald J. Trump” is replaced with “President Doofy J. Trump.”
A search through Trump’s Truth Social account did not produce any such statement (here), nor did archived versions of his Truth Social account. (here), (here).
The message also does not come up in searches via Trump’s official campaign website (www.donaldjtrump.com/news), nor in archived versions of the site (here), (here).
Reuters also did not find any credible media reports on the statement (bit.ly/3TzU4Os).
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Satire. This statement was not published by former U.S. President Donald J. Trump.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.