Fact check: Trump did not tweet declaring Martial Law

A screenshot of a tweet from an account allegedly belonging to President Donald Trump circulating on social media announced his invocation of Martial Law on Dec. 18. This tweet is fabricated.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

The alleged tweet, with the timestamp Dec. 18, 2020 6:24 AM, reads: “Under the Insurrection Act I have declared Martial Law. This was an attempted coup. Arrest (sic) are being carried out all over the nation. Biden has surrendered his passport. More to come!”

While some social media users acknowledged that the tweet was fake, others made comments showing they believed it was authentic. A post says: “It has started, Draining The Swamp HAS BEGUN!!!!” ( here ).

Other users allege that Twitter “deleted” Trump’s tweet, implying a cover-up. A Facebook post, originally in Spanish here , reads: “Martial Law in the U.S. Tweet deleted almost instantly by the platform. They don’t want you to know”.

No such tweet appears on Trump’s twitter page ( ). Politwoops, a project by ProPublica that archives deleted tweets from politicians also shows no record of this alleged tweet, pointing towards it being fabricated ( here ). 

The allegation follows a story first reported by the New York Times on Dec 19. here that President Trump had “asked” about the possibility of imposing “martial law to ‘rerun’ the election” during an Oval Office meeting, an idea previously referred to by former national security adviser Michael Flynn during an interview with conservative cable news channel Newsmax on Dec. 17  ( here )

Other news outlets subsequently reported this here , here .

On Nov. 20 Trump dismissed the reports on Twitter and called them “fake news” here .


False. This tweet is fabricated. President Donald Trump did not tweet about invoking martial law.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work  here     .