Fake News: Trump Did NOT Tell George Soros To 'Go To Hell' Right To His Face

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

You may have heard President Donald J. Trump told George Soros to "go to hell" while they met during the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier in January 2018. There is no evidence that happened. The alleged source of the claim is U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen who supposedly said "He is smiling because he just told George Soros to go to hell" during a press event. That also didn't happen.

The origin of the story is an article (archived here) on notoriously unreliable website YourNewsWire which was simply titled "Trump Just Told George Soros To 'Go To Hell' Right To His Face" and which opened:

During this photo-op at Davos, Switzerland, where the world's financial elite were meeting to thrash out plans for the future, President Trump couldn't help letting slip his real feelings about billionaire George Soros.

A female reporter with a German accent asked President Trump, who had just taken his seat, "Why are you smiling so broadly, like the cat that got the cream?"

Before President Trump could answer, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, seated on the far left in the photo, said, "He is smiling because he just told George Soros to go to hell."

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However there is video of the event. A reverse image search of the image turned up this video which shows the entire meeting President Trump had with various CEOs and business leaders at Davos:

Nowhere during the video (archive part 1, archive part 2) does Kirstjen Nielsen even speak and the question from the "female reporter with a German accent" does not appear.

The January 25th meeting was widely reported on, for example here in the Washington Post and no media outlets have made any mention of the supposed quote. Given the Washington media are usually quick to report on any explosive Trump quotes even on the basis of "anonymous sources" or "people familiar with the matter" no self-respecting outlet would fail to take the opportunity to publish a quote directly reported by a named cabinet member. That makes the entire story even more unlikely.

YourNewsWire has published several hoaxes and fake news articles in the past so anything they write or publish should be taken with a large grain of salt. Their Facebook page "The People's Voice" recently lost its verification checkmark according to a report from MMFA.

The Terms of Use of the site also make it clear they don't really stand behind the accuracy of any of their reporting:

THE PEOPLE'S VOICE, INC. AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE.

The site was profiled in the Hollywood reporter where it was described as:

Your News Wire, a 3-year-old website of murky facts and slippery spin, is published by Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway -- a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 -- out of an apartment in L.A.'s historic El Royale.

RationalWiki described it as:

YourNewsWire (styled as YourNewsWire.com[1]) is an Los Angeles-based clickbait fake news website known for disseminating conspiracy theories and misleading information, contrary to its claimed motto ("News. Truth. Unfiltered").[1]

A while ago we also reported that YourNewsWire had rebranded itself as NewsPunch by changing its domain name in an apparent effort to evade filtering/blocking. It appears the site has changed back to it's old name in the mean time but you can still see the NewsPunch name in the contact email address in the footer.

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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