Fake News: Trump Did NOT Divert Obama Library Funding to Veteran's Administration

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Trump Did NOT Divert Obama Library Funding to Veteran's Administration

Did President Donald Trump issue an executive order diverting the funding for Obama's presidential library to the Veteran's Administration? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a liberal satire website that tries to trick conservatives and Trump supporters into sharing fake news so fans of the site can then mock them for it and possibly teach them something about actually reading an article before liking and sharing it. The story is not real.

It originated from an article published on "Be Best Website" on November 24, 2018 titled "Trump Diverts Obama Library Funding to Veteran's Administration" (archived here) which opened:

The day after Thanksgiving is generally known as "Black Friday", due to the historical propensity of African Americans shopping for new televisions. But this year, thanks to our glorious and bulbous President, it can be re-labeled "American Friday" - Because a black man has been sidelined to benefit his betters.

President Trump signed his 212th Executive Order late last night to have the funding for the Barack Obama Presidential Library completely diverted to the Veteran's Administration to speed relief and cover the expenses of our brave men and women of the military. Minus his usual business transfer expense fee of 22%. The President said a few words at the signing.

Users on social media only saw this title and thumbnail so they wouldn't have seen all the satire warnings on the page if they just liked and shared the story based on this:

Trump Diverts Obama Library Funding to Veteran's Administration

The site comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
If you disagree with the definition of satire or have decided it is synonymous with "comedy," you should really just move along.

At the time of writing President Trump has issued only 86 executive orders, full lists by year can be viewed on the website of the Federal Register. None of them concern Obama's library.

The owner and main writer of the site is self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has made it his full time job to troll gullible conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his articles. He runs several other websites, including potatriotpost.us, dailyworldupdate.us and nofakenewsonline.us. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". A second man working on the sites is John Prager as revealed in this earlier story we wrote.

Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up and he keeps knocking them down.

Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:

'Nothing on this page is real': How lies become truth in online America

November 17 The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed.

If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:

The Ultimate Christopher Blair and America's Last Line of Defense Reading List | Lead Stories

Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.

If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.

We wrote about bebest.website before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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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