Will President Donald Trump end the government shutdown on Monday morning through a set of executive orders? No, that's not true. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to educate gullible Trump supporters and Republicans about the need to actually click and read links before sharing or liking them in order to avoid being embarrassed by fans of the site later. All the events described in the article are not real.
The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on January 13, 2019 titled "BREAKING: Trump Will End the Shutdown Monday Morning AND Get the Wall" (archived here) which opened:
President Trump has made it very clear that he will not allow the Democrats to keep the government shut down any longer. First thing Monday, he will set in place a set of Executive orders and court rulings obtained in sealed documents that will reopen the federal government, with a fully funded budget through 2020 and all the funding needed for a border wall.
The plan -- designed by mastermind Constitutionalist Rudy Giuliani -- has been in the works for week, and is ready to go, according to White House Minister of Information and Propaganda, Art Tubolls:
"Giuliani has truly outdone himself here. What we have is a solid plan to take control of the federal budget until the usurping Democrats can either get in line or be removed. It includes some bold executive moves but Rudy has assured us that everything we're about to do is legal and will in no way land anyone else in jail."
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
The article was posted under the category "AS REAL AS THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS" and the header of the site had a message that read "Information you probably shouldn't trust". The name of the non-existent "White House Minister of Information and Propaganda" Art Tubbols is an anagram for "Busta Troll", the nickname of the founder of the site.
None of the legal rules and examples listed in the rest of the story exist or make any sense.
The site comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:
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.
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:
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:
STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. 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.
NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes wearethellod.com as:
A site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, part of a network named America's Last Line of Defense run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.
According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.
We wrote about wearethellod.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Trump Did NOT Strip Obama of Secret Service Protection For Remainder of Shutdown
- Fake News: Bre Payton's Death NOT Ruled Murder - DA NOT Investigating Clinton Connection
- Fake News: Jerry Jones Did NOT Give Ted Nugent a Night at Texas Stadium and $3 Million For Wall Benefit Concert
- Fake News: Supreme Court Did NOT Rule 5-4 That Oaths Not Taken on Bibles Are Illegal
- Fake News: Nancy Pelosi's Daughters NOT Arrested Smuggling Contraband at the Border