Fake News: 'I Will Revoke The U.S. Citizenship Of All Puerto Ricans,' Donald Trump Did NOT Say

Hoax Alert

  • by: Alan Duke
Fake News: 'I Will Revoke The U.S. Citizenship Of All Puerto Ricans,' Donald Trump Did NOT Say

Did Donald Trump, while a presidential candidate, say "I will revoke the U.S. citizenship of all Puerto Ricans"? No, that's not true: A satire website published a humorous article including that quote, but other websites republished the satire as true news. It is not. Trump never said it.

This is an old claim that originated in 2015 as it was copied from a satire site and republished in both spanish and english, including an article (archived here) published under the title "I will revoke the U.S. citizenship of all Puerto Ricans," says Donald Trump?". It opened:

Long before the GOP convention in Cleveland, the U.S. presidential campaign had turned bizarre.

Late in 2015, Rev. Al Sharpton declared that "people from Puerto Rico would all have to go back, if their parents were undocumented." In other words, Sharpton thought that Puerto Ricans are not inherently U.S. citizens. Luckily for Sharpton, he quickly withdrew his comments.

Then in New York City, while speaking to a group of investment bankers and hedge fund owners, Donald Trump allegedly declared that if elected, he would revoke the U.S. citizenship of all Puerto Ricans because they are "not part of the American race."

This is what social media users saw:

Like many old fake stories, this one keeps on living on social media. Sharing was revived in June 2019, prompting Lead Stories to address it.

The quote started its life in a satirical article published on September 3, 2015 by Adobo Chronicles titled "PUERTO RICANS, CHAMORROS, OTHERS WILL LOSE CITIZENSHIP UNDER TRUMP PRESIDENCY". It first poked fun at Rev. Al Sharpton, quoting the civil rights leader saying "people that were from Puerto Rico all would have to go back if their parents were undocumented" if Trump was elected president. The joke was that Sharpton believed that Puerto Ricans are not U.S. citizens. Then, it turned to a fictional Trump quote:

Soon enough, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, while speaking to a group of investment bankers and hedge fund owners in New York City, allegedly declared that if elected, he will revoke the U.S. citizenship of all Puerto Ricans because they are "not part of the American race."

While Trump mentioned only Puerto Rico, his campaign told reporters that he meant to say all citizens from the territories of the U.S., including Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands.

"We don't really need these non-Americans and I don't need their votes to win the presidency," Trump said.

Adobo Chronicles is an acknowledged satire site and describes itself as "your source of up-to-date, unbelievable news. Everything you read on this site is based on fact, except for the lies." It even helps readers distinguish fact from funny but false:

The Adobo Chronicles has recently adopted a new format to help readers distinguish between fact and fiction. Statements and paragraphs in our posts that are in italics represent the facts. The rest are fiction.

The Trump quote was not in italics. It is not real.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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