Did Bernie Sanders officially end his Democratic presidential primary run, and then endorse Trump for president? No, that's not true: Sanders has been nothing but critical of Trump, publicly calling him a jackass on the campaign trail. In any case, this claim is a work of satire put out by a liberal from Maine who trolls conservative supporters of Trump.
The claim originated in an article published by ALLOD on March 22, 2020, titled "Bernie Sanders Quits Democratic Primary, Endorses Trump" (archived here) which opened:
In an absolutely stunning development today, Senator Bernie Sanders announced he is immediately suspending his campaign for the Democratic nomination and will endorse President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 election.
While details are still coming in, this could be a game-changer for President Trump. Bernie Sanders has millions of loyal followers that could help push Trump over the edge. And widen his already huge lead in the polls over Joe Biden. Sanders currently is polling at around 45% of the Democratic electorate, so if even if a fraction of his supporters follow his move, Trump will be unbeatable in November.
Users on social media only saw this:
Bernie Sanders Quits Democratic Primary, Endorses Trump
Bernie and his bots to stick it to Joe Biden.
Sanders, who at one point was the Democrats' frontrunner, has suspended his campaign after several losses to former Vice President Joe Biden in key primary states.
However, it would be stranger than fiction for the socialist-leaning senator from Vermont to give his approval to Republican Trump. It's all a hoax put out by a network of satirical wesbites.
The site ALLOD 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 bustatroll.org and bebest.website. 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 that 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.
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
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 journalists 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:
- Fact Check: Ilhan Omar Did NOT Give $50,000 Of Taxpayer Money To Al Qaida
- Fact Check: Colin Kaepernick Did NOT Lobby To Remove The National Anthem From Football
- Fake News: I.C.E. Did NOT Arrest An Illegal DMV Employee Who Registered Thousands of 'Voters'
- Fake News: There Is NO Evidence That Hillary Clinton Put A Hit Out On Brett Kavanaugh
- Fake News: DOJ Did NOT Order Raid On Obama Compound After Massive Fraud Found In Audit