Fact Check: Facebook Video Does NOT Prove That Trump Is Still Commander In Chief

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Facebook Video Does NOT Prove That Trump Is Still Commander In Chief Not Commander

Does a video posted on Facebook prove that former President Donald Trump is still commander in chief? No, that's not true: Although the video makes the claim in its headline, nothing in the video substantiates the claim.

The claim appeared in a Facebook Live video (archived here) recorded on August 1, 2021.

The title of the video reads:

PROOF TRUMP IS STILL COMMANDER IN CHIEF

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on August 2, 2021:

trump commander-in-chief FB post.PNG

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Aug 2 19:06:22 2021 UTC)

The video features a dialogue between two unidentified people -- a man and a woman -- who first reference a supposed video put out by someone they identify as the postmaster general. The woman cites yet another video that she says she's seen in which the postmaster general claims to be commander in chief. The postmaster general, who is not identified by name, is quoted by the woman at the 3:42 mark of the Facebook video as having said, "All this is thus ordered by me, your commander in chief." Lead Stories attempted to find the purported postmaster general video, which the woman in the Facebook video says was posted by a "Task Force," but could not locate it.

The Facebook video dialogue goes on repeat a claim that the U.S. is a corporation -- a claim that Lead Stories has previously debunked -- and cites the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 at the 7:53 mark as justification for the false assertion that the U.S. is a corporation. The man speaking in the Facebook video says at the 8:27 mark that Trump repealed this act (it is still in place) and that as a result, Trump will return to office in a unique fashion:

...he will actually become the 19th president of the United States, which, when, just before the corporation act was signed into law, he won't be the 45th or 46th president, the 47th, he will be the 19th president of the sovereign United States of America again, not a corporation.

The Facebook video does not provide any proof for the "19th president of the sovereign United States of America" statement. Consequently, the Facebook video does not provide any evidence that Trump would still be considered commander in chief, which is a position afforded to the sitting president of the U.S., who is Joe Biden at the time of writing. Article Two, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution says:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

The role is a responsibility of the sitting president, rather than a title that equates to the presidency, as the video implies.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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