Fact Check: U.S. Military Did NOT Arrest President Biden's Senior Advisor Mike Donilon

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: U.S. Military Did NOT Arrest President Biden's Senior Advisor Mike Donilon Not Arrested

Did the military arrest Mike Donilon, President Joe Biden's senior advisor? No, that's not true: An official at the Pentagon told Lead Stories that this claim was false. Also, there has been no other media coverage of Donilon being arrested by the military except for the original article published by Real Raw News -- a site that has a history of writing false stories about high-profile people.

The claim originated in an article published by Real Raw News on November 30, 2021, titled "Military Arrests Biden Handler Mike Donilon" (archived here). It opened:

U.S. Marines on Saturday served a military arrest warrant on Deep State agent Mike Donilon, an American attorney and campaign consultant who served as a Senior Advisor to fake President Joe Biden. He was the chief strategist of Joe Biden's 2020 criminal presidential campaign.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Military Arrests Biden Handler Mike Donilon - Real Raw News

This is what the article looked like at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 3.08.26 PM.png

(Source: Real Raw News screenshot taken on Wed Dec 1 18:15:29 2021 UTC)

The article continued, "... Donilon was taken into military custody without incident and transported to a processing center from where he will ultimately be sent to Guantanamo Bay."

A press officer for the Pentagon told Lead Stories by email on December 1, 2021, that the claim is false.

A Google search of the phrase "Mike Donilon arrested" results in no coverage from reliable media outlets -- only repeats of the Real Raw News story, often without that site's satire disclaimer.

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't), and that "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that warns readers not to take its content too seriously. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items is collected here.

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Marlo Lee is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Howard University with a B.S. in Biology. Her interest in fact checking started in college, when she realized how important it became in American politics. She lives in Maryland.

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