Fact Check: David Axelrod Was NOT Arrested By U.S. Military -- This Claim Is From Satirical Site

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee
Fact Check: David Axelrod Was NOT Arrested By U.S. Military -- This Claim Is From Satirical Site Satirical Site

Was David Axelrod, a political consultant and former White House official for former President Barack Obama, arrested by the military? No, that's not true: There is no evidence for this. Axelrod tweeted from his verified Twitter account one day after his supposed arrest. The only source for this claim is Real Raw News, a self-described satirical site, according to a disclaimer on their website.

The claim appeared in a Facebook video (archived here) on April 17, 2022. The video opened with:

Real Raw News has just received word that white hats on Friday arrested former Obama strategist David Axelrod near his condominium in the South Loop suburb of Chicago.

"White hats" are defined as "someone in a particular situation who is acting for morally good reasons," according to the Cambridge Dictionary.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-04-19 at 10.10.48 AM.png

Facebook screenshot(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Apr 19 14:26:50 2022 UTC)

David Axelrod tweeted from his verified Twitter account, @davidaxelrod, on April 18, 2022, a day after his supposed arrested by the U.S. Marines.

Lead Stories reached out to the Pentagon about this claim. A Pentagon duty officer responded on April 19, 2022, saying that the claim that Axelrod has been arrested by the U.S. Marines is "not accurate."

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)

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).

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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