Fact Check: 'White Hats' Did NOT Foil Supposed Plot to 'Assassinate President Trump' -- Story Is From Site That Produces Fiction

Fact Check

  • by: Marlo Lee

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: 'White Hats' Did NOT Foil Supposed Plot to 'Assassinate President Trump' -- Story Is From Site That Produces Fiction Fiction Site

Did "White Hats" foil a supposed plan to "assassinate President Trump"? No, that's not true: A representative for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division (CID) told us this claim was false. Searching the locations mentioned in the article for press releases and an online news index search of keywords relating to this claim did not yield any significant results that would back up the claim. The story originated on Real Raw News, which has a history of creating made-up stories involving public figures.

The claim appeared in an article published by Real Raw News on February 24, 2024, titled "White Hats Foil (another) Plot to Assassinate President Trump" (archived here). It began:

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division officers on Wednesday arrested two men suspected of plotting to assassinate President Donald J. Trump at the CPAC conference in National Harbor, Maryland, sources at CID's headquarters told Real Raw News.

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

image (69).png

(Source: Real Raw News screenshot taken on Tue Feb 27 14:00:00 2024 UTC)

The article alleges that two men, using the aliases William Henry James and Stephen Butler, were trying to assassinate the former president before he gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) event in Baltimore. According to the article, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) officers foiled the plan before it could be executed.

On February 27, 2024, Keith Edward Smith, a representative for the CID told us in an email:

This is false -- do not have any information on what is being referenced.

A Google News search of "CPAC AND Donald Trump AND assassination attempt AND William Henry James AND Stephen Butler AND CID" yielded zero results from the online news index (archived here).

In the article, the two men responsible for planning the alleged assassination stayed at the MGM National Harbor Hotel and Casino. We searched MGM National Harbor's Newsroom for a possible press release on this purported incident, but did not see one. CPAC also did not put out a statement that would have been included in its News & Releases section -- if such a statement on such a claim existed.

Real Raw News

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 "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 declares the site does not stand by the contents of the stories, calling them entertainment. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. ... 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 are collected here.


  • 2024-03-04T18:58:30Z 2024-03-04T18:58:30Z
    Added response from CID

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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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