VERIFY: Donald Trump has an account on Gab

Newsweek and The Independent both falsely claimed Donald Trump operates an account on alt-tech social network Gab.

Background: Prolific user of Twitter Donald Trump was banned by that platform in January 2021. Prior to his ban, he operated using the handle @realdonaldtrump.

Claim: In a February 6 article titled “Could Donald Trump’s Gab Post Hint at Return to Social Media?” Newsweek reporter Darragh Roche writes:

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Former President Donald Trump posted to social media on Friday for the first time in weeks to address his upcoming second impeachment trial in the Senate. The trial starts on February 8. Trump shared a letter from his attorneys to Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin on his Gab account. Gab is a social media platform popular with some conservatives and supporters of the former president.

Roche goes on to claim that the post was the first time Trump had posted to any social media account since his Twitter banning. Similar claims were made by Justin Vallejo writing for The Independent.

Investigation: Gab does, indeed, host an account named realdonaldtrump, the same handle used by Trump on Twitter. Is it actually operated or used by Trump, though? No.

Trump’s spokesman, Jason Miller, posting from his verified Twitter account on February 6 unambiguously declared that the Gab account in question is “a fake account.” While Gab owner Andrew Torba disagreed with that characterization, he did clarify, in a blog post the following day, that it was “a mirror archive of POTUS’ tweets and statements that we’ve run for years.” In other words, the account is operated by Gab itself — not Trump — and simply regurgitates statements he makes in other venues. In this case, it reposted a press release Trump’s office had issued earlier in the day.

Rating: The claim by Newsweek and The Independent that Donald Trump operates an account on Gab is FALSE.

Status: JournaFact contacted both Newsweek and The Independent to inform them of their false claims. Both chose not to issue a correction or update to the false stories (see here and here). 

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