A fake news report claiming that President Donald Trump’s unsecured Android cell phone is probably the source of several news leaks from the White House is actually the fabrication of a well-known source of contrived stories.
A Feb. 26, 2017, article on TheSeattleTribune.com says in a headline, "Trump’s Android device believed to be source of recent White House leaks." The post was flagged by Facebook users as being potentially false, as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news.
The readers got this one right. The story is fake.
The story says two "private intelligence agencies" have determined that several news leaks that have been damaging to the Trump administration — from plans for executive orders to internal fights with staff — likely came from the president’s own phone.
But TheSeattleTribune.com is a website that makes up their stories, and is associated with another faux news site called AssociatedMediaCoverage.com. Their disclaimer says the website "is a news and entertainment satire web publication" and that all articles "are fictional and presumably satirical news."
If the counter on the story is to be believed, this one has been viewed more than 171,000 times in less than a week. It’s been used in online forums and also is popular on Facebook. It’s even appropriated a Twitter hashtag.
The article claims #DitchTheDevice is an online effort by social media users to get Trump to quit using the phone. But really, that hashtag was formerly used to try to get people to stop staring at their phones all day long and enjoy life a little bit more.
In any event, that’s what the hashtag means now, as thousands of people have used it while tweeting out TheSeattleTribune.com link.
But this story? It’s fake.
We rate it Pants On Fire!