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Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman January 5, 2018

White House staffers removed from job is subject of false headline

A misleading story on Facebook said that an FBI raid led to White House staffers losing their jobs.

"Breaking: FBI just raided the White House, 6 people thrown out," stated a headline by the New Century Times, a left-leaning website, on Dec. 30.

Facebook users flagged the post as being potentially fabricated, as part of the social network’s efforts to combat fake news. While staffers were removed from the White House, that happened nearly a year ago and by calling it a "raid" over dramatizes the actual news. The same story appeared on another website in February.

The story by New Century Times said that an intelligence agency decided to fight back and sent Trump a message by escorting six staffers out of the White House for failing background investigations.

By calling the event an "FBI raid" it conjures up an image of armed personnel storming the White House to take out suspicious staffers. But that’s not the way it sounded in news reports.

The website attributed much of the information to Western Journalism, which describes itself as a source of conservative and libertarian news. In reality, the story traces back to an article in Politico.

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Western Journalism reported Feb. 16 that the six staffers were escorted from the White House for problems with their SF86 application, a questionnaire for national security positions. The questionnaire, more than 100 pages long, includes questions on the applicant’s employment, criminal and residential history and also asks about personal subjects such as about an applicant’s mental health and use of illicit drugs.

The Western Journalism article followed an article by Politico, which reported based on unnamed sources that some of the aides were "walked out of the building by security."

One of the six staffers was Caroline Wiles, the daughter of Susan Wiles, Trump’s Florida campaign director, Politico reported. Caroline Wiles, who resigned before the background check was completed, was appointed deputy assistant secretary before the inauguration in January. She was slated to get another job in Treasury.

Our ruling

The website New Century Times said in a December headline that "Breaking: FBI just raided the White House, 6 people thrown out."

Yes, six White House staffers were removed from their jobs due to problems associated with their in depth background checks, Politico reported. But their removals occurred in February -- this isn’t "breaking" news in December. And it seems a stretch to describe the removals as an FBI "raid."

We rate this claim False.

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White House staffers removed from job is subject of false headline

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