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On Sept. 5, the New York Times Opinion desk published the op-ed, authored by an unnamed top official in the Trump administration. The author says he or she is one of many top officials "working diligently from within to frustrate parts of (Trump’s) agenda and his worst inclinations."
People inside and outside the White House continue to speculate on the writer’s identity, and some bloggers have jumped on the opportunity to spread misinformation. One example comes from TheLibertyNews.us with this headline: "BREAKING: White House ‘Resistance’ mole a fake – NY Times admits they were trolled."
This story was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The story was copied word-for-word from one of America’s Last Line of Defense websites, and it attributes the op-ed to Art Tubolls, "an infamous liberal troll on the Soros payroll." Art Tubolls’ anagram Busta Troll is a pen name for Christopher Blair — the man who runs those sites, which are among the biggest sources of false news online.
In addition to the fake author, the false article quotes a fake source: "senior editor John Pragerski." The New York Times does not have an editor with that name.
While the America’s Last Line of Defense websites call themselves satire, TheLibertyNews.us did not include a disclaimer on its home page or on the story.
We’ve fact-checked other stories featuring Art Tubolls — recently he’s appeared as Michael Jordan’s spokesman and as the CEO of Comedy Central. He’s neither, and he’s not the author of the op-ed, either.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
TheLibertyNews.us, "BREAKING: White House ‘Resistance’ mole a fake – NY Times admits they were trolled," Sept. 7, 2018
America’s Last Line of Defense, "BREAKING: White House ‘Resistance’ mole a fake – NY Times admits they were trolled," Sept. 7, 2018
America’s Last Line of Defense, "About," accessed Sept. 12, 2018
New York Times, "I am part of the resistance inside the Trump administration," Sept. 5, 2018
PolitiFact, "If you're fooled by fake news, this man probably wrote it," May 31, 2017
PolitiFact, "Michael Jordan isn’t parting ways with Nike," Sept. 6, 2018
PolitiFact, "No, Michelle Wolf wasn't fired after making fun of Sarah Huckabee Sanders," May 4, 2018
The New York Times, masthead, accessed Sept. 12, 2018
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