Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.
Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.
I would like to contribute
Loads of people on the internet are convinced that a portion of every Bang energy drink sale goes directly to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign or other Trump 2020 efforts.
The connection between the energy drink company and President Trump is not as direct as this rumor makes it out to be.
A viral Facebook post shared Aug. 5 has amassed more than 500 comments and 3,600 shares. It features an image of a Bang energy drink with someone holding up their middle finger in front of it. The body of the post reads,"Didn’t know but just found this out that every-time you purchased a bang a portion of your money helps re-election Donald Trump & goes to the fund campaign for MAGA! This is a break up ..... I can’t support a company that helps support a Man that puts children in cages, who promotes racisms, who is a white supremacist etc."
The post 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.)
No, a portion of every Bang energy drink purchase does not directly fund Trump’s re-election efforts, but the parent company of Bang — Vital Pharmeceuticals — did donate a large sum of money to a pro-Trump PAC.
The rumor started after Axios published a story on July 31, 2019, that reported pro-Trump super PAC America First Action and its affiliated nonprofit, America First Policies, raised nearly $18 million in the first half of 2019.
The story identified some of the committee’s top donors: real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer gave $2 million, former Small Business Administration leader and wrestling executive Linda McMahon gave $1 million, and Vital Pharmaceuticals donated $250,000. According to Federal Election Commission filings, it is the only contribution the company has made.
The website Popular Info picked up on the Bang-Vital Pharmaceuticals connection from the report and published a subsequent story on Aug. 1 with the headline, "Every can of this energy drink helps Trump get re-elected."
It didn’t take long for the claim to spill over into social media posts of former Bang devotees saying they are giving up the energy drink because of its political affiliation.
But the story and social media posts overstate the energy drink’s connection to Trump’s re-election campaign or related PACs. Yes, its parent company donated $250,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC, but there is no direct distribution from a portion of every energy drink purchased. Neither Bang’s website nor its social media accounts advertise any kind of political fundraising campaign. PolitiFact also reached out to the company, but did not immediately hear back.
However, Vital Pharmaceuticals CEO and Bang energy drink founder Jack Owoc and his wife Meg Liz Owoc have been outspoken in their support for Trump in the past.
It can be argued that the energy drink’s sales may have boosted the amount the parent company chose to donate and could help fuel future donations, but it is inaccurate to say a portion of each Bang energy drink purchase directly funds Trump’s re-election campaign or other Trump 2020 efforts.
The claim is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context. We rate it Mostly False.
Facebook post, Aug. 5, 2019
Axios, Exclusive: Pro-Trump outside groups jointly raise $17.8 million, July 31, 2019
Federal Election Commission, Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc. contribution, March 15, 2019
Popular Info, Every can of this energy drink helps Trump get re-elected, Aug. 1, 2019
Creative Loafing, Shady Florida energy drink CEO donates $250,000 to Trump re-election campaign, Aug. 2, 2019
Snopes, Does a Portion of Each Bang Energy Sale Go Toward Trump’s Campaign?, Aug. 6, 2019
Twitter, Jack Owoc tweet, March 14, 2016
Twitter, Meg Liz Owoc tweet, Jan. 8, 2019
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.