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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 24, 2021

No evidence Donald Trump said this about an Afghanistan distraction

If Your Time is short

  • Donald Trump has been critical of how Joe Biden has handled the American retreat from Afghanistan, but we found no evidence that he said this. 
 

Former President Donald Trump has attacked how President Joe Biden has handled the United States leaving Afghanistan, calling it "the greatest foreign policy humiliation" in U.S. history. 

"Biden’s botched exit from Afghanistan is the most astonishing display of gross incompetence by the nation’s leader, perhaps at any time," Trump said at a rally in Alabama on Aug. 21.

But another quote that’s being attributed to him on social media does not come from that speech, or any other, as far as we can tell. 

"Do not be distracted by all this going on in Afghanistan," reads a statement that an Aug. 22 Facebook post claims Trump said. "Always keep one eye on Washington D.C. A magician always distracts his audience. And we all know that the Democrats are very good magicians." 

This 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.)

Featured Fact-check

We searched for the quote online and found only two results, both on a meme website. Since before the Taliban took control of Kabul the former president has released more than a dozen statements on his website mentioning Afghanistan, but none include the statement that appears in this post.  

We also didn’t find it searching Rev’s database of transcripts from Trump’s speeches, rallies, public statements, interviews and more. 

From the pandemic to Afghanistan, it’s not unusual to see social media posts in which people suggest that major news events are happening or even orchestrated to distract from lawmakers in Washington. And certainly Trump has been critical of Biden’s leadership. But we found no evidence that he made the statement that appears in this post. 

We rate it False.

Our Sources

Facebook post, Aug. 22, 2021

Reuters, Trump assails Biden for Afghanistan ‘humiliation,’ Aug. 22, 2021

Rev, Donald Trump transcripts, visited Aug. 24, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 15, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 15, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 16, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 16, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 16, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 16, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 18, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 18, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 18, 2021

Donald Trump statement, Aug. 19, 2021

 

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No evidence Donald Trump said this about an Afghanistan distraction

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