Pants on Fire!
"Melania Trump: 'If ISIS Lays a finger on Barron, I’ll scratch Obama’s eyes out.' " on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017 in a headline

No proof that Melania Trump said if ISIS harms her son she will scratch out Obama's eyes

Drumstick the turkey is pardoned by President Trump, as Barron Trump and first lady Melania Trump look on, Nov. 21, 2017, in the Rose Garden. (AP)

No, the first lady did not really issue a threat to former President Barack Obama over the safety of her son.

A headline on fabricated the quote in a clickbait headline: "Melania Trump: ‘If ISIS Lays a finger on Barron, I’ll scratch Obama’s eyes out."

Facebook users flagged the Nov. 23 post as being potentially fabricated, as part of the social network’s efforts to combat fake news. is a fake news website.

In this case, the article is not entirely fictional because it was based on a threat by an ISIS supporter. However, there is no evidence that Trump responded with her own threat against former President Barack Obama. cites an article in the Washington Free Beacon, which stated that pro-ISIS internet channels called for the assassination of the son of Melania and President Donald Trump. The Free Beacon attributed the information to the Middle East Media Research Institute, an organization that tracks jihadist propaganda. The institute found the information about the threat against Barron on Telegram, a social media network.

Here’s what the group reported:

On November 21, 2017, a supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Telegram called for the assassination of Barron Trump, and shared the name of the school that Barron attends along with a Google map pinpointing its location. Using the hashtag "handle the son of the mule of America," the supporter, who uses the name "Dak Al-Munafiqeen," Arabic for "striking the hypocrites," wrote: "Barron Trump goes to this school in Washington." The post was followed by a photo of Barron Trump. To widely disseminate the call for assassination, several pro-ISIS Telegram channels have shared and forwarded the post.

The report drew scant mainstream media attention. While Telegram is used by a lot of people worldwide, it is particularly popular with jihadis and ISIS supporters, said Steven Stalinsky, MEMRI executive director.

"It's the main vehicle for ISIS and their supporters to use to communicate and put out propaganda," he said.

The threat against Barron on Telegram from a supporter is not the equivalent of an official communique by ISIS, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a terrorism expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told PolitiFact.

"The fact that someone on an ISIS channel said it online doesn’t make it a significant threat," he said. "Anything said by some extremist on Telegram is not exactly breaking news that most outlets pick up in any way."

Where the story really goes into fake territory is the idea that Melania Trump responded to the threat by saying "if ISIS Lays a finger on Barron, I’ll scratch Obama’s eyes out." We could not find any evidence that she responded at all.

We contacted and received a reply from the editor in chief, Sean Adl-Tabatabai, who said PolitiFact is "policing the internet as part of a a faux moral crusade on behalf of the Clinton regime."

Our ruling stated that Melania Trump said, "If ISIS Lays a finger on Barron, I’ll scratch Obama’s eyes out."

We found no evidence that Melania Trump responded to an online threat against Barron at all — much less that she said she would enact revenge on Obama.

We rate this headline Pants on Fire.

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Pants on Fire
"Melania Trump: 'If ISIS Lays a finger on Barron, I’ll scratch Obama’s eyes out.' "
In a blog post
Thursday, November 23, 2017