A website calling itself USA NEWS uses outdated and unfounded information to falsely claim that former President Barack Obama has announced a bid to become the United Nations’ secretary-general.
An April 12 post on the website usanews24h.tk said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "reportedly is planning payback for President Obama’s dismissing Mr. Netanyahu’s objections to the Iran nuclear deal last year."
"Mr. Netanyahu is said to be rallying moderate Arabs to thwart Mr. Obama’s bid to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations after he leaves the White House next year," said the story posted in April, more than a year after Obama left office.
Facebook users flagged the post as being potentially fabricated, as part of the social network’s efforts to combat online hoaxes.
Several other elements in the story show that the post is not rooted in current events or facts, including a line that says "U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s term expires in early 2017, making Obama’s bid for the position a possibility." Ban, the UN’s eighth secretary-general, ended his term Dec. 31, 2016.
The claim that Obama sought to or intended to become the UN’s secretary-general has been around for several years.
USA NEWS’ post includes several sentences that first appeared in a Jan. 8, 2016, post on the Washington Times. That 2016 story attributes its information to a Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Jarida.
A Jan. 12, 2016, editorial in the Washington Times also references the Kuwaiti newspaper, adding that "rumors are floating back from the Middle East" that Obama "is sounding out Democrats, Republicans and friends of the United Nations in the United States to help him get the job of secretary-general of the U.N."
The editorial acknowledges that the rumors "might be just another imaginative fairy tale of the Arabian night. The Arab media is addicted to such tales. But Mr. Obama was once described by Bill Clinton as a fairy tale, too, and here he is, completing his second term, and Mr. Obama does not suffer excessive modesty."
In January 2016, Israeli media also reported on the Kuwaiti newspaper’s claim, but not without casting doubt on the information. "The report, which admittedly appears somewhat far-fetched, has not been confirmed by any other news outlets and does not name any of its sources," israelnationalnews.com reported.
The UN General Assembly appoints its secretary-general, on the recommendation of the Security Council. Any of the Security Council’s five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) can veto the selection.
António Guterres, the UN’s ninth secretary-general took office Jan. 1, 2017. The term is for five years.
USA NEWS claimed, "Obama Announces Bid To Become UN Secretary General."
The post includes outdated information and is based on unfounded claims.
We rate USA NEWS’ statement Pants on Fire!