A bogus news item would have you believe that Clint Eastwood will soon be shuffling off this mortal coil.
"Clint Eastwood says his doctors have put him on notice to get his affairs in order and prepare for that final trip in one of those limousine station wagons we call a hearse," said the Maga2020.com website. "The famous actor, 89, says he’ll be lucky to see 2019."
Eastwood is actually 88, but the part that caught our eye had to do with Eastwood’s parting gift to boost the political fortunes of President Donald Trump:
"Eastwood is donating his Northern California ranch, 40K acres of grazing land in Nevada and more than $7 million in cash and other assets to Trump’s 2020 campaign."
That would be generous, and illegal.
"That certainly would exceed the contribution limits to give something of such value to a campaign," said Brendan Glavin with the Campaign Finance Institute.
Robert Maguire with the Center for Responsive Politics echoed the point.
"I do not know of any rule that exempts either donors — in this life or the next — from the limits the FEC has placed on direct contributions to campaign committees," Maguire said.
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The campaign contribution rests on Eastwood’s imminent demise. That too is false.
Not only is there no mention of it in any remotely reliable news source (we checked on the Lexis-Nexis news database), but Eastwood just started a new film that he will both direct and act in called Mule.
Shooting begins in the second half of July in Las Cruces, N.M. If Eastwood’s health were precarious, a bolt of cash to the local economy would be at risk. The editors of the Las Cruces Sun News see no clouds on the horizon.
"We hope that as many local workers and businesses as possible apply for these jobs and services, allowing us to get the maximum economic impact from the production," they wrote July 13.
There’s no evidence that Eastwood is ailing and he would be legally barred from donating millions to the Trump campaign.
Lights, camera, no action! This claim rates Pants on Fire.