Facts Matter: Reagan quote retweet by Trump is fake

President Donald Trump last week retweeted a photo of himself and former President Ronald Reagan shaking hands during a 1987 event at the White House. The post included a quote by Reagan praising Trump.

"For the life of me, and I'll never know how to explain it, when I met that young man, I felt like I was the one shaking hands with a president," Reagan is quoted in the tweet.

The photo, taken during a reception for arts patrons in the White House Blue Room on Nov. 3, 1987, is real. Trump was 41 years old at that time. The quote, however, is fake, according to The Washington Post.

Trump linked to a false twitter account and added "Cute!" to the top of the retweet, the Post said. The fake account, @ReaganBattaIion, was set up to look like the actual Twitter account, @ReaganBattalion, but used an uppercase I instead of a lowercase l.

The fake post, which has been around since February 2017, was debunked in February of this year by PolitiFact and the quote itself was declared false by Snopes in 2016, before it made its way into the fake tweet, the Post said.

"(Reagan) did not ever say that about Donald Trump," Joanne Drake, chief administrative officer of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, told PolitiFact.

The fake Twitter account was taken offline shortly after the president's retweet, the Post said.

Perot's will didn't include Trump campaign contribution

Businessman and one-time U.S. presidential candidate H. Ross Perot died July 9 at his Dallas, Texas, home surrounded by family, according to The Associated Press. He was 89 years old.

That same day, a fake story appeared claiming Perot had bequeathed nearly $100 million to Trump's re-election campaign, according to Snopes.

The false article, published by PotatriotsUnite, said Perot left explicit instructions in his will for his 11 children - Billy, Bobby, Lou, Kieth, Brenda, Gwen, Danny, Linda, Barb, Mary, Lorraine and Joe - to donate $9 million each to help Trump's 2020 bid. The story listed 12 names.

Perot, however, only had five children, Snopes said, named Carolyn, Suzanne, Nancy, Katherine, and Ross Jr.

PotatriotsUnite is part of a network of websites and social media accounts, led by Christopher Blair, which produces junk news and misinformation presented as satire, Snopes said.

Some Democratic candidates sported flag pins

Recent social media posts stating not one of the Democratic presidential candidates who participated in the debates last month in Miami was wearing an American flag pin are false, according to The Associated Press.

Six candidates wore flag pins on their lapels: former Vice President Joe Biden, former Maryland congressman John Delaney, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, AP said.

The false posts have been circulating recently on Facebook and Twitter to suggest the Democratic Party is not patriotic, AP said.

Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination will meet for a second round of debates on July 30 and 31.

Bowlbot 5000 video is CGI

A video making the rounds on social media this month shows the Bowlbot 5000 bowling machine hurling a bowling ball down the lane for a strike.

While many users have commented on the ingenuity of this invention, it's not an actual machine and the viral video is a digital rendering created by Tom Coben, according to Snopes.

Coben didn't offer the video as authentic and on the original post included hashtags such as #3drender #digitalart and #cgi, Snopes said.

Coben has also posted a follow-up video offering a "behind the scenes" look at how the Bowlbot 5000 video was created, Snopes said.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at

Recent social media posts have portrayed the Democratic presidential candidates who participated in the debates last month as unpatriotic for not wearing American flag pins. But six of the candidates, including former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, did. Associated Press
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