Facts Matter: Trump comment about staying past his term was in jest

  • President Donald Trump speaks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, June 20, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Tulsa, Okla., for a campaign rally. Comments the president has made about staying in office beyond the constitutional limit of two terms have been made in jest, Snopes.com reported.

    President Donald Trump speaks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, June 20, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Tulsa, Okla., for a campaign rally. Comments the president has made about staying in office beyond the constitutional limit of two terms have been made in jest, Snopes.com reported. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/20/2020 5:18 PM

Social media users this month have been sharing comments in which Donald Trump said he won't leave the presidential office, even if he isn't reelected.

These claims are mostly false, according to Snopes.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Although Trump actually made comments about not leaving the Oval Office, it was done in jest, "as part of a jab against his critics and journalists," Snopes said. The president recently said, if not reelected, he would "go on to do other things."

The recent social media activity appears to stem from a December speech Trump gave during the Israeli-American Council National Summit, Snopes said.

During the speech, Trump claimed members of the media are saying he won't leave office.

Trump said he thought that was "not a bad idea."

"When they all scream, 'Four more years, four more years,' I always say, 'Make it 12 years and you'll drive them crazy.' Twelve more years," Trump said.

Commentator wrong about Black Lives Matter

Conservative commentator Candace Owens recently said on Twitter, "According to its website Black Lives Matter, Inc is NOT a charity. It is a full-fledged corporation that does NOT have any locations."

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She was wrong. The Black Lives Matter Global Network is a charity, incorporated in Delaware, with chapters throughout the U.S., according to PolitiFact.com. Since it's a newer nonprofit, the group is fiscally sponsored by Thousand Currents, an established nonprofit.

The movement was started in 2013 by activists Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.

In 2016, the Black Lives Matter Global Network incorporated, which is a common first step for nonprofits in order to receive tax advantages and legal protections, PolitiFact said. These corporations are still considered nonprofits.

The group doesn't describe itself as a corporation anywhere on its website, PolitiFact said.

NPR didn't recommend book burning

A recent claim that National Public Radio wants people to burn books written by white people is false, according to The Associated Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"NPR wants people to burn books written by white people," headlined a June 9 story by Trending Right Wing, a conservative website.

The Trending Right Wing article is referring to the NPR story, "Your bookshelf may be part of the problem," which goes on to suggest people expand their reading to include diverse authors and viewpoints, the AP said. There is no mention of book burning.

"Reading broadly and with intention is how we counter dehumanization and demand visibility, effectively bridging the gap between what we read and how we might live in a more just and equitable society," the NPR article reads.

Trending Right Wing spokesman Christopher Dorsano told the AP that its article "caricatures" the NPR story.

"The article makes it quite clear that the 'burning' is not literal," he said.

NASCAR didn't ban anthem, prayer

In a response to protests against racism, NASCAR banned the display of the Confederate flag during its races, according to Snopes.com

"The presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry," NASCAR said in a statement.

The announcement led some to falsely claim other traditions also would be prohibited during NASCAR events.

One Facebook meme read, "More NASCAR news: Prerace prayer, military flyover and national anthem all eliminated for being too controversial."

NASCAR hasn't banned those practices, Snopes said. Since the Confederate flag ban, the Dixie Vodka 400, held June 14 in Florida, included the national anthem, a military flyover and a prerace prayer given by former NFL player and COVID-19 survivor Tony Boselli.

Snopes points out that NASCAR recently eliminated its rule requiring team members to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner," which would be unnecessary if the group had banned the anthem.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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