CIA Investigating Madonna for “Blow Up the White House” Comment-Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
The CIA is investigating Madonna for commenting that she thought about “blowing up the White House” during a speech at the Women’s March.
Madonna faced backlash for commenting about “blowing up the White House” during a speech at the Women’s March on January 21, 2017 — but claims about an official investigation appear to be off base.
It’s common practice for the CIA and other agencies tasked with national security to review threats of any kind. But it’s not clear that such a review had led to an official investigation into Madonna’s comments about blowing up the White House. Besides, the CIA wouldn’t be the agency that would perform such an investigation (more on that later).
During the speech, Madonna said she had thought about blowing up the White House — but the pop icon concluded the thought by saying that people must “choose love” instead:
Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I’m outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful thought about blowing up the White House (but I know that this won’t change anything). We can’t fall into despair. As the poet W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II, we must love one another or die. I choose love. Are you with me? Say this with me. We choose love. We choose love. We choose love.
Madonna’s passing comment about blowing up the White House drew the ire of Trump administration officials Kellyanne Conway and Reince Preibus. Newt Gingrich went as far to calling for Madonna’s arrest.
Madonna took to Instagram to clarify her comment about blowing up the White House. Madonna noted that she had opened the speech with saying “I want to start a revolution of love,” and “spoke in metaphor” to express how the world could be viewed with either hope or anger:
But claims that the CIA investigating Madonna’s comments about blowing up the White House are pretty easy to debunk. The CIA is tasked with collecting and analyzing information from foreign countries — it’s illegal for the CIA to investigate U.S. citizens. While it’s true that Madonna spends much of her time in London, she’s still considered a U.S. citizen, and she made her speech on U.S. soil.
It wasn’t clear at the time of publication whether the Secret Service, FBI or another national security agency would officially launch an investigation of Madonna’s comments about blowing up the White House. An intelligence official did tell the New York Post, however, that Madonna’s statement would be evaluated:
“It’s all about intent. Is she intending to do harm to the White House or President Trump? Otherwise it will be characterized as inappropriate,” the official said. “If it’s characterized as inappropriate, then there won’t be any discussions with the U.S. Attorney. If it’s determined that there’s intent on her part, then there will be discussions with the U.S. Attorney and they’ll take it from there.”
So, it’s not clear if Madonna’s comments about blowing up the White House will lead to an official investigation, but the intelligence community has confirmed that the comments, like all potential threats, will be reviewed.