TruthorFiction.com Seeking truth, exposing fiction 2018-01-23T21:49:24Z https://www.truthorfiction.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Aaron Martin <![CDATA[Clint Eastwood Wins Appeal to Overturn “R” Rating For “15:17 to Paris” -Truth!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106655 2018-01-23T21:49:24Z 2018-01-23T21:49:24Z Clint Eastwood successfully appealed to have the rating of "15:17 to Paris" changed from "R" to "PG-13."

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Clint Eastwood Wins Appeal to Overturn “R” Rating For “The 15:17 to Paris”-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Clint Eastwood successfully appealed to have the rating of his film “The 15:17 to Paris” changed from “R” to “PG-13.”

The Truth:

Clint Eastwood led a successful (and rare) appeal to have the rating of his film “The 15:17 to Paris” changed to “PG-13” in December 2017.

The film, which tells the story of three American soldiers who saved a train full of civilians from terrorist attackers in August 2015, will be released in February 2018.  The film is based on an autobiography written by three men — Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Jeffrey Stern — called “The 15:17 to Paris.”

The Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA) rated the move “R” in late 2017 due to scenes depicting blood and violence. In December 2017, CARA announced that Eastwood’s appeal had been granted. The rating for “The 15:17 to Paris” was changed to “PG-13,” a release said:

LOS ANGELES —Yesterday, the R rating for “The 15:17 to Paris” was overturned. Preceding the appeal, “The 15:17 to Paris” was rated R for a sequence of violence and bloody images. The film is now rated PG-13 on appeal for bloody images, violence, some suggestive material, drug references and language. Clint Eastwood, the film’s director, represented the appellant Warner Bros. Pictures, and Joan Graves, Chairman of CARA, represented the rating board.

The CARA Board hears appeals. And the process requires a two-thirds majority to agree that the rating was “clearly erroneous” to override the initial rating. “The overriding objective of the appeals process is to ensure that the rating system remains consistent and therefore credible. The Board reviews 800-900 films each year. Usually fewer than a dozen ratings a year are appealed,” CLARA states.

Clint Eastwood’s rare successful appeal is reflected in CARA’s movie rating database at FilmRatings.com:

Clinton Eastwood successfully appealed to have the rating of “The 15:17 to Paris” from R to PG-13.

Given all that, we’re calling this one “truth.”

 

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Aaron Martin <![CDATA[Friends the Movie Coming Out in April 2018-Fiction!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106653 2018-01-23T21:16:45Z 2018-01-23T21:16:45Z Friends the movie is not coming out in April 2018 — a trailer for the "movie" that was created as a work of fan fiction was taken out of context.

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Friends the Movie Coming Out in April 2018-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A trailer claiming that Friends the movie is coming out in April 2018 has fans feeling nostalgic for the 1990s-era hit sit-com.

The Truth:

A YouTube channel where fans post “concept trailers” for films and shows that they’d like to see made is behind false reports that Friends the movie is coming out in April 2018.

The video appeared at the YouTube channel Smasher Trailers on Jan. 12, 2018. It was headlined “Jennifer Anniston Friends Reunion Concept” and was immediately viewed millions of times. The video is a mash-up of films and shows that stars of Friends have starred in. Footage from Courtney Cox’s “Cougar Town,” Matt LeBlanc’s “Episodes,” among others, is shown.

The original quickly racked up more than 4.3 million views. And, if you watch the video to its completion, it ends with Jennifer Anniston saying, “It’s not real.” Also, the Smasher Trailers “About” page explains that fan-made “concept trailers” are “fake and not real.”

But the Friends the movie ruse took off when an edited version of the concept trainer was reposted on Facebook. Facebook disabled the video, but not before it was viewed millions of times  And of course, the edited version didn’t clearly identify the clip as fan fiction. That led to widespread confusion (and disappointment) among fans of Friends.

Could Friends the Move Come Out After All?

Given the outpouring of excitement for the Friends the movie trailer, some will question whether the stars and show-runners of Friends would actually consider a reboot or movie. While it’s impossible to predict the future, the odds appear to be long.

All six original stars of Friends “convened” for the first time in years in early 2017. That led to a lot of questions about a possible reunion show. Lisa Kudrow (who played Phoebe) shot the idea down in an appearance on “Today,” however.

When asked about a reunion, she said, “The thing we liked about that show is it was like 20-somethings and they were their own family and now they have families.So what are we going to watch?” But Kudrow didn’t say “no.” She said she was managing expectations, adding, “If we don’t tell you that one’s coming, and then it doesn’t happen, you have no reason to be disappointed. I’m managing expectations.”

Matthew Perry (who starred as Chandler on the show) gave a clear “no” when asked if he would star in a Friends reboot, however. He said that it would “ruin” the iconic show’s ending.

So, for those who were excited to see Friends the movie come out in April 2018, we’re sorry to report that this rumor is a work of fiction.

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Aaron Martin <![CDATA[Pope Francis Gives Pontifical Medal to Pro-Abortion Dutch Activist Lilianne Ploumen-Truth!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106649 2018-01-22T17:53:20Z 2018-01-22T17:53:20Z Pope Francis Gives Pontifical Medal to Pro-Abortion Dutch Activist Lilianne Ploumen-Truth! Summary of eRumor: Pope Francis bestowed the Pontifical Medal upon Lilianne Ploumen, a Dutch pro-abortion activist. The Truth: Pope…

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Pope Francis Gives Pontifical Medal to Pro-Abortion Dutch Activist Lilianne Ploumen-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Pope Francis bestowed the Pontifical Medal upon Lilianne Ploumen, a Dutch pro-abortion activist.

The Truth:

Pope Francis gave a papal honor to a pro-abortion activist Lilianne Ploumen. But the Vatican said it was given as a “diplomatic practice” and not as an endorsement of her views.

BNR Newsradio, an all-news station in the Netherlands, posted a short video of Lilianne Ploumen posing with the Pontifical Medal on December 22, 2017. The video went largely unnoticed at the time. That changed, however, with a Media Research Center report that appeared on January 22. The story appeared under the headline “Pope Francis Awards Pro-Abortion Extremist Lilianne Ploumen with Pontifical Honor.”

The video shows Ploumen posing with the Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great medal. The recognition has two divisions, civil and military. It’s frequently given to heads of state who meet with the Pope. Ploumen serves as the minister of foreign trade and development in the Netherlands. She launched a pro-choice NGO called “She Decides” in 2017. The group aims to counter an executive order issued by President Trump that bars U.S. aid to organizations that discuss abortion as a family planning option with their clients.

In an interview with the Catholic Herald on January 15,  Ploumen said, “I assume I have been granted the pontifical medal in the context of the Dutch state visit to the Vatican in June 2017. I was part of the delegation in my capacity at that time as minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands.”

The Holy See Press Office confirmed that Ploumen had been given the honor as a “diplomatic practice” for heads of state in a statement to the National Catholic Register that same day:

“The honor of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great received by Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen, former Minister of Development, in June 2017 during the visit of the Dutch Royals to the Holy Father, responds to the diplomatic practice of the exchange of honors between delegations on the occasion of official visits by Heads of State or Government in the Vatican.

Therefore, it is not in the slightest a placet [an expression of assent] to the politics in favor of abortion and of birth control that Mrs Ploumen promotes.”

So, wile it’s true that Lilliane Ploumen received a papal honor. But the Vatican maintains that it was given as a diplomatic practice, and wasn’t an endorsement of her views on abortion.

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Aaron Martin <![CDATA[Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Tweets President Trump Determined to Start War with North Japan-Fiction!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106645 2018-01-22T14:11:51Z 2018-01-22T14:11:51Z A website that allows users to create fake tweets from public figures is behind false reports that U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee tweeted that President Trump is determined to start war with North Japan.

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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Tweets President Trump Determined to Start War with North Japan-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) tweeted that President Trump is determined to start war with “North Japan” and referenced Nixon bombing Germans at Pearl Harbor.

The Truth:

A website that allows users to generate fake tweets from high-profile people is behind Sheila Jackson Lee’s bogus tweet about Trump starting war with North Japan.

The historically inaccurate fake tweet first surfaced in December 2017 and re-circulated in January 2018. In it, Jackson Lee appears to bungle historical details of historical events during the 20th century and invent “North Japan.”

A website that allows users to create fake tweets is behind a false rumor that Sheila Jackson Lee tweeted President Trump is determined to start war with North Japan.

In reality, a Tweeterino.com user created the fake tweet. The website allows users to type whatever they want into a field, and then it turns it into an image that looks like a tweet from public figures. Users can then share screen grabs of the tweets, often misleading and confusing others:

Tweeterino.com makes it easy to generating hoax tweets like the one about Sheila Jackson Lee.

Sheila Jackson Lee has been a frequent target of Tweeterino.com users. We previously debunked a tweet claiming that she blamed a train derailment in Washington State on Trump’s “racist agenda.” This “North Japan” tweet is the latest hoax.

 

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Aaron Martin <![CDATA[Thieves Cloning Auto Door Lock Codes, Breaking Into Cars-Truth!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106641 2018-01-18T22:13:59Z 2018-01-18T22:13:59Z Thieves Cloning Car Remote Codes, Breaking Into Cars-Truth! Summary of eRumor: Thieves are using wireless devices to clone auto door lock codes transmitted by wireless key fobs, allowing them to…

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Thieves Cloning Car Remote Codes, Breaking Into Cars-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Thieves are using wireless devices to clone auto door lock codes transmitted by wireless key fobs, allowing them to break into cars.

The Truth:

Rumors about thieves cloning auto door locks have been circulating for a long time. In fact, we investigated the rumor back in 2008 and found that it was “fiction” — but, by January 2018, we found credible reports of this potentially happening.

We first investigated the rumor in 2008 when warnings to “lock your doors manually” circulated in a viral email. The email’s author explained that his son had his phone and other personal belongs stolen from his locked car. Because there was no sign of forced entry, it was assumed that the thief cloned his auto door lock frequency. At the time, we couldn’t find any credible reports or evidence to back up the claim.

By 2011, researchers published a paper on vulnerabilities in keyless entry and ignition systems that could be used to open and drive cars from 10 different manufacturers. The technique is called “relay attacks on passive keyless entries.” It didn’t get much attention at the time, but by early 2018 reports of thieves cloning car frequencies had become fairly common.

Evidence of Thieves Cloning Remote Door Lock Codes

Most auto burglaries involved unlocked cars or smashed windows. But one burglary from Davies, a neighborhood in Florida, from December 2017 drew suspicion from local police.

The owner of an Audi had a handgun stolen from his locked car, and there was no sign of forced entry. The owner also found a key fob that didn’t belong to him in a cup holder, and his key fob no longer worked, the Sun-Sentinel reports:

It wasn’t clear from the incident report if the car was locked, but (Davies police) said it’s possible somebody cloned a key fob to make a counterfeit duplicate and “somehow bypass the factory settings” to create a new, keyless entry device.

The Audi owner told investigators that his own key fob was no longer working.

A release from the West Midlands Police Department explains how the theft works in a press release:

The video shows two men pulling up outside the victim’s house, both carrying relay boxes. The devices are capable of receiving signals through walls, doors and windows, but not metal.
In the footage, one of the men can be seen waving a relay box in front of the property.
The box receives a signal from the key inside and transmits it to the second box next to the car.
The car’s systems are then tricked into thinking that the key is present and so it is unlocked.
The thieves then drive off, with the whole crime taking just one minute.

So, it’s clear that thefts involving cloning remote frequencies are occurring.  And the National Insurance Crime Bureau has said that the crime is so new, there isn’t reliable data on how frequently it’s happening.

How to Protect Your Car From Remote Cloning Thefts

Vulnerabilities in keyless entry systems have caused quite a bit of panic. And Edmunds has provided a few tips that could help prevent it.
First, storing the car key in a wallet or purse that specially designed to block cloning with RFID chips is one solution. And a second, more unconventional solution, is to store the key in a refrigerator, which would also block signals.
Meanwhile, West Midlands Police recommend a Thatcham-approved steering lock to cover the entire steering wheel to prevent vehicle thefts. Also, a Thatcham-approved tracker could help locate cars if their stolen.

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Aaron Martin <![CDATA[Given 18 Months to Live, Man Cures Brain Cancer With Cannabis Oil-Fiction!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106636 2018-01-17T19:51:27Z 2018-01-17T19:51:27Z A man given 18 months to live said that he used cannabis oil to treat cancer, but he died of cancer a year later and there's no proof that cannabis can treat cancer.

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Given 18 Months to Live, Man Cures Cancer With Cannabis Oil-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A British man named David Hibbitt was given 18 months to live before he cured cancer with cannabis oil.

The Truth:

Many holistic health websites have featured the story of the man who cured bowel cancer with cannabis oil after being given 18 months to live. Unfortunately, 34-year-old David Hibbitt died from brain cancer in 2016, a year after stories about his miraculous recovery first surfaced.

The story surfaced in the U.K.’s Metro newspaper in April 2015.  The paper reported that Hibbitt had been “cured” after purchasing cannabis oil from a local dealer. But the initial story noted that there was no clinical evidence that cannabis oil could actually treat cancer:

Cancer Research UK said it was aware of patients using cannabis extracts to treat themselves but there was ‘no good evidence’ from clinical trials to prove it was safe and effective.

Natural health websites quickly picked the story up. It was held up as an example of the medicinal potential of cannabis oil, but Hibbitt died of cancer just one year after reports that he’d been “cured,” the Daily Mail reports:

Last January the father-of-one revealed he was cancer-free and put the class-B drug down to his miracle recovery.

But the cancer returned in March this year and spread to his lungs and brain. It claimed his life earlier this month.

David Hibbitt’s family vowed to pursue research into the ability of cannabis oil to treat cancer after his death. There have been lots of studies about cannabinoids’ ability (or lack thereof) to treat cancer.  But Cancer Research UK reports that there’s no definitive proof of that, despite numerous studies claiming to confirm that cannabis oil treats cancer.

 

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Aaron Martin <![CDATA[Retired Navy Commander John Wells Declines Saints Invitation Over National Anthem Protests-Truth!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106625 2018-01-11T19:23:32Z 2018-01-11T19:23:32Z Retired Navy Commander John Wells Declines Saints Award Over National Anthem Protests-Truth! Summary of eRumor: Retired Navy Commander John Wells declined an award from the New Orleans Saints for his…

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Retired Navy Commander John Wells Declines Saints Award Over National Anthem Protests-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Retired Navy Commander John Wells declined an award from the New Orleans Saints for his work to raise awareness about veterans’ healthcare issues because of NFL national anthem protests.

The Truth:

Accurate reports that Ret. Navy Cmdr. John Wells declined an award from the New Orleans Saints first emerged in the fall of 2017. The story reemerged in January 2018 as the Saints advanced in the NFL playoffs.

John Wells is a disabled veteran who served in the Navy from 1972-1994. He also leads a Louisiana-based group called Military Veterans Advocacy that advocates of current and former service members across the county.  The New Orleans Saints attempted to recognize Wells with its “Peoples Health Champion Award” for his work with the organization in November 2017 — but Wells publicly rejected the offer.

In an interview with the Times-Picayune, said that he declined the recognition because of the NFL national anthem protests:

“Although I am touched and honored to be selected for such an award, the ongoing controversy with NFL players’ disrespect for the national flag forces me to decline to participate in the presentation. Since this award is tainted with the dishonorable actions of the NFL and its players, I cannot accept it. To do so would be hypocritical.”

The New Orleans Saints responded with an official statement that called John Wells’ decision “unfortunate,” but the organization said it respected his decision:

Throughout Mr. Wells’ media appearances today, he has stated he no longer supports NFL football. That is unfortunate and disappointing considering the New Orleans Saints’ unwavering 50-plus year commitment to honor, support and recognize our servicemen and women and veterans. We will not allow Mr. Wells’ decision and subsequent media appearances to distract our players and organization from continuing to honor and support our military and veterans. We, as an organization, have decided to move on from this sad and divisive discourse and focus our attention on supporting our military and veterans….”

The Saints went on to state that players have stood for the national anthem in every game dating back to 1967, except for one. In week 3 of the 2017 NFL season, a group of Saints players sat during the national anthem before a game in Charlotte, NorthCarolina. The team has faced backlash over the player protests, including from one fan who sued, demanding a refund.

So, it’s true that John Wells declined an award from the Saints over the team’s week 3 national anthem protests.

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Aaron Martin <![CDATA[Federal Agents Raid Mosque in Michigan, Arrest ISIS Combatants -Fiction!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106626 2018-01-11T18:59:05Z 2018-01-11T18:59:05Z False rumors that federal agents raided a mosque in Michigan came from a website that describes its content as "conservative satire."

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Federal Agents Raid Mosque in Michigan, Arrest ISIS Combatants –Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Federal agents raided a mosque outside Dearborn, Michigan, in January 2018 and arrested 11 ISIS combatants.

The Truth:

A website that describes its content as “a whimsical playland of conservative satire” is behind false reports that federal agents raided a mosque in Michigan.

The false report appeared at the website ReaganWasRight.com on January 9, 2018. It claimed that the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the ATF conducted the raid and arrested men who were planning “the next 9-11.” The attack was supposedly going to be carried out an NFL game the following weekend.

False reports that federal agents raided a Michigan mosque spread across social media in January 2018.

The report begins:

A mosque in a small town outside of Dearborn, Michigan has been raided by a joint task force from the FBI, Homeland Security and the ATF. According to preliminary reports from the scene, which is closed off for more than a mile, 11 “very dangerous men” who aren’t supposed to be in America at all have been apprehended plotting what would have been our next 9-11.

The report was shared widely on social media, leading some to believe that it was true. But again, ReaganWasRight.com describes its content as “satire,” which is to say that it’s not factual news.

Dearborn, Michigan, has been the target of many fake news reports like this one. The city has one of the highest concentration of Muslims in the country. And that’s made it a frequent target of false reports about Sharia law, radical Islamic protests and terrorist cells.

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Aaron Martin <![CDATA[Essential Oils Are Harmful to Cats and Small Animals -Truth!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106614 2018-01-10T20:10:34Z 2018-01-10T20:06:41Z Essential oils can be harmful to cats — but most cases of toxicity involve oils being applied directly to cats' fur, and not defused through the air.

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Essential Oils Are Harmful to Cats and Small Animals –Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Essential oils can kill cats and mall animals.  Social media posts warn those with cats to avoid certain essential oils.

The Truth:

Exposure to essential oils can be fatal for cats and small animals. But there’s not much scientific evidence about how risky essential oils are for cats, and what levels are safe.

First, we’ll take a look at what essential oils are. They’re high concentrations of oils that occur naturally in plants. When mixed with solvents, essential oils can be diluted and defused throughout a room. They’re used for aromatherapy and for medicinal purposes.

Warnings that essential oils are harmful to cats have been circulating for years. And for good reason. One version that we found on social media warns that “all citrus” varieties of essential oils are toxic to cats. Among those listed is tea tree essential oil. Studies indicate that the warning is valid, but only when cats are exposed to the oils in large doses.

A social media post warns that citrus essential oils are harmful to cats.

We’re not going to delve into every single essential listed here. But we’ll provide a broad overview of the threat described in the social media post.

The Science Behind Claims That Essential Oils Are Harmful to Cats

The Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory published a study in 1998 that described how three purebred cats were poisoned by Australian tea tree oil. The cats’ owner applied a topical ointment containing the oil directly to the cats to treat fleas. All three became sick within hours. Ultimately, two of the cats survived and one died.

Tea tree oil is toxic to cats because of how they metabolize terpenes, the organic compounds that give essential oils their scents. And other essential oils, like eucalyptus oil, are very similar in composition . They can be toxic to cats for the same reason. Most cases of poisoning result from misuse (like applying the oil directly to the cat’s fur). But cats can also be especially susceptible to high concentrations of defused tea tree essential oil because of cats’ grooming habits, the study found:

The terpenes in tea tree oil are rapidly absorbed through the skin and digestive tract because of their highly lipophilic nature. Toxicity from dermal exposure has not been produced in rabbits but may be possible. Cats may be more susceptible to tea tree oil toxicosis after topical application than are other species because of their grooming behavior. In this case, the cats had been shaved, so that tea tree oil was applied directly to the skin, enhancing dermal absorption. The flea bite lesions may have also increased dermal absorption somewhat. Further, grooming efficiency was probably augmented due to shaving, allowing cats to ingest a large amount of the oil applied

To summarize essential oils like tea tree oil can be toxic to cats if they lick it from their fur, or even if it’s absorbed through their skin. Some argue that highly defused, high-quality essential oil in a well-ventilated room is perfectly safe for pets. However, we weren’t able to find any studies indicating that that’s true, or at what levels essential oils are safe for cats. For those reasons, we’re calling claims that some essential oils are toxic for cats “true.”

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Aaron Martin <![CDATA[FBI Arrests 22 Clinton Foundation Employees Days After Reopening Investigation-Fiction!]]> https://www.truthorfiction.com/?p=106607 2018-01-10T20:14:44Z 2018-01-09T21:29:55Z False reports that the FBI arrested 22 Clinton Foundation employees one day after reopening an investigation are based on reports from fake news websites based in Panama.

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FBI Arrests 22 Clinton Foundation Employees Days After Reopening Investigation-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

The FBI arrested 22 Clinton Foundation employees for illegal activities just one day after reopening an investigation into the foundation’s practices.

The Truth:

The FBI reopened an investigation into allegations of “pay-to-play” politics at the Clinton Foundation in January 2018. But rumors that the FBI arrested 22 Clinton Foundation employees on the first day of the investigation are false.

The Hill reported on January 4, 2018, that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had ordered the Department of Justice to review Clinton Foundation practices. The review was to explore whether donors received any policy favors in exchange for their donations to the foundation. It’s also exploring whether the foundation’s tax-exempt assets were used for political or personal purposes:

One witness recently interviewed by the FBI described the session to The Hill as “extremely professional and unquestionably thorough” and focused on questions about whether donors to Clinton charitable efforts received any favorable treatment from the Obama administration on a policy decision previously highlighted in media reports.

The investigations was in its early stages by January 9th. But it didn’t take long for news of the Clinton Foundation review to become intertwined into the long-running Clinton body count conspiracy theory. The theory goes that the Clintons have murdered political opponents over the years during their rise to power.

An article appearing under the headline, “22 Clinton Foundation Employees Arrested on First Day of New Investigation,” appeared at fringe websites with domains registered in Panama (a known hotbed of fake news websites). One of those domains, PatriotUnited.club, was registered on December 22, 2017, about a week before the Clinton Foundation story went viral.

Aside from those red flags, the story credits the scoop to Attorney General Jeff Sessions himself. And if Sessions would have actually announced that 22 Clinton Foundation employees were arrested, it would have been a major news story with every mainstream publication covering it. That’s especially true since the fabricated report claims the Clintons were behind 100 murders, including a senator.

Given all that, we’re calling reports that the FBI arrested 22 Clinton Foundation employees “fiction.”

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