United States President Barack Obama didn’t scrap a national day of remembrance for fallen peace officers, and his successor Donald Trump didn’t revive it. But that didn’t stop a gaggle of blogs from pushing a lie propping up Trump.
The bogus claim first surfaced in a post at USAPoliticsNow.com on May 7 2017, under the headline, “President Trump Just Reinstated A Sacred Day Of Remembrance That Obama Canceled.”
The blog also claimed that Obama canceled the national remembrance day for peace officers because it offended members of the Black Lives Matter movement:
Obama didn’t want to offend anyone, so our country’s heroes were shut out. not anymore.
President Trump made Barack Obama look like a complete fool this morning in front of more than 10,000 police veterans when he announced that he would reinstate a national day of remembrance for fallen officers that the traitor before him had done away with.
The website was part of a collective of disinformation sites that recirculated the same material in an effort to extend their reach and to make it hard to determine the original source. FactCheck.org unpacked how the “story” was regurgitated from blog to blog:
Facebook users flagged a version of the story that appeared on TheExaminer.site. Some readers may have noticed the post includes this note: “We at uspostman cannot make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information.”
That’s because TheExaminer.site published a version that was originally posted on Uspostman.com, and that website attributed the story to Guerilla.news, which says on its Facebook page that it is intended “for Donald Tramp [sic] supporters.”
Guerilla.news published the story on May 7, but that was one day after it already had been featured on a number of unreliable websites.
DailyUSAUpdate.com, for example, published the story on May 6 under the headline “President Trump Just Reinstated A Sacred Day Of Remembrance That Obama Canceled.”
That website, according to its Facebook page, claims to be “an unbiased page which tries to bring you the latest and hottest topics from the US politics stage.” Instead, it’s a partisan website that regularly posts fake news stories, usually attacking Democrats.
The blogs responsible have since gone inactive, but a similiar disclaimer appeared at the bottom of the “USAPoliticsNow” blog:
We can’t guarantee for the accuracy of the information in the articles posted here. For more, please refer to the source referenced at the bottom of each article.
The occasion itself is legitimate; each year, National Peace Officers Memorial Day is honored on May 15 by proclamation of the president. Trump’s proclamation in March 2017 was in keeping with tradition. Obama made similar proclamations throughout his presidency, and he never canceled it. Obama also spoke at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service during his time in office.
Update 4/6/2021, 11:31 a.m.: This article has been revamped and updated. You can review the original here.