Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin Seen at Swiss Resort Before Election-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
President Trump and Vladimir Putin were spotted together at a Swiss resort before the 2016 presidential election.
Reports that President Trump and Vladimir Putin were photographed together in Switzerland before the 2016 presidential election stem from a branch of fake news websites designed to look like credible, local news outlets.
The same story appeared across a range of “local” fake news sites under the headline, “BOMBSHELL: Trump and Putin Spotted At Swiss Resort Prior to Election,” shortly after National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned amid allegations that he had improper contacts with a Russian diplomat about U.S. sanctions imposed by President Obama.
The sensational story about Trump and Putin being seen together at a Swiss resort before the election begins:
Amidst controversy that President Trump had ties with the Russian government prior to the 2016 presidential election, a shocking, yet currently unsubstantiated report comes from sources within the Alpine region of Switzerland.
According to the multiple media outlets, reports from Nathan Sjögren, a 42-year-old employee of Die Böhmische Therme (known as the Volmer Institute to US travelers) a high-class “wellness spa” located in the Swiss Alps, the then 2016 republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian president, Vladimir Putin were enjoying the resort’s amenities together on the afternoon of June 25, 2016. Trump was off the campaign trail during that time for a business trip to Scotland where he took place in the opening ceremony for his newest golf course.
Domain information for the websites that these story appeared at call the sites’ credibility in question. All three websites, the Houston Leader, the Sacramento Post Dispatch and the Salt Lake City Guardian were registered to the same private company in Scottsdale, Arizona. And domains for two of those sites were registered on the same day, January 14, 2017. The other domain was registered in September 2016. Beside that, the urls for all three sites redirected to an ad for a movie shortly after the Trump-Putin spotting rumors went viral — further evidence that this was nothing more than a clickbait scheme.
These sites appear to be a part of the growing trend of fake news publishers designing sites to look like the local affiliates of credible, larger media conglomerates.