No, Bill Gates didn't tweet Donald Trump will be 'one of the greatest presidents'

The fake news story has been making the rounds on Facebook.

ByABC News
February 16, 2017, 4:38 PM

— -- This fake news story isn't much of a story at all -- it hangs on just one fake tweet.

The false post from a website called Departed Media features this headline: "Bill Gates: 'I think Donald Trump will go down to history as one of the greatest presidents, just like Reagan.'"

On a page littered with advertisements, an image of a fake tweet they claim is from Microsoft founder Bill Gates says, "After 17 minutes [sic] phone call with President Trump, I think he will go down to history as one of the greatest presidents just like Reagan."

A detailed search of Twitter by ABC News shows that Bill Gates has never tweeted about Donald Trump -- or Ronald Reagan. A Twitter search for the text of the tweet itself also showed no results.

Two email addresses associated with Departed Media did not reply to ABC News' request for comment.

The only tweet from Gates on Jan. 22, the date indicated in the fake news story, is a congratulatory message to Jeff Raikes, the chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

The tweet in the article appears to be a Photoshopped image of that Stanford tweet: the timestamp is changed from 7:23 p.m. to 4:23 p.m., though the date remains the same. The number of retweets and likes noted on the genuine tweet are virtually the same as the Photoshopped image.

The spelling mistake and awkward wording in the tweet is a hallmark of fake news stories written outside the United States.

A Facebook module on the page indicates that the post has gotten 100,000 likes on the social media network. The story appears to have originated with Departed Media roughly two weeks ago and has been posted again on dozens of pages since then.

"Yes Mr Gates, we support President Trump, he is a right president for USA," reads one comment, while other commenters point out the post is indeed fake news.

Bill Gates did meet with then-President-elect Trump on Dec. 13, telling reporters that he had a wide-ranging conversation on innovation. Vice President-elect Mike Pence told reporters the next day that it was a "great meeting."

Later that day on CNBC, Gates said Trump's message has centered on "where he sees things not as good as he'd like" but later said Trump had an opportunity to rally the country around major causes like President John F. Kennedy's effort to develop the space program during the 1960s.

And while Gates did not endorse either candidate during the 2016 election, he did make a few brief comments about the campaign.

In a June interview with STAT News, Gates said, "we're going to work with whoever's elected," though he noted that "Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton have more experience on global health," a cause that the Gates Foundation is committed to.

Also in June, asked by a Recode reporter about Trump not signing a philanthropy pledge, Gates quipped, "He hasn't been known for his philanthropy. He's been known for other things."

ABC News has launched "The Real News About Fake News" powered by Facebook data in which users report questionable stories and misinformation circulating on the platform. The stories will undergo rigorous reporting to determine if the claims made are false, exaggerated or out of context. Stories that editorial partners have also debunked will then appear flagged in your News Feed.

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