No, Donald Trump Didn't Un-Invite Hillary Clinton From the Inauguration
The fake news story has been all over Facebook.
— -- Facebook has been buzzing with news about Friday's presidential inauguration -- but not all of the stories filling our feeds have been true.
One recent story headlined "BREAKING: Clinton Invited Herself To Trump’s Inauguration -- Trump Uninvited Her 30 Minutes Later" has been going viral over the last two weeks.
But it's not true.
About a dozen websites picked up the story. At least one version of the article got thousands of shares on Facebook, according to a counter on the article.
That particular article was published on a website run by World News and Rumors, but it appears the story was published for the first time on USA Daily Post on Jan. 1. No contact information was available for either organization. So, ABC News dug into the story and here's what we found:
The Story Is Riddled With Falsehoods
Apart from the names of the people in this story, there was virtually nothing in this article that was factually correct.
The fake news story claims that "apparently" the Clintons decided to attend the inauguration "without actually consulting" Trump. Just a half hour later, the fake news story says, Trump had uninvited her from the ceremony. This is not true.
The article also falsely claims that President Obama was "uninvited by Trump a month ago." But Trump actually has had kind words about Obama's handling of the transfer of power.
The article goes on to say that Trump needed to make room at the inauguration for the "sleezeballs [sic] the Republicans have chosen for his cabinet." Of course, it was Trump himself who chose the members of his Cabinet, not "the Republicans."
The story claims an empty seat will be on stage "reserved for 'corruption' in honor of the new administration." This is not true.
Traditionally, living former presidents and their spouses have attended the inauguration of the new president. In fact, it's unusual for a former president not to make an appearance, but it happens occasionally.
And another tip-off that this is a fake new story? The article cites a statement from Trump's "public relations guy Jeff" -- adding that Jeff's statement would be released "later tonight" on social media and through "several other of the new reputable sources for information."
No statement from Trump has ever been released on this topic and -- you guessed it -- there is no record of any statement from anyone named "Jeff" on Trump's communications staff either.
Here's What's Actually Going to Happen
This fake news article was published for the first time just days before aides to both Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton confirmed to ABC News that they would attend the inauguration, as former president and former first lady.
The Obamas are attending the inauguration, too. This is a long-standing tradition. The departure of the outgoing president is actually woven into the ceremony itself.
President Jimmy Carter will be there, as will President George W. Bush. But former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush will not attend Trump's inauguration for health reasons -- they were hospitalized this week for respiratory ailments. They also didn't attend Obama's second inaugural ceremony in 2013.
The annual Al Smith Dinner, a political tradition in New York, landed just after the third presidential debate during the campaign. It marked the last time Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were in the same room, but you can expect to see them both at the inauguration.
If you believed the fake story -- you weren't alone.
"Excellent! Glad Hillary and Bill will not be making it! Woot woot!" one comment reads. Another commenter warns: "You may have to uninvite her again and again; she doesn't take NO for an answer very quickly."
Trump is set to be inaugurated -- with the Obamas and Clintons in attendance -- on Friday.
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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