Fake Trump quotes spread after Hunter Biden conviction

An image circulating online purports to show Donald Trump vowing to "save" Hunter Biden after a jury found him guilty of federal gun charges. But the supposed Trump campaign statement is fake, a spokesperson confirmed to AFP.

"Many people have asked me to comment on the conviction of Hunter Biden," says what appears to be a June 11, 2024 statement from the Trump campaign. "Sleepy Joe's son was found guilty of lying on an application for a gun."

It continues: "Hunter Biden is a terrible person who has funneled millions of dollars from other countries to his father. Even so, it is hard to blame him for wanting a gun, which he has a God-given right to have under the 2nd Amendment. Probably the greatest Amendment of them all, if we're being totally honest. 

"His father, one of our worst presidents, is more concerned with making the gun control people happy, so he won't have the courage to step in here and help Hunter. Don't worry, Joe - I will Save your son after I get elected (for the third time)!"

Screenshot from X taken June 11, 2024

Posts sharing what seem to be screenshots of the message rocketed across X, amplified by prominent accounts such as the conservative-leaning polling company Rasmussen Reports and former Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod.

Some websites and news organizations, including Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, also reported on the inaccurate quotes.

The claims come after the embattled 54-year-old son of President Joe Biden was convicted June 11 of all three felony counts stemming from his 2018 purchase of a handgun while addicted to drugs.

But the statement circulating online does not appear on the website or social media pages associated with the Trump campaign -- and Karoline Leavitt, his national press secretary, confirmed in a June 11 email that it is fabricated. 

Jason Miller, the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee's senior adviser, also said on X that it is "fake" in response to since-deleted posts from conservative commentators Kyle Becker and Charlie Kirk.

The Trump campaign shared its real statement, attributed to Leavitt, in a release to US media, on its website and on social media (archived here, here, here and here).

"This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from China, Russia and Ukraine," it says, referencing Hunter Biden's business dealings in China and Ukraine, which have formed the basis for Republican allegations of corruption against Joe Biden that have so far produced no concrete evidence against the president.

"Crooked Joe Biden’s reign over the Biden Family Criminal Empire is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit."

The historic verdict against the younger Biden follows Trump's felony conviction less than two weeks earlier for falsifying business records in New York.

AFP has debunked other fabricated Trump statements and posts here, here, here, here and here.

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