A composite image of Native actor Saginaw Grant and President Trump was posted on The Postillion in February 2017, attached to a satirical story about deporting Native Americans to India.
National | Politics

Associated Press forced to debunk article about Trump and Indians




An obviously fake article on a satirical website had to be debunked, again, after it claimed President Donald Trump wanted to ship Native Americans "back to where they came from – India."

The article -- titled "Trump wants to deport American Indians to India" -- appeared on The Postillion more than a year ago. It featured a composite image of Trump and Native actor Saginaw Grant, along with a couple of invented tweets that indicated the source of the president's concerns.

"Indians think they can come to US, smoke pipes and take away our land," one of the fake tweets read. "NO CHANCE. I say send them back to India!"

The post was long ago deleted from The Postillion's site but in this era of #fakenews and troll factories in Russia, The Associated Press felt the need to debunk it anew.

"Native Americans were granted U.S. citizenship in 1924," the AP wrote in its fact check this week, which came after Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, himself made a trip to India.


Other fact-checking sites, including Snopes, PolitiFact and FactCheck, had already debunked the article after it appeared last year.

"Lol. I think that has been floating around the Internet for a while," noted one prominent tribal citizen, who is of American Indian and Indian descent.

But it turns out there might be a good reason to bring up The Postillion again. According to Snopes and PolitiFact, "Native" websites like WeLoveNative.com and NativeAmericans.news eagerly promoted the Trump deportation story last year.

Are you a "Strong Native" who liked the "Strong Native" page on Facebook? It was fake.

Back in April 2017, PolitiFact noted that both of those sites were registered in Kosovo -- a territory in Europe, far from Indian Country. Yet it wasn't until this month, amid heightened focus on the use of social media to spread disinformation in America, that Media Matters got Facebook to take down a series of "Native" pages that reached more than 3.8 million people.

Those fake pages, which bore names like "Native Americans Proud" and "Pawnee Native Americans" and featured stereotypical and vague images of Native people, all originated in Kosovo, Media Matters discovered.

WeLoveNative.com and NativeAmericans.news are not serving any content at the moment. Archived versions of their sites indicate they ran posts about the #NoDAPL movement and the "real reason why Native Americans keep their hair long."

The Postillion is still alive and kicking. "Trump proposes arming guns so they can defend themselves against being used in school shootings," reads a new story. It's not real.