Gun Gadfly

Donald Trump controversially observed that he could shoot an individual on a widely trafficked New York City street and not "lose one voter."


Claim: Donald Trump claimed he could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" and not "lose any voters."

True

Example: [Collected via e-mail and Facebook, January 2016]

Seen on Facebook, is this real: Donald Trump: "Shoot Somebody" And Not Lose Any Voters Donald J. Trump says he could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" and not lose any voters.

Origin:On 23 January 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump caused controversy when he stated the following during a campaign rally in Iowa:

I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters.

The comment was part of a larger point Trump was making about the loyalty of his voting base, a comment that appears in context in the video embedded below at approximately the 0:22 mark:

Although the excerpted remark was widely reproduced in an accurate fashion, the broader context of Trump's comments was generally absent in news and social media reports. On 23 January 2016, Mother Jones published an article that consisted of a looping Vine clip of the singular remark, along with the following text:

"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn't lose any voters, ok? It's, like, incredible." — Donald Trump, who is currently the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president, insulting the intelligence of his own supporters.

A longer version of the clip was available by clicking the provided link, but the Vine version elided the larger context of Trump's comments. Gawker filed a post on the issue that reported:

Nothing can stop Donald Trump, according to Donald Trump — not even cold-blooded murder.

In an effort to demonstrate how dedicated his supporters are, Trump said at a rally at Dordt College in Iowa on Friday that even if he were to shoot someone, his voters would still support him[.]

Other outlets and users shared the same excerpt, primarily without any additional context:

Donald J. Trump has made no secret of his confidence in his latest speech. He said he could 'shoot somebody' and still not lose voters. STORY: http://yhoo.it/1PqSiLV #7News

Posted by 7 News Australia on Saturday, January 23, 2016


It's true that Trump made the "shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue" remark widely attributed to him across standard and social media sites. However, the (somewhat clumsy and crass) comment also generally appeared absent of its broader context, which pertained to the loyalty of his followers, and not an actual desire, intent, or interest in shooting any individuals for the sole reason that he believed it would have no effect on his popularity.

Last updated: 24 January 2016

Originally published: 24 January 2016

Kim LaCapria is a New York-based content manager and longtime snopes.com message board participant. Although she was investigated and found to be "probably false" by snopes.com in early 2002, Kim later began writing for the site due to an executive order unilaterally passed by President Obama during a secret, late-night session (without the approval of Congress). Click like and share if you think this is an egregious example of legislative overreach.



Snopes