On 18 June 2017, the web site The Daily Chronicle published a fake news article claiming that President Trump’s son Barron had won a national academic award:
This just in: Barron Trump wins a hugely important award in the field of academics.
Barron, who has been working tirelessly at his prep school, made his Science Awards debut with a brand new project centered around the regulation of thermodynamics in shale rock in the upper peninsula of Lake Porter, Arkansas.
Trump won the grand prize of the festivities: a check for $150,000 to continue his education in the field of Thermodynamics.
“I’ve never seen a smarter kid,” president of the Science Awards Teddy Rusker said. “Really, his project was incredible. He might end up being the next great American scientist.”
Although The Daily Chonicle insists that it is dedicated to the “unbiased and the unvarnished truth” and claims that it was founded to fight back “against biased and inaccurate mainstream media sources,” this story about Barron Trump winning an academic award is a fake news article.
The Daily Chronicle does not carry a disclaimer labeling its content as fictional. However, the web site does state that it does not stand by the accuracy of its content:
Further, The Daily Chronicle does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on its website or otherwise relating to such materials or on any sites linked to this site.
One giveaway that this article is fake is the suspicious lack of details. For instance, the article doesn’t say which award Trump won (other than the generic title “Science Award”), nor do they report which organization held the contest. We found no record of an organization called “Science Awards,” nor any listing for a “Teddy Rusker” as a president of a similarly named organization. Furthermore, the web site for Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, where Barron Trump attended school, makes no mention of one of its students winning this purportedly prestigious prize.
In addition to this fake science award, The Daily Chronicle also claimed that Barron Trump had applied and been accepted to a variety of Ivy League schools. Not only is this implausible, since Barron Trump is only 11, but First Lady Melania Trump already announced in May 2017 that Barron will attend St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, in the fall:
“We are very excited for our son to attend St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. It is known for its diverse community and commitment to academic excellence,” First Lady Melania Trump said in a statement. “The mission of St. Andrew’s is ‘to know and inspire each child in an inclusive community dedicated to exceptional teaching, learning, and service,’ all of which appealed to our family. We look forward to the coming school years at St. Andrew’s.”