Fact Check

No, Bill Gates' Wyoming Ranch Wasn't Stormed by Navy SEALs

Genuine news outlets don't carry "parody" disclaimers.

Published May 25, 2021

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Bill Gates' Wyoming ranch was "stormed" by Navy SEALs on May 17, 2021.

On May 20, 2021, the website Real Raw News published an article falsely claiming that Microsoft founder Bill Gates' Wyoming ranch had been raided by Navy SEALs:

This is not a genuine news story. Real Raw News is not a credible source for news. In fact, they included a disclaimer on their website "on the advice of legal counsel" to clarify that their content contains "humor, parody, and satire."

The disclaimer reads:

"Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel."

While many readers seemed to have missed this disclaimer, we'll take a look at some of the logical holes in this fictional narrative.

A Lack of Evidence

For starters, this article contains no photos or videos that show this alleged raid taking place. The article claims that this raid involved a team of SEALs, drones, an underground dungeon, seized cameras, and a 15-minute gunfight that resulted in eight deaths. And the source for all of this information? A single anonymous source that in all likelihood doesn't exist. Speaking of ...

Anonymous Sources

This story claims that this information originated with an anonymous source. While genuine news outlets use anonymous sources for a variety of reasons, this practice does tend to generate skepticism toward a story. In fact, former U.S. President Donald Trump once said:

"Do not believe any article or story you read or see that uses “anonymous sources” having to do with trade or any other subject. Only accept information if it has an actual living name on it. The Fake News Media makes up many “sources say” stories. Do not believe them!"

Furthermore, from a strictly logical standpoint, the use of an anonymous source in this story is flawed.

Real Raw News claims in this story that this source is connected to Trump, "Trump's Deep State War," and this raid. If that is really the case (which it isn't) why would this story be leaked to a disreputable news site and nowhere else? If Trump wanted news of this raid to be public, why not publish videos and photos? Why not hold a news conference? Why would they publicize this news in a way (via an anonymous source) that Trump specifically railed against? Is this source a defector? Did they disobey Trump's orders by making this "secret raid" public?

Those questions are moot, of course, because this source most likely doesn't even exist.

Former President Donald Trump Is Not Running the Military

This article is largely based on the premise that Trump is still, somehow, controlling the military. This is not true. Trump has been spending his post-presidency time in Mar-A-Lago, issuing statements via email (since he was banned from many social media platforms over fears that he would incite further violence against the United States).

Why Would Melinda Gates Confide in Trump?

Real Raw News claims that this fictional raid was set into motion after Melinda Gates confided in Trump about the romantic affairs of her husband, Bill Gates. This would be a rather odd turn of events for two reasons. First, Melinda Gates frequently criticized Trump. For example, in September 2020, she criticized Trump for his "lack of leadership" during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in February 2018, she said she wished Trump would treat people with more respect.

Second, while QAnon conspiracy theorists have championed Trump as a defender against child sexual abuse, the former president had his own connections to Epstein, once saying that he was a "terrific guy" that was "a lot of fun to be with." Trump went on: "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

In other words, the notion that Melinda Gates would seek out Trump's help to investigate a Jeffrey Epstein-related sex dungeon is simply unfathomable.

A History of Falsehoods

This story also originated with a website that has a penchant for publishing falsehoods. The website, for instance, claimed that former Vice President Mike Pence had been shot in the chest as he attempted to flee police. Another article claimed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been hung at Guantanamo Bay.

Real Raw News does not traffic in genuine news reporting. This is a satire website that publishes QAnon fan fiction from an alternate universe.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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