On Sept. 20, 2022, the word “cremated” began to trend on Twitter with an unfounded rumor about the death of Ivana Trump, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s first ex-wife.
She died on July 14 and was buried six days later at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. According to The New York Times, the ground at the golf club was “consecrated so Ms. Trump could have a traditional Catholic burial.”
One tweet asked, “If Ivana was cremated, what was in the coffin?” A different tweet included a picture of pallbearers carrying her casket and also claimed she had been cremated. We found no shortage of tweets that pushed this completely unsupported rumor that claimed she had been cremated.
“If Ivana was cremated, then what actually IS in her grave?,” another user tweeted on July 31. “Anybody know the whereabouts of those 15 boxes of classified documents Trump stole?”
Basically, this conspiracy theory about the death of Ivana Trump had two components for which there was no evidence: cremation (as opposed to an intact-body burial) and the stashing of secret documents in her supposed casket.
In the weeks after her death, news broke that federal investigators had found hundreds of documents of various classifications including top secret on the property of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The Associated Press reported that the documents belonged to the National Archives and Records Administration. Investigators also reportedly uncovered empty folders that originally contained high-level documents, which perhaps provided more fuel to the baseless rumors, apparently contending that the missing documents were stashed in the casket.
In sum, no evidence has been presented to support the conspiracy theory that she was cremated, nor was there any proof that a casket supposedly for her instead contained additional secret documents beyond the hundreds that investigators had already uncovered. For these reasons, we have rated this claim as, “Unfounded.”
For further reading, we recommend Mike Rothschild’s extensive, in-depth article on The Daily Dot, titled, “Why Resistance Twitter still wants to dig up Ivana Trump’s grave.” Rothschild called the rumors “a perfect storm for an unceasing conspiracy.”
Bernstein, Jacob. “At Ivana Trump’s Funeral, a Gold-Hued Coffin and the Secret Service.” The New York Times, 21 July 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/20/style/ivana-trump-funeral.html.
Blake, Aaron. “Analysis | What We Know about Trump and the Empty Folders.” Washington Post, 2 Sept. 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/02/empty-folders-marked-classified/.
Colvin, Jill, and Jennifer Peltz. “Ivana Trump, First Wife of Former President, Dies at 73.” AP News, 15 July 2022, https://apnews.com/article/ivana-trump-dead-f1ec9e0c3e3a3fcde7ed4a7382eef495.
Colvin, Jill, and Lindsay Whitehurst. “A Timeline of the Investigation into Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Docs.” AP News, 1 Sept. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/biden-donald-trump-mar-a-lago-subpoenas-b8082283fc599738c92d1f1ec8680924.
Ibrahim, Nur. “Was Ivana Trump Buried at the Trump National Golf Club?” Snopes.com, 1 Aug. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/ivana-trump-golf-club-burial/.
Rothschild, Mike. “Why Resistance Twitter Still Wants to Dig up Ivana Trump’s Grave.” The Daily Dot, 14 Sept. 2022, https://www.dailydot.com/debug/ivana-trump-cremated-conspiracy/.
Tucker, Eric. “More than 100 Classified Trump Docs Recovered Back in Jan.” AP News, 23 Aug. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-mar-a-lago-classified-documents-978102a161b646342b02ea71020dc4a2.
—. “Obstruction Now a Major Focus in Trump Documents Probe.” Snopes.com via The Associated Press, 31 Aug. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/ap/2022/09/01/obstruction-now-a-major-focus-in-trump-documents-probe/.