Fact Check

Was Malia Obama Fired from an Internship at the Spanish Embassy?

Fake news web sites reported that the former President Obama's elder daughter was terminated for smoking pot on the job.

Published Jul 14, 2017

 (Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Wikimedia Commons
Malia Obama was fired from an internship at the United States Embassy in Spain (not the Spanish Embassy) after being caught smoking pot on the job.

On 29 June 2017, the unreliable web site FreedomCrossroads.us posted a report stating that former President Obama's elder daughter, Malia, was fired from a "cushy" internship at the United States Embassy in Spain for using drugs:

How does an 18-year-old girl fresh out of high school who has been caught smoking pot more than the Bush twins were caught drinking land a job as an intern at the US Embassy in Spain? Privilege. Obama and his pals liked to call it “white privilege,” but they really can’t in this case, can they? In this case the daughter of a president was moved to the front of the line.

It didn’t last long, however, because just like at home, Malia has issues with staying out of trouble. She was caught, by Embassy Security — aka the US Marines — on the roof of the building burning a doobie and playing with the Ambassador’s carrier pigeons. Ambassador Bedard is an avid hobbyist.

Malia was terminated immediately, her room was cleared and she was escorted from the private areas of the embassy to the common area where she could wait to change the dates on her travel visa so she could return home....

Although it was widely reposted and shared on social media as if factual, the report is entirely fictitious. As it happens, Malia Obama did work as an intern at the United States Embassy in Spain the previous summer (2016), but she was not fired from the job at that time, nor did she return to it in 2017 — so she couldn't have been fired from it then either. This year, according to mainstream press reports, Malia Obama completed a spring internship in New York City before vacationing with her parents overseas in June.

The original source of the false report, Freedom Crossroads, bills itself as a "satirical" web site dedicated to lampooning conservative politics:

We believe that there is nothing more precious than the mind of an aging conservative. Here we gather a boatload of bullhonkey, works of pure satirical fiction, to give the fist-shakers of the world a reason to hate. Reality is often in the eye of the beholder. You won’t find any of it here.

Previous specimens of Freedom Crossroads' "bullhonkey" include reports that barrels containing human remains were found on Bill and Hillary Clinton's property and that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's daughters were arrested for smuggling cocaine.

Previous stories spread about the teenaged daughter of the former United States President include rumors that she had been arrested with a "gang of thugs," was expelled from Harvard, and was pregnant when she was sixteen. All of these stories were false.


Weaver, Hillary.   "Sasha and Malia Obama Get in on Their Parents’ Year of Epic Vacations."    Vanity Fair.   27 June 2017.

Fox News.  "Malia Obama to spend summer as an intern at U.S. Embassy in Spain."    28 June 2016.

Freedom Crossroads.   "Malia Obama Fired From Cushy Internship At Spanish Embassy."    29 June 2017.

David Emery is a West Coast-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.

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