Fact Check

Stephen King Once Said, 'Hard to Believe There Was Ever a World Leader as Dumb as Donald Trump'?

The author has long been outspoken about his distaste for the former U.S. president.

Published Sep 18, 2023

 (Occupy Democrats/Facebook)
Image Via Occupy Democrats/Facebook
Claim:
Author Stephen King once said, "Hard to believe there was ever a world leader as dumb as Donald Trump. Can't spell, can't read, has never managed anything approaching an original thought. His brain is like a radio playing at top volume, but between stations. "

Author Stephen King has long been outspoken about his distaste for former U.S. President Donald Trump. For example, King called Trump a "horrible president and horrible person" during an interview published by The Sunday TImes in August 2022. But did King once say it was hard to believe there was ever a world leader as dumb as the former president?

That's what viral social media posts have claimed for years. On Sept. 17, 2023, a X (formerly known as Twitter) post said, "Retweet if you agree with Stephen King." 

Attached to the post was an image that showed King next to a quote that said:

Hard to believe there was ever a world leader as dumb as Donald Trump. Can't spell, can't read, has never managed anything approaching an original thought. His brain is like a radio playing at top volume, but between stations. 

The quote was correctly attributed to King. It was posted to his X account on Feb. 28, 2020. It read:

We found the same image attached to social media posts on other platforms, like Reddit, TikTok, and Facebook. Similar images claiming King had said the quote were found on Facebook from as early as 2020.

"Occupy Democrats," a liberal advocacy group, also posted the quote to the group's Facebook page soon after King posted it on X:

We've previously fact-checked other claims about King, like a satirical post that said his book sales dropped by 70% after he "went woke."

Sources

"Https://Twitter.Com/StephenKing/Status/1233585377409163270." X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/StephenKing/status/1233585377409163270. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. "Stephen King's Book Sales Dropped 70% After He 'Went Woke'?" Snopes, 14 Aug. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/stephen-king-books/.

Log in or Sign up to View. https://www.facebook.com/login/. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.

Ramachandran, Naman. "'Trump Was a Horrible President and Is a Horrible Person,' Says Stephen King." Variety, 15 Aug. 2022, https://variety.com/2022/politics/global/donald-trump-stephen-king-1235341193/.

Silverman, Craig & Ryan Mac. "Facebook Reduced Traffic To Leading Liberal Pages Just Before The Election." BuzzFeed News, 3 Nov. 2020, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/facebook-cut-traffic-liberal-pages-before-election.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.