Fact Check

Trump Did Not Tell Supporters to Boycott Midterms Because DOJ 'Treating Him So Unfairly'

This rumor originated from a Twitter account that describes itself as a publisher of "satire" and "liberal comedy."

Published Aug 15, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 10:  Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James for a civil investigation on August 10, 2022 in New York City.  (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images) (James Devaney/GC Images)
Image Via James Devaney/GC Images
Claim:
In August 2022, former U.S. President Donald Trump told his supporters to boycott the midterm elections because of how the U.S. Department of Justice was "treating him so unfairly."

On Aug. 14, 2022, a Twitter account titled "The Halfway Post" tweeted, "BREAKING: Donald Trump is telling all his supporters to boycott the midterm elections because of how the DOJ is treating him so unfairly."

However, this was not real news. The Halfway Post's own Twitter bio says the account publishes "satire" and "liberal comedy."

Trump did not tell his supporters to "boycott" the upcoming midterm elections "because of how the DOJ is treating him so unfairly." The mention of the Department of Justice, or "DOJ," referred to the agency's involvement with the FBI search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida. The search was conducted with a warrant on Aug. 8.

Reputable news outlets including the Associated Press, Washington Post, and New York Times documented what agents sought in the search. The reporting spelled out what was believed to have been seized, including documents labeled "top secret," and also provided information about a previous search of Trump's estate earlier in the year.

The August 2022 tweet from The Halfway Post wasn't the first time the account published a "satirical" message that claimed Trump told his supporters to "boycott" the midterm elections, as we previously reported.

Separately, it's true that Trump did once put out a statement in October 2021 that said, "Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24," if the country doesn't "solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020" — referring to the false and debunked idea that massive voter fraud plagued the 2020 presidential election between Trump and U.S. President Joe Biden. This genuine message from Trump was unrelated to the August 2022 tweet from The Halfway Post that referenced the DOJ.

In sum, no, Trump did not tell his supporters in August 2022 to boycott the upcoming midterm elections "because of how the DOJ is treating him so unfairly." This rumor originated from a Twitter account that describes its output as "satire" and "liberal comedy."

Sources:

Barrett, Devlin, et al. “FBI Searched Trump’s Home to Look for Nuclear Documents and Other Items, Sources Say.” Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/08/11/garland-trump-mar-a-lago/.

“FBI Seized ‘Top Secret’ Documents from Trump Home.” Snopes.com via The Associated Press, 12 Aug. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/ap/2022/08/12/fbi-seized-top-secret-documents-from-trump-home/.

Haberman, Maggie, and Glenn Thrush. “Trump Lawyer Told Justice Dept. That Classified Material Had Been Returned.” The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/13/us/politics/trump-classified-material-fbi.html.

@HalfwayPost. Twitter, 14 Aug. 2022, https://twitter.com/halfwaypost/status/1558840832844828672.

Lee, Jessica. “Did Trump Instruct Republicans Not To Vote in 2022 or 2024?” Snopes.com, 14 Oct. 2021, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-vote-2022-2024/.

MacGuill, Dan. “Midterms 2022: Did Trump Say ‘If We Can’t MAGA, Stay Home in November’?” Snopes.com, 2 May 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-stay-home-in-november/.

“Read the Warrant That Allowed the FBI to Search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Estate.” Snopes.com via The Associated Press, 12 Aug. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/ap/2022/08/12/fbi-warrant-trump/.

Jordan Liles is a Snopes reporter with expertise in investigating misinformation, inauthentic social media activity, and scams.

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