On 11 March 2017, the web site The Satira Tribune published an article reporting that President Donald Trump had cut funding for the veteran suicide hotline to avoid the appearance of “our soldiers being weak”:
The political move will cut spending by 40% to $450,000 per year.
“We don’t want the showing of our soldiers being weak, so I’m closing that hotline down at some point. Trust me, I’m doing them a favor,” said President Donald Trump. “In the long run, they will all be thanking me about how it was genius, extremely genius move on my part.”
Trump aids said he worked on this hundred thousand dollar hotline that serviced nearly 2 million veterans per month. “His top priority this week was to cut the veteran suicide thing hotline or whatever,” said an aid. “He was obsessed with it.”
This article was a piece of fiction from The Satira Tribune, a web site with a history of publishing fake news stories that carries a brief disclaimer noting that it traffics in “satirical and futuristic news.”
A New York Times article concerning the plight of veterans with regard to health care, suicide, homelessness, and post-traumatic stress disorder published on the same day as this piece of satire made no mention of President Trump’s alleged decision to cut funding for a veterans’ suicide hotline.
Furthermore, the Veteran Crisis Line web site has not made any announcements concerning a lack of funding due to decisions made by the Trump administration. The web site is still operational, and the phone line (1-800-273-8255) is still taking calls.