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Fact Checking Claims That Obama Adviser David Axelrod Was Arrested
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Fact Checking Claims That Obama Adviser David Axelrod Was Arrested

He wasn’t.

A Facebook post claims that David Axelrod, former senior adviser to Barack Obama and political commentator for CNN, was arrested in Chicago on April 15. The post shares a screenshot of a viral article from Real Raw News, which claims to be an “an independent publisher” that “explores content often avoided by the mainstream media.” 

According to both the article and the Facebook post: “White Hats on Friday arrested former Obama strategist David Axelrod near his condominium in the South Loop suburb of Chicago.”

“A confidential source in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps told Real Raw News that U.S. Marines caught Axelrod as he was travelling [sic] from Chicago to a friend’s vacation home in Whiting, Indiana,” the article continued. 

Axelrod was not arrested by U.S. Marines on April 15.

In an emailed statement to the Dispatch Fact Check, Axelrod said: “The only thing that’s accurate in this so-called news story is the spelling of my name. The rest is pure ludicrous fiction. This is a prototype of how viral conspiracy theories begin.”

There has been no official announcement of any kind about this alleged news. In addition, Axelrod has tweeted from his official Twitter account as recently as April 18, promoting his new podcast episode, which was published on April 14.

Real Raw News, as we have reported before, has a history of publishing baseless stories about fake arrests and executions. Real Raw News’ website also has a disclaimer on its website that says: “Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on [sic] legal counsel.”

As noted in a previous fact check, Politifact found that the website was developed by a person who uses the pseudonym “Michael Baxter,” and has run at least three other websites that have also promoted false and conspiratorial theories and misinformation.   

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Khaya Himmelman is a fact checker for The Dispatch. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and Barnard College.