Claim: Pope Francis has announced that he is endorsing US presidential candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
Originated from WTOE5news,com, EndingTheFed.com
Date(s) active: July 2016, Oct 2016
Claims that Pope Francis has “shocked the world” by endorsing US presidential candidate for the republican party Donald Trump are spreading across social media. The claims seem to be linking back to either a website called WTOE5News or EndingtheFed, both of which have published the exact same article. That article reads in part –
VATICAN CITY – News outlets around the world are reporting on the news that Pope Francis has made the unprecedented decision to endorse a US presidential candidate. His statement in support of Donald Trump was released from the Vatican this evening:
The rumours are false, and derive from a fake news website that specialises in publishing fake news. It appears the site WTOE5News – a fake news site – originally published the article. That site has a disclaimer that reads –
WTOE 5 News is a fantasy news website. Most articles on wtoe5news.com are satire or pure fantasy.
The story was then picked up by several different websites, most popularly by EndingTheFed.com, a politically motivated website that doesn’t appear too concerned with what they publish providing it fits with their political narrative.
Has the pope ever endorsed a presidential candidate before?
While there have been plenty of rumours and fake news spreading regarding this issue, and many have attempted to translate statements made by the pope into subtle and implicit endorsements, the answer is still NO. No pope has officially endorsed a US presidential candidate, including Pope Francis.
Previous rumours have also falsely claimed that the pope has endorsed both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Again, these are just baseless rumors.