Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Mexican Drug Kingpin El Chapo DID NOT Donate 15M to Clinton Foundation

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 13 Jan 2017 11:21:36 Z)

A relatively new fake news website claimed in an article dated January 9th 2017 that Julian Assange of Wikileaks published an 'intelligence report' about ties between Hillary Clinton and Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán. The fake article stated:

Speaking at a conference over the weekend, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks stated the report was "yet another blow to the questionable integrity of the Clinton Foundation."

A report from intelligence officials found with "high confidence" that $320M Mexican Pesos (approximately $15M USD) was transferred from Guzman's offshore shell assets in Saudi Arabia and Ukraine to Hillary Clinton's private account in the Cayman Islands. This was then redirected to the Clinton Foundation.

Leadstories' Trendolizer engine detected that this article was gaining traction online so we decided to investigate. There are several clues that this article is bogus:


  • The website hosting it (times.com.mx) has only been registered a few weeks ago and appears to be pretending to be a Mexican edition of The Times. There is no such newspaper in Mexico.
  • The author of the article ("John T. Robertson") appears to have written only one article on the site and there is no biographical information listed about him.
  • There is no information about this story on the Wikileaks.org site or on their twitter account.
  • No other reputable news sources are reporting the story.

Despite all this there were enough people willing to share the article online without any verification, as this Trendolizer graph shows:

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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