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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Trump and Putin NOT Spotted at Swiss Resort Prior to Election

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 13 Feb 2017 18:05:12 Z)

The fake news website The Sacramento Dispatch published an article titled: "BOMBSHELL: Trump and Putin Spotted at Swiss Resort Prior to Election"

It alleges Donald Trump secretly met with Vladimir Putin in a Swiss resort during the campaign for the 2016 election. The article starts:

Amidst controversy that President Trump had ties with the Russian government prior to the 2016 presidential election, a shocking, yet currently unsubstantiated report comes from sources within the Alpine region of Switzerland.

According to the multiple media outlets, reports from Nathan Sjögren, a 42-year-old employee of Die Böhmische Therme (known as the Volmer Institute to US travelers) a high-class "wellness spa" located in the Swiss Alps, the then 2016 republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian president, Vladimir Putin were enjoying the resort's amenities together on the afternoon of June 25, 2016. Trump was off the campaign trail during that time for a business trip to Scotland where he took place in the opening ceremony for his newest golf course.

First clue the article is a hoax: "shocking, yet unsubstantiated". That means nobody was able to indepently verify the information. But there is no need to because the entire article seems to be part of a promotional campaign for the horror movie "A Cure for Wellness".

Both the mysterious "Volmer Institute" and the employee named "Lockhart" mentioned in the story come directly from the movie (you can check here at IMDB). And the quote "There is a sickness inside us" is another direct reference to the health resort from the film. It appears someone connected to the movie set up an entire network of fake news websites in order to promote the film. You can read more about that here.

So we are pretty sure the entire story is fake and that there is no actual video of Trump and Putin meeting in the Swiss Alps. Just an actual horror movie.

Meanwhile the fake news about Trump and Putin is still spreading, as the Trendolizer graph at the end of this article shows. You can do your part to stop it by pointing people who are sharing it to this article.

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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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