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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Hollywood Actor Bruce Willis Did NOT Say Trump Is The Best US President Ever

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 26 Oct 2019 08:20:55 Z)

Did Bruce Willis say Donald Trump is the best US President ever? No, that's not true: and old fake quote often accompanied by a screenshot from a comedy bit with Willis wearing a MAGA had on Jimmy Fallon's show keeps making the rounds online but it is not real.

The story reappeared as an article (archived here) where it was published by USA TOP NEWS under the title "Hollywood Actor Bruce Willis: 'Trump Is The Best US President Ever, Anyone Who Dislikes Him Should Move To...'". It opened:

Hollywood on-screen character bruce willis once more communicated his unequivocal guide for president donald trump in a most recent meeting with jimmy fallon, regardless of the way that nowadays it's exceptionally remarkable for him to be bolstered by methods for any hollywood VIP.

While willis moved toward becoming asked around his sentiment on trump's administration so far he stated: "I guess that he's doing initially rate. In truth, he basically may be the fine us president ever."

Screenshot of https://www.peternews.xyz/hollywood-actor-bruce-willis-trump-is-the-best-us-president-ever-anyone-who-dislikes-him-should-move-to/

The image used with the story is from an appearance by Willis on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show:

willis.jpg

You can watch the bit here:

It dates back to October 2015, well before Trump was elected president. So it would have been impossible for Willis to have said during the interview that Trump was the best president ever since he hadn't even been sworn in (or even elected) at that time yet. Instead the video was gently mocking Trump's hairstyle since Willis is normally bald and he sported a Trump-style wig during the interview. During the comedy bit several images of Willis were shown depicting him in scenes from his best-known movies with the Trump wig digitally added to his head.

The appearance was widely reported on at the time but no mention was made of Willis praising Trump as the best president ever:

Bruce Willis Dresses Up as Donald Trump on 'Tonight Show'

Bruce Willis added impersonator to his resume of talents during Friday night's Tonight Show. The actor, who is starring in the upcoming release of Rock the Kasbah and is in his first Broadway play Misery, was greeted by the late-night host with compliments on his looks, which closely resembled GOP candidate Donald Trump.

Trump seemed to enjoy the gentle mockery because later in the week after the interview aired he sent out a tweet showing Willis wearing a MAGA hat during the bit:

So where did the false story originate from? Both Snopes and Politifact saw it going around on various dodgy websites in 2017 and 2018. It looks like it first appeared on November 24, 2017 on a (now defunct) website called American Conservative News. The text was slightly different compared to the USA TOP NEWS version:

Hollywood actor Bruce Willis once again expressed his unconditional support for President Donald Trump in a recent interview with Jimmy Fallon, although these days it's very unusual for him to be supported by any Hollywood star.

When Willis was asked about his opinion on Trump's presidency so far he said: "I think that he's doing great. In fact, he just might be the best US President ever."

That does indeed make more sense than:

Hollywood on-screen character bruce willis once more communicated his unequivocal guide for president donald trump in a most recent meeting with jimmy fallon, regardless of the way that nowadays it's exceptionally remarkable for him to be bolstered by methods for any hollywood VIP.

While willis moved toward becoming asked around his sentiment on trump's administration so far he stated: "I guess that he's doing initially rate. In truth, he basically may be the fine us president ever."

It appears the text has been transformed using a technique called article spinning that involves replacing words and phrases with synonyms and similar expressions in order to fool plagiarism detectors and other on-line countermeasures deployed by search engines and social media platforms to stop spammers and scammers. It is a trick often used by unethical websites stealing content from various sources without permission so they can then repost it in various on-line groups and communities and reap advertising profits from somebody else's work.

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

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