Donald Trump Spread Fake News About British Royal Family To Boost Publicity

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at 10 Downing Street on June 4, 2019 in London, England.
Peter Summers / Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s recent United Kingdom visit had plenty of highlights, including a fist bump, as The Inquisitir previously reported, and his state dinner at Buckingham Palace hosted by Queen Elizabeth II. But in the wake of his visit, a CNN report suggests that the president leaked false information — or “fake news,” as he often calls it — to the press in the 1980s and 1990s that suggested that members of the British royal family were staying at his properties.

Business Insider reports that Trump made the claims to generate buzz, and although they started in New York tabloids, they eventually made their way into national publications.

An August 1981 article published by the Associated Press reveals an example of this strategy.

“Prince Charles and his new bride are planning to buy a $5 million, 21-room apartment in a building under construction here, the New York Post said today,” the story reads, adding that Buckingham Palace aides met with Trump personally to seal the deal.

However, the Associated Press posted a follow-up article denying the claims,

“There is no truth at all in this story,” said David Wiggs, a spokesperson at the time for the British Information Service.

“Prince Charles is not planning to buy a condominium in New York.”

Other similar rumors surfaced throughout the ’80s and ’90s, and all appeared to be false rumors that claimed that members of the British royal family were considering accommodations at Trump properties.

Trump even used his book, The Art of the Deal, to address a rumor that Princess Diana and Prince Charles were considering buying an apartment in Trump Tower. Although Trump said he received the information from an unsolicited call from a reporter, he says he refused to confirm or deny the claim.

“Our policy was not to comment about sales, and that’s what I told this reporter.”

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“Apparently, the reporter then decided to call Buckingham Palace,” he said later, suggesting that at this time, the royal couple were on their honeymoon. The Buckingham Palace spokesperson also did not confirm or deny the rumor.

“That was all the media needed,” Trump said, adding that without a flat-out denial, “the story that the royal couple was considering buying an apartment in Trump Tower became front-page news all over the world.”

Trump added that the rumor didn’t hurt his business and that it made him laugh to himself.

Michael d’Antonio, the author of The Truth About Trump, claims that Trump operated under the hope that if he threw enough rumors at the media, one of them would end up sticking with a legitimate publication, such as the Associated Press.