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The claim: The mayor of Livermore, California, wrote an essay on Trump’s popularity and success
A viral post circulating on social media claims to be an opinion piece defending President Donald Trump’s “lack of Decorum, Dignity and Statesmanship” purportedly written by the former mayor of Livermore, California, Marshall Kamena.
“Very interesting theory on Trump’s success,” reads a July 2018 Facebook post that recently resurfaced. “The mayor of Livermore California explains Trump’s popularity and success. This is perhaps the best explanation for Trump’s popularity.”
The post claims Kamena ran on the Democratic ticket “as he knew a Bay Area city would never vote for a Republican.”
The post has more than 228,000 shares and is accompanied by a photo of Trump and former President Barack Obama.
USA TODAY was unable to reach the user for comment.
Kamena did not run as a Democrat
The essay is not only misattributed to Kamena, but it also falsely claims he is the current mayor of Livermore.
It is also false to claim Kamena “ran on the Democratic ticket” as Livermore’s mayoral office is nonpartisan, according to its application page.
Conservative author wrote the essay
Conservative author Evan Sayet confirmed to USA TODAY in an email that he is the original author of the viral text and is unsure “as to how it got misattributed along the way.”
The essay first appeared as an opinion column in 2017 on Townhall under the headline “He Fights.”
The column started to be misattributed to Kamena in forwarded emails and social media posts with the subject line “One Man’s Opinion,” according to Truth or Fiction, which debunked the claim in 2017.
USA TODAY was unable to reach Kamena for comment.
Our rating: False
The claim that the mayor of Livermore, California, wrote an essay explaining Trump’s popularity and success is FALSE, based on our research. Conservative author Evan Sayet wrote the piece in 2017, and it has been misattributed throughout the years. The essay falsely claims Kamena is the current mayor of Livermore and ran as a Democrat.
Our fact check sources:
- Marshall Kamena, accessed Jan. 18, Linkedin
- City of Livermore, accessed Jan. 18, Mayor’s Message
- Run for Office, accessed Jan. 18, Livermore City Mayor
- Townhall, July 13, 2017, He Fights
- Truth or Fiction, Nov. 22, 2017, Democratic Livermore Mayor Marshall Kamena on Donald Trump-Incorrect Attribution!
- Snopes, Jan. 17, 2018, ‘He Fights’: President Trump’s Lack of Decorum
- PolitiFact, Feb. 25, 2020, No, a California mayor did not write a column that ‘explains Trump’s popularity and success’
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Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.