Did the Pope Really Call Trump a Hypocrite?

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Social media was abuzz about Pope Francis condemning President Trump for his immigration executive order. The widely circulated quote was, “It’s a hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help….”

True or false?

  • Quote made in October 2016, not after Trump became President
  • Pope not addressing immigration executive order
  • Irresponsible reporting from Bipartisan Report, click-bait site
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One-third true and two-thirds false.

The quote is true; the Pope did say those words.

What’s false is it was not in response to Trump’s action on immigration. The Pope had made the remark in October 2016, three months earlier! That was before Trump had even won the election.

With the clear intent to deceive, the Bipartisan Report website published an article on 28 January 2017, reporting that Pope Francis had “called out Trump for being an intolerant racist” in regard to the immigration executive order.

The other part that is false is, according to fact-checking site Snopes.com, “the pontiff was addressing general rhetoric aimed at immigrants and refugees and not a specific piece of US legislation”. The fact is the remark was made while the Pope was talking to a group of Christian and Lutheran pilgrims from Germany.

It’s a wonder how anyone can take the Bipartisan Report seriously. The website’s About Us page unabashedly claims to be “the Internet’s largest newspaper”, an unsubstantiated claim in conflict with its Alexa ranking.

In a report by The Seattle Times, the Bipartisan Report is run out of a house in Seattle by founder Justin Brotman, who claimed that the website is a legitimate news media company although it is in a widely shared list of fake news purveyors.

Brotman admitted the Bipartisan Report falls into the click-bait category, but you hardly need him to own up to that as it is evident from its headlines that scream stretching the truth.