FactCheck Social Media

Is Clint Eastwood really making Trump’s day with an endorsement?

2020-07-28 12:22:06

The Statement

A Facebook post claims to be a letter by Hollywood star Clint Eastwood defending US President Donald Trump.

The lengthy post is credited as “from Clint Eastwood” and begins, “I love when people call Trump Stupid.” It then lists several of what it claims are Trump’s accomplishments before it going on to attack Hillary Clinton, Madonna, Robert DeNiro and Katy Perry by posing the question: “Are you sure you back a party that enables the decimation of every core principal (sic) of Christianity?”

The post goes on to criticise the Democratic Party and their policies before concluding, “See the spirit of Trump supporting and freedom loving Americans and just imagine where we could be as a country if everyone had the same priorities.”

The July 24 post has been shared nearly 200 times and generated more than 600 reactions.

A Facebook post
 A Facebook post claims to be a letter from Clint Eastwood defending US President Donald Trump. 

The Analysis

Clint Eastwood has long been interested in US politics, however the letter in the Facebook post was not written by the veteran actor and director.

In 1986 Eastwood was elected as mayor of Carmel, California for a two-year term and he has often supported the Republican party, including an appearance at the 2012 Republican National Convention endorsing candidate Mitt Romney.

Eastwood has previously described himself in interviews as a “libertarian” and expressed cautious support for the then presidential candidate Donald Trump in a 2016 interview with Esquire magazine, saying: “I can understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t always agree with it.”

However by February 2020, Eastwood told the Wall Street Journal he supported then-Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg.

Most of the letter attributed to Eastwood in the post first appeared in the Eagle-Tribune newspaper of Massachusetts on September 30, 2019, and was written by Fred Doucette.  Doucette is a Republican state representative for New Hampshire and also lists himself in the letter as the New Hampshire chairman of the Trump campaign.

Doucette also shared the letter on Facebook where the text is a word-for-word match to the post’s letter attributed to Eastwood. Doucette’s letter was also shared on the Massachusetts Republican Party Facebook page with a photo of Eastwood. Accompanying the image is a quote purportedly by the actor saying, “If Congress really gave a rat’s ass about the American people they would resign.”

AAP FactCheck was unable to find any evidence to link Eastwood to the quote, although he has previously disparaged Congress, calling them “lazy bastards” in 2016 and in a 2013 interview he criticised Washington’s legislators by saying “it’s almost like they don’t give a damn”.

It’s appears Eastwood was linked to the letter after his image was used in Doucette’s Facebook post.

Hollywood veteran Clint Eastwood
 There is no evidence to show Clint Eastwood wrote the letter attributed to him in the Facebook post. 

The Verdict

Based on the evidence, AAP FactCheck found the claims in the Facebook post to be false. The letter attributed to Clint Eastwood in the post was written by Republican state representative for New Hampshire Fred Doucette.

False  – The primary claims of the content are factually inaccurate.

* AAP FactCheck is accredited by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, which promotes best practice through a stringent and transparent Code of Principles. https://aap.com.au/