If Barack Obama Calls You Asking for Money, Don’t Do It

It’s not him.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/obamawhitehouse/31073485032/">Obama White House</a>/Flickr

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President Barack Obama did not record a robocall raising money off the new White House travel ban—no matter what you may have read on the internet.

The report that Obama was asking Democrats for money to fight President Donald Trump caught fire on the right-wing internet over the weekend, inflamed by celebrity Trump supporters such as the actor Scott Baio. The pro-administration subreddit “The_Donald” has even put up a post asking users to report such calls to the Federal Trade Commission. Many of those stories cited a Friday tweet by former North Carolina congressional candidate Thomas Mills, who reported that he had received a call not long after the new Trump order had gone into effect. (Mills, who is a Democrat, confirmed to Mother Jones that he had received a robocall.)

But according to the former president’s office, if you got a robocall with Obama’s voice on it, it wasn’t from him.

“These pre-recorded calls were not authorized by President Barack Obama, have no connection to the former President, and have been reported to appropriate law enforcement authorities,” Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor for and report any misleading or fraudulent uses of the President’s image.”

If you get a robocall from President Obama, record it and send it to tmurphy@motherjones.com.

Update: Thanks to reader Greg Flynn, we have audio of one of these calls purporting to be on behalf of President Obama. (If you follow the prompts, you’ll be asked to donate in increments of $100 or $200.) Here it is:

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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