Fact Check: 'Unified Reich' Reference Contained in Video Posted to Trump's Truth Social Account

A X post claims to show a Truth Social post from Donald Trump
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Claim:

A video posted on former U.S. President Donald Trump's Truth Social account in May 2024 included the image of a newspaper subhead with the words "creation of a unified Reich."

Rating:

Rating: True
Rating: True

Context:

Although the footage was indeed posted on Trump's Truth Social account, a spokesperson for the former U.S. President released a statement saying it was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online, and was reposted by a staffer who had not realized it contained a reference to the word "Reich."

 

On May 21, 2024, X account @BidenHQ posted screenshots allegedly showing a video posted on former U.S. President Donald Trump's Truth Social account. The footage included a newspaper headline containing the words "CREATION OF A UNIFIED REICH" under another headline that asked "WHAT'S NEXT FOR AMERICA?" in the event of a Trump win in the 2024 presidential election.

The X account wrote: "Trump posts a new ad foreshadowing a second Trump term that says he will create a 'UNIFIED REICH,' echoing Nazi Germany."

Similar claims appeared elsewhere on X, including one post that showed the full video, and on TikTok, RedditYouTube, and in numerous Facebook posts.

The @BidenHQ post had amassed more than 4 million views at the time of this writing. The phrase "creation of a unified Reich" was displayed in the video posted by @BidenHQ and others, and that same clip was posted on Trump's Truth Social account. Therefore, we have rated this claim as "Correct Attribution."

The German word "Reich," in this context, means "empire" in English. It refers to Germany's three historical empires: the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted for roughly 1000 years, the Second Reich, which started with the unification of Germany in 1871 and ended with the country's defeat in the First World War in 1918, and the Third Reich, which spanned the years of the Nazi Party's rule from 1933 to 1945.

However, 'Reich' is often considered synonymous with Adolf Hitler's dictatorship, which he openly and regularly referred to as the Third Reich.

Although Trump's Truth Social post containing the footage and the reference to the creation of a Reich was no longer live, archived versions of the webpage show his account did post it.

Numerous reputable news outlets reported on the video, such as The Associated Press, Reuters and The Guardian.

However, they all included a statement from the Trump campaign's press secretary, Karoline Leavitt, who said the footage was not created by their team, and the inclusion of the word Reich was an oversight by a staffer:

This was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online and reposted by a staffer who clearly did not see the word, while the president was in court.

Snopes approached Leavitt for confirmation of this statement and for further comment. We will update this article if, or when, we receive a reply.

Some people replying to @BidenHQ's post noted the clip was created using a stock template called "Newspaper Vintage History Headlines Promo" found on a video-design website called Envato Elements.

The footage in, and the style of, the Truth Social clip matched the footage and design in the Envato Elements template, therefore it was likely made using Envato's software.

However, whoever created the video shared by Trump's Truth Social account failed to remove existing references to the "creation of a unified Reich" when editing it.

Snopes could not determine the source of the footage to establish whether or not this was an intentional decision.

Sources:

'About'. Envato Elements, https://elements.envato.com/about. Accessed 21 May 2024.

https://archive.is/VMiup. Accessed 21 May 2024.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump). 21 May 2024, https://web.archive.org/web/20240521014345/https://truthsocial.com/@realDonaldTrump/posts/112474710503667357.

Layne, Nathan. 'After Backlash, Trump Pulls Social Media Post with Reference to "Unified Reich"'. Reuters, 21 May 2024. www.reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/after-backlash-trump-pulls-social-media-post-with-reference-unified-reich-2024-05-21/.

'Newspaper Vintage History Headlines Promo'. Envato Elements, https://elements.envato.com/newspaper-vintage-history-headlines-promo-6UD9B8E. Accessed 21 May 2024.

Reich | German Political Concept | Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Reich. Accessed 21 May 2024.

Sainato, Michael. 'Donald Trump Removes Video on Truth Social with "Unified Reich" Reference'. The Guardian, 21 May 2024. The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/may/21/donald-trump-video-unified-reich.

'Trump's Social Media Account Shares a Campaign Video with a Headline about a "Unified Reich"'. AP News, 21 May 2024, https://apnews.com/article/trump-election-2024-rhetoric-germany-antisemitism-31002afb91b642c0314223d19e51f427.

'Truth Social'. Truth Social, https://truthsocial.com/@realDonaldTrump/posts/112474710503667357. Accessed 21 May 2024.

https://x.com/BrendanMcInnis/status/1792772276414513306. Accessed 21 May 2024.

https://x.com/MakaveliMemez/status/1792731103029063989. Accessed 21 May 2024.