Fact Check: Did Donald Trump Give Out 'Nuke Codes' in Fundraising Email?

A screenshot of what some have claimed is an email sent by former President Donald Trump to fundraise off the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago featuring "nuke codes" has been circulating on social media.

The FBI carried out an unprecedented search warrant of Trump's Florida resort residence on Monday, drawing strong backlash from the former president and his allies.

Trump quickly began touting the FBI raid as political persecution, saying it was part of an ongoing "witch hunt." The former president began sending emails to supporters soliciting funds, citing the FBI raid.

Donald Trump
A fake screenshot of a Donald Trump fundraising email sharing "nuke codes" has been circulating on social media. Above, the former president leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James for a civil investigation on August 10 in New York City. James Devaney/GC Images

The Claim

Some social media users on Thursday and Friday began to post images of what they claimed was one of Trump's fundraising emails. The subject of the email was: "MAR-A-LAGO: RAIDED." The alleged email goes on to say, "The nuke codes are 15-25-50-80," and then asks, "Can I count on you to donate," above several different dollar amounts below the question.

"NEW: Donald is fundraising by giving us 'nuclear codes'. This is a f**king joke to him. #nucleardocuments," unverified Twitter user Mueller, She Wrote posted late Thursday evening.

Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor and legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC News, retweeted the post on Friday. "Time to indict this abject criminal. He remains a clear and present danger to the United States," Kirschner wrote.

Others on social media began circulating the screenshot, raising similar alarms and slamming the former president.

The Facts

Although Trump has sent a number of emails fundraising off the FBI raid, the alleged email with "nuke codes" is fake.

It appears that someone edited a screenshot of an authentic fundraising email sent out on Tuesday, adding the fake text about the so-called nuclear codes. The subject and time signature of the email are the same, but the body text of the email has been altered.

The original email was sent out to those on Trump's email list on Tuesday at 10:12 a.m. ET. Instead of a message about nuclear codes, the email reads:



These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, was raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents."

It goes on to note the unprecedented nature of the FBI search and solicit contributions from supporters. There's no mention of nuclear codes.

Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington confirmed that the screenshot was doctored. "This is totally fake," she wrote in a Friday morning email to Newsweek. Harrington also forwarded the original email, which Newsweek had already reviewed.

The fake screenshot appeared to begin circulating on Thursday after reporting from The Washington Post that sensitive information about nuclear weapons was included in the records sought by the FBI on Monday.

That report was first published at 2:16 p.m. ET on Thursday, whereas the time in the screenshot of the email is 10:12 a.m, which should have raised suspicion by any careful observer. Again, the original email was actually sent out on Tuesday, although the screenshot does not show the date, just the time.

Notably, Trump has rejected the reporting by the Post. "Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax, two Impeachments were a Hoax, the Mueller investigation was a Hoax, and much more. Same sleazy people involved," he wrote in a Truth Social post on Friday.

The Ruling

Fact Check - False


Trump has been fundraising off the FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago resort. However, he did not send out an email touting "nuke codes." The screenshots of the alleged email are edited from an original fundraising email that was sent out prior to the Post reporting that information about nuclear weapons may have been among the documents sought by the FBI.