A post shared on Facebook claims the late TV personality Regis Philbin bequeathed $20 million to President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.
There is no evidence Philbin left money to the Trump campaign in his will. The claim originated on a satirical website.
Philbin died at the age of 88 on July 24. He is remembered for his six-decade career in the TV industry, including roles as host of the popular game show “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” and co-host of the daytime talk show “Live! With Regis and Kelly.”
A post shared on Facebook shortly after his death shares a picture of Philbin with a halo around his head, claiming he “left $20 Million to the Trump campaign.”
The television host did appear to have a friendship with Trump, which Philbin described in his 2011 book “How I Got This Way” as being centered around their shared interest in television and baseball. Trump described Philbin as a “fantastic person” and a “friend” in a July 25 tweet memorializing him.
While they shared a friendship, the Daily Caller News Foundation found no news reporting to corroborate the claim that Philbin left $20 million to Trump’s campaign. The family also did not mention anything to that effect in its statement to the media, and the Trump campaign has not made any such announcement. It appears Philbin made just two donations to political campaigns – neither Trump’s – since 1975, according to Federal Election Commission records.
The claim appears to have originated in an article, titled “Regis Left $20 Million To Trump Campaign,” which was published on the satirical website America’s Last Line of Defense. The website describes itself as a part of a network that publishes “parody, satire, and tomfoolery.” While the article is clearly labeled as satirical and categorized as “Silly Tater Satire,” the Facebook post does not disclose the satirical nature of the source, a common way online misinformation spreads.
Other satirical websites associated with the America’s Last Line of Defense network have written similar stories that erroneously allege that public figures like late Texas billionaire Ross Perot and late musician Bill Withers also bequeathed millions to the Trump campaign.
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