Fact check: Post wrongly says Trump created 'child protective force'
A popular Facebook post says "You people hate on Trump but he put on a child protective force that found over 300 missing kids in less than 30 days." PolitiFact found no evidence to support this claim.Posted — Updated
A social media post says that President Donald Trump is underappreciated for his actions to help missing children.
"You people hate on Trump but he put on a child protective force that found over 300 missing kids in less than 30 days," the Facebook post reads.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.
There is no evidence Trump created a "child protective force," or that his administration found more than 300 missing children in less than 30 days.
Such an event would have likely prompted attention from news outlets, but PolitiFact searched news archives and found nothing to suggest that more than 300 missing children had been found recently.
Social media platforms are seeing a wave of misinformation related to child abuse and trafficking.
Followers of a baseless conspiracy theory called QAnon have been promoting the belief that Trump is working behind the scenes to bring down a child trafficking ring led by prominent Democrats and celebrities. The FBI considers QAnon a potential domestic terrorism threat.
Operations by U.S. Marshals Service
By 2016, according to the agency’s annual report and a fact sheet, the Marshals Service had created a Missing Child Unit to help federal, state and local law enforcement locate "missing, endangered or abducted children, regardless of whether a fugitive or sex offender was involved." That was before Trump took office.
In August 2020, the Missing Child Unit, along with state and local agencies, conducted a two-week operation known as "Operation Not Forgotten" that found 39 missing children in Georgia.
"The message to missing children and their families is that we will never stop looking for you," Donald Washington, the director of the Marshals Service, said in the statement.
Other news outlets reported that the Marshals’ Oct. 3 press release, which has since been taken down, exaggerated the success of the Michigan operation. The Marshals’ press release said 123 children had been recovered — it included 16 children the Marshals recovered in a separate operation.
Whether the Michigan operation located 107 or 123 missing children, neither number supports the post’s claim that Trump administration officials "found over 300 missing kids in less than 30 days."
A Facebook post says Trump established a "child protective force that found over 300 missing kids in less than 30 days."
The U.S. Marshals Missing Child Unit conducted operations in 2018 and 2020 to locate children listed as missing. Many of them turned out to be where they lived or belonged.
There is no evidence Trump created a "child protective force," or that 300 missing children were found in less than a month.
We rate this claim False.
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