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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke September 21, 2023

No, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wasn’t arrested

If Your Time is short

Included in a 30-minute video that was described in a Sept. 17 Facebook post as a "situation update" is a line of text that, if true, would draw widespread news coverage. 

"Thurs. 14 Sept. Janet Yellen arrested for treason, Michael Baxter," it says. 

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The inclusion of the name "Michael Baxter" is the first tipoff that this supposed news is fake. 

It’s the pseudonymous byline of posts published on Real Raw News, a website that shares fabricated stories and includes a disclaimer that its content "contains humor, parody and satire." 

A Sept. 14 post on the site has a headline reading: "Janet Yellen arrested for treason." 

The post claims the Treasury secretary was taken into custody Sept. 12 by "investigators from the U.S. Army’s criminal investigation division." 

But Yellen isn’t in military custody. 

She’s appeared and spoken publicly numerous times since her supposed arrest, including making opening remarks Sept. 14 at the annual conference of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. She also spoke Sept. 18 at an event about financing Africa’s agricultural growth and appeared Sept. 19 on MSNBC. 

We rate claims she was arrested Pants on Fire!

 

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No, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wasn’t arrested

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