Marianne Williamson Falls for Hoax Saying Trump Pardoned Charles Manson

A satirical article on originated the story

Marianne Williamson / Getty Images
December 9, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson deleted a tweet in which she fell for a hoax about President Donald Trump pardoning murderer Charles Manson.

"There is something deeply sinister about Trump pardoning Charles Manson, even posthumously," the spiritual guru wrote in a late-night Sunday tweet. "Dog whistles of the very worst possible kind."

Needless to say, Trump did not pardon Manson, the cult leader who was found guilty of seven murders in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Even if Trump were so inclined, Manson was convicted in a California state court, and the president can only pardon federal crimes.

Williamson did not provide a source for her claim, but she may have been taken in by a November satire article on the website Urban-legend debunker Snopes reports that the piece later picked up traction when it was reposted as a blog on the liberal Daily Kos without a satire tag.

"I erroneously tweeted that President Trump had posthumously pardoned Charles Manson," Williamson followed up in a second tweet after other Twitter users pointed out her error. "Glad to have been wrong."

Both Williamson's initial tweet and her acknowledgment of error were later deleted. The snafu occurred only hours after the candidate boasted on Twitter that "all the Democratic candidates are telling the truth."