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Claim of Stormy Daniels, Mike Johnson ‘business relationship’ began as satire | Fact check



The claim: Fox News reported on a business relationship between Stormy Daniels, House Speaker Mike Johnson

A Nov. 12 Instagram post (direct link, archive link) shows a TikTok video of a man speaking to the camera about porn actress Stormy Danieal and newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. Behind the man are images of the two.

“BREAKING FOX NEWS: Stormy Daniels admits to having a business relationship with Speaker Mike Johnson,” reads on-screen text included in the video.

The post was liked more than 100 times in a week. Similar versions of the claim circulated online. The original TikTok video was shared more than 1,000 times in a week.

More from the USA TODAY Fact Check Team:

Our rating: False

Spokespeople for Johnson and Fox News said the claim is false. It originated with a satirical social media account.

Claim originated on satirical social media account

Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, was elected House speaker on Oct. 25. Corinne Day, a spokesperson for the speaker, told USA TODAY the claim in the Instagram post is false.

Fox News also said the claim is false. The network has not reported on any supposed relationship between Johnson and Daniels, network spokesperson Connor Smith told USA TODAY in an email.

Fact check: Statement from Stormy Daniels denying an affair with Trump is from 2018

Since Johnson was elected House speaker, Fox News has only published one story that mentions Daniels. That story, titled “NY AG Letitia James caught smirking as Don Jr. takes the stand at Trump civil trial,” does not mention the speaker.

The claim stems from a Nov. 11 post on X, formerly Twitter, from an account that describes itself as a “raw and unfiltered parody account.” The social media user who operates that account could not be reached.

The Instagram post is an example of what could be called “stolen satire,” where stories written as satire and originally presented that way are reposted in a way that makes them appear to be legitimate news. As a result, readers of the second-generation post are misled, which is what happened here.

Johnson has been the subject of misinformation since he was elected to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker. USA TODAY previously debunked a claim that he said women have “a duty” to give birth to at least one “able-bodied worker.”

USA TODAY reached out to the Instagram user who shared the post and to the TikTok user who posted the original video but did not immediately receive responses.

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