The conspiracy theory quote is falsely attributed to JFK

CLAIM: President John F. Kennedy said seven days before his assassination, “There is a plot in this country to enslave every man, woman and child. Before leaving this high and noble office, I intend to expose this plot.

AP ASSESSMENT: False. There is no record of Kennedy saying that quote, multiple experts have confirmed to The Associated Press.

THE FACTS: Posts falsely attributing the quote to Kennedy have been circulating online for years, and the AP recently reported that the claim was even promoted by a Michael Flynn speaker ReAwaken America Tour.

In recent days, the baseless quote reappeared in an Instagram post this week that has had more than 24,000 views.

The message quotes Kennedy saying, “There is a plot in this country to enslave every man, woman and child. Before leaving this high and noble office, I intend to expose this plot.

Below the quote, the text says “JFK 7 days later”, followed by a video of a skull exploding, evoking his assassination.

However, there is no evidence Kennedy ever said that, archivists and historians told the AP.

“We’ve been asked about this quote (and some variations) many times, and we’ve never found evidence that John F. Kennedy said or wrote it,” said Stacey Chandler, reference archivist at the John F. Kennedy. Presidential Library, wrote in an email to the AP.

Marc Selverstone, an associate professor at the University of Virginia and chairman of the presidential recording program, has also seen this quote circulating several times and told the AP he had never seen it in a reliable source.

Chandler explained that the quote would often come from a speech Kennedy allegedly gave at Columbia University in November 1963, either November 15 or November 12. However, there is no evidence that Kennedy ever spoke at Columbia University on those dates or at any other time in 1963, she said.

Kennedy gave two speeches in New York days before his death, but the quote does not appear either. A speech was held at the convention of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations on November 15, 1963, and the other speech was at the National Convention of the Catholic Youth Organization on the same day.

Presidential Library staff also searched for the quote in archival documents, historical newspaper covers, and speech databases like the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“We did not find a match for this statement through any of these resources or through cited secondary sources,” Chandler said.

John Woolley, the co-director of the US Presidency Project, told the AP he also could not find evidence of Kennedy’s quote in the collection. “In his public remarks, there is nothing at all resembling this statement in the period of November 12-14,” Woolley said in an email to the AP.

The Kennedy Assassination on November 22, 1963, has long been the subject of conspiracy theories. Last year, the National Archives released nearly 1,500 documents related to the government’s investigation into the assassination, AP reported.


This is part of AP’s efforts to combat widely shared misinformation, including working with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.

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