Fact check: False claim that Trump made a 'surprise visit' to Switzerland uses 2018 footage

The claim: Trump made a 'surprise visit' to Switzerland on Marine One

Debunked  conspiracy theories that former President Donald Trump is still in power have made their way into viral videos and images claiming to show him making a "surprise visit" to Switzerland on Marine One. 

A livestream on Facebook with over 17,000 views posted by CBN Breaking News on March 1 is titled, "Donald Trump Surprise Visit to Switzerland 02.03.2021." The livestream video shows the former president arriving in snowy mountains on a military helicopter with a security team. 

Other users on Facebook linked to a 19-minute March 1 YouTube video by American Events with over 1.1 million views that shows similar footage and is titled "Trump Surprise Visit to Switzerland." 

Screenshots from the video were posted with the caption, "Donald Trump surprise visit to Switzerland today on marine 1....interesting."

USA TODAY reached out to CBN Breaking News and the Facebook users for comment. American Events could not be reached for comment. 

More: Capitol Hill braces for security threat around March 4 conspiracy theory

Footage is from 2018

The video being used to claim that Trump made a surprise visit to Switzerland in March 2021 is actually a clip from 2018, when Trump visited Davos for the World Economic Forum, an annual meeting of world leaders and elite business executives. 

Footage of Trump arriving in Davos was posted to YouTube in January 2018 by the Associated Press with the caption, "US President Donald Trump arrived in the Swiss Alps to attend the World Economic Forum."

Other videos of Trump's arrival in Switzerland that match the one seen in the Facebook claims were also shared on Jan. 25, 2018, by swissinfo.ch and Euronews

President Trump addresses a plenary session during the 48th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum  in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 26 2018.

In Davos, Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and delivered a speech on "America First" policies, USA TODAY reported in 2018.

Trump's 2019 trip to Davos was canceled due to an ongoing partial government shutdown, however, he returned in January 2020 amid his first impeachment trial. 

When asked this January if Trump would be invited back to Davos, World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab said, “I’d have to go into a quiet room and think about it. If I came out, the answer would probably be ‘no,'" Bloomberg News reported

Claims that Trump still has access to military power or that President Joe Biden's inauguration was fake have been previouslydebunked by USA TODAY.

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Our rating: False

The claim that former President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to Switzerland in March 2021 on a military helicopter is FALSE, based on our research. The footage used in the claim is from Trump's 2018 arrival in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum. Trump has not visited Davos for the World Economic Forum since 2020 and WEF founder and chairman Klaus Schwab said it is unlikely for him to be invited back. 

Our fact-check sources: 

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