AP NEWS

Former first lady didn’t fault Trump for school shooting

February 23, 2018

FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2018 file photo, the casket of Alaina Petty, a victim of the shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School, leaves her funeral in Coral Springs, Fla. A viral online video claimed victims of the shooting are fictitious because their birth records don't appear on a genealogy web site, but Ancestry says it has no birth records from the state. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Michelle Obama didn’t say that the Florida school shooting is President Donald Trump’s fault, despite a story spread on social media that says she did. The story contains a made-up quote attributed to the former first lady, along with things she said months before the tragedy.

The story on the site conservativesay claims Mrs. Obama said at an Obama Foundation “worldwide event” that the shooting “is clearly our president’s fault.” But the foundation hasn’t held any public event since Feb. 14, when a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. And a spokeswoman says Mrs. Obama’s only public statement was a Wednesday tweet in which she said she’s “in total awe” of the Florida students seeking stricter gun laws.

The false story also recycles a series of her remarks about raising children. They came from her talk in November at an Obama Foundation summit in Chicago.

___

A viral online video claimed victims in the Florida shooting are fictitious because their birth records don’t appear on a genealogy web site, but Ancestry says it has no birth records from the state.

The site pewtube says the Feb. 14 shooting is a “Hollywood creation” with “assumed, disposable identities.” The video appears to show 13 Ancestry.com searches for birth records with no results.

Ancestry spokesman Dallin Hatch said this week that the site has no birth records from the state of Florida, and said the database is designed to help people find long-dead ancestors, not people who had been living in 2018. Florida birth records are confidential, said Brad Dalton, a state health department spokesman. The state can’t share them with anyone other than the parents and the person whose record it is, he said.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office listed the names of the victims, with Detective John Curcio writing in a booking report that, “multiple dead persons were also observed on the scene.” Students also told many Associated Press journalists that they saw bodies at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

___

This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

AP RADIO
Update hourly