NOT REAL NEWS: False quote attributed to Clemson QB
Posts circulating on social media Tuesday quoted Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence after the team's visit to the White House as saying: "President Trump got all our favorite foods. It was the best meal we ever had. Then we go and see the coastal elite media trashing it for not being organic vegan. We're football players, not bloggers. This was a perfect blue collar party."
CLAIM: A photo of tattooed, shirtless men sitting handcuffed on a bus is circulating on social media with a caption that suggests they are migrants headed to the U.S.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo is from a mass transfer of violent prison inmates in El Salvador in 2015.
Christmas was not illegal in the U.S. before 1836
CLAIM: A social media post circulating online claims that “Christmas was illegal in the U.S. until 1836 as it was considered an ancient pagan holiday.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The details of this post are incorrect. Though Christmas was not as widely celebrated in the early 1800s, it was not illegal throughout the country. However, one colony did make it illegal to celebrate Christmas in 1659.
Photo shows a celebration on Champs-Elysee, not a protest
CLAIM: Photo purports to show protesters stretching the length of Champs-Elysee Avenue in Paris.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photo is miscaptioned. It was taken July 15, 2018, as the French celebrated their win in the 2018 World Cup finals.
THE FACTS: Social media users are using a photo of Parisians celebrating the World Cup championship to imply that it represents the recent yellow vest movement.
Muslim congresswomen to take oath of office with colleagues
CLAIM: A post circulating widely on social media Tuesday says “three Muslim congresswomen just refused” to sign the oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Two Muslim women elected to Congress will be sworn in on Jan. 3 and both plan to take the oath of office, along with their colleagues.
Butcher in North Carolina didn’t kill wife, feed to cat
CLAIM: A post circulating on Facebook carries a story by “Fox News 15” with the headline “Smithfield, NC: Butcher charged with putting cheating wife in meat grinder and feeding remains to their cat.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Police in Smithfield, North Carolina, say no such crime has been reported. There is no Fox News 15 serving the area.
CLAIM: Social media posts circulating on Facebook say the supermarket chain Aldi will close at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve to give away leftover food to the homeless.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Aldi stores in the U.S. and Britain will not hand out free food to the homeless on Christmas Eve.
THE FACTS: Aldi stores close at 4 p.m. in the U.S. on Christmas Eve and at 6 p.m. in the U.K.
CLAIM: A Facebook post states that Christmas merchandise sales are no longer permitted in Dearborn, Michigan, featuring a photo of a billboard that says “NO CHRISTMAS TREES DEARBORN CANCELLED ALL XMAS PERMITS.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The city has not banned the selling of Christmas merchandise.
CLAIM: A photo circulating online of first lady Melania Trump escorted by a Marine is captioned: “13,506 Marines have applied for Whitehouse Duty[sic] since the inauguration of President Trump. In the previous eight years, no Marines volunteered for this duty, they had to be “assigned.” Speaks volumes.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Marines do not typically volunteer to be White House sentries; they are assigned.
Snapchat filters were not created by the FBI for a database
CLAIM: A photo caption circulating on social media states that “Snapchat filters are a facial recognition database created by the FBI.” For proof, it refers users to “patent US9396354.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Though Snapchat’s photo-altering technology recognizes a face in a photo, it does not use facial recognition to do so.
Victorian mansion with high perimeter wall not Pelosi’s
CLAIM: A Facebook post singles out House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as hypocritical, saying she lives in a Victorian mansion in San Francisco with a high perimeter wall, gun toting security and carbon spewing SUVs.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The house pictured in the post does not belong to Pelosi.
Christmas tree did not fall and kill burglar in Ohio
CLAIM: Posts circulating widely on Facebook Sunday carried a story headlined, “Burglar killed by falling Christmas tree after breaking into home in Huber Heights, OH,” by “NBC NEWS 6.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. No such incident occurred in Huber Heights, a southwest Ohio suburb of about 38,000. An NBC News 6 station does not cover that area of Ohio.
Macron did not tweet about Strasbourg attack before it happened
CLAIM: Posts circulating on social media purport to show that French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted about the attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, hours before it happened.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Macron tweeted his solidarity with France and the victims early Wednesday morning after the shooting, which occurred about 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Democrats and Obama did not give $150 billion to Iran
CLAIM: Posts circulating widely online state that “The Democrats and President Obama gave Iran 150 Billion Dollars and got nothing, but they can’t give 5 Billion Dollars for National Security and a Wall?”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. There was no $150 billion payout from the U.S. treasury to Iran, according to an AP Fact Check.
Pritzker not proposing tax on residents who move from Illinois
CLAIM: Posts circulating on Facebook state incoming Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker held a press conference with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to announce a plan to tax Illinois residents, making $100,000 a year or more, who relocate to another state.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Pritzker did not propose such a tax and has not held a press conference with the state’s top Democratic legislative leaders since being elected.
False report on social media warns of listeria in vegetables
CLAIM: A post circulating widely on social media Monday under the guise of a public service announcement says: “ALERT: Nationwide Listeria Outbreak Affects Vegetables From Walmart, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and MORE!
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. No nationwide listeria outbreaks involving vegetables have been reported in December.
Canada’s leader did not erect U.N. flag at the border
CLAIM: A photo of a United Nations flag flying on a bridge at the U.S.-Canada border is being shared on social media with the suggestion that Canada’s liberal leader had it installed and is preparing to “cede control” of the border to the U.N.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not install the U.N. flag on the Peace Bridge, which is pictured in the post; and there are no plans by the government to give the U.N. power over the country’s borders.
Trump did cover his heart with his hand as Bush’s casket passed him
CLAIM: President Donald Trump did not put his hand over his heart at the funeral for former President George H.W. Bush.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. A photo circulating on social media that shows Trump standing with his arms to his sides as Bush’s casket is carried to the front of the National Cathedral was taken after he had dropped his hand from his heart.
CLAIM: Video shows French citizens chanting “We want Trump!” during recent protests.
CLAIM: A post circulating on social media states: “If you need to call 911 but are scared to because of someone in the room, dial and ask for a pepperoni pizza. They will ask if you know you’re calling 911. Say yes, and continue pretending you’re making an order… . Dispatchers are trained to ask specific yes or no questions ... don’t hang up!”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Dispatchers are not trained to interpret a takeout pizza order as a covert way of seeking emergency assistance.
CLAIM: Video shows French firefighters turning their backs and walking out on French President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Macron was not at the event where firefighters were captured on video turning their backs on officials Saturday, Dec. 1, but the video is real.
Trump won 1986 award, but not for helping black youths
CLAIM: Donald Trump, pictured with boxing legend Muhammad Ali and civil rights activist Rosa Parks, received the Ellis Island Award in 1986 for contributing to the conditions of inner city black youths.
CLAIM: A post circulating on Facebook says that victims of the wildfire in Paradise, Calif., can go into any Goodwill in the state, show ID and proof that they fled from their home and “the manager at ANY Goodwill will give you blankets, clothes, toiletries and anything you need. Even things for your pets.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: Mixture. Only some Goodwills are providing free assistance to victims of the wildfire in Northern California.
Social media posts misrepresent photo of U.S. Border Patrol agent with bloodied face
CLAIM: Photo shows U.S. Border Patrol agent with a bloodied face after being hit by a rock thrown across U.S.-Mexico border, in Chula Vista, Calif., along with text that says: “This is what’s going on folks.”
Photo of migrant woman and kids running from tear gas was not staged
CLAIM: A photo of a migrant woman and two children fleeing tear gas near the Mexican border with the U.S. was staged.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon said he took the photo on Nov. 25, 2018, while covering the migrant caravan headed to the U.S. border and that it was not staged. He also described the circumstances at the time the photo was taken.
Social media post about White House Christmas decor is false
CLAIM: A post circulating on social media claims first lady Melania Trump is bringing back a Nativity scene that was banned by the Obamas. The post also says the theme of the holiday decorations is “Christmas Traditions.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The Nativity scene was never banned by the Obamas, and the theme for the White House holiday decorations is not “Christmas Traditions.”
1952 immigration law did not ban Muslims from holding public office
CLAIM: The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 bans Muslims from holding office in the United States.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The McCarran-Walter Act did not ban specific religious groups from public office; it upheld a quota system limiting immigration by country.
THE FACTS: The erroneous claim about the act circulated widely following the election this month of two women who are Muslims to the U.S. House of Representatives: Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib, of Michigan.
American Red Cross is aiding victims of the California wildfires
CLAIM: The Red Cross is not helping California wildfire victims but is helping the caravan.
AP ASSESSMENT: False. The American Red Cross is providing aid to victims of the California wildfires, which started earlier this month and have left dozens dead, hundreds missing and thousands of homes destroyed.
Attention Walmart shoppers: 85 percent off coupon is not real
CLAIM: Walmart is offering 85 percent off storewide purchases with a Black Friday coupon.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Walmart did not release a Black Friday coupon offering 85 percent off.
CLAIM: Former President Barack Obama tweeted Nov. 14, 2018: “What type of ID do we need for cereal I’m in line with Cheerios and all I have on me is my birth certificate.”
AP’s ASSESSMENT: False. Obama did not post the question to his social media account.
CLAIM: President Obama visited Arlington National Cemetery this weekend in the pouring rain.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. President Barack Obama did not visit Arlington National Cemetery over this Veterans Day weekend as some claimed on social media.
THE FACTS: The Associated Press captured the image circulating online of Obama walking through grave markers in Section 60 at the cemetery on Nov. 11, 2009.
Time magazine cover that warns of toxic vaccines is fabricated
CLAIM: Time magazine cover states that toxic vaccines are “Poisoning of An Entire Generation.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. A Time magazine cover that warns of dangerous vaccines is not real.
THE FACTS: The headline on the manipulated Time cover circulating online states “The Poisoning Of An Entire Generation,” over subtext that says “Toxic vaccines. Sick kids. And the incompetent leaders who betrayed them.”
Planned Parenthood not involved with controversial ad
THE CLAIM: Planned Parenthood releases ad saying a baby 'deserves to be a choice.'
AP'S ASSESSMENT: False. Planned Parenthood did not release a video advertisement featuring a baby with text saying she deserves to be a choice, despite numerous reports being shared online.
Aerial photo of clouds not of California wildfire
CLAIM: Photo is said to show California wildfires from above the clouds.
CLAIM: Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples loses re-election bid.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: True. Republican Kim Davis lost her re-election bid for clerk of Rowan County in Kentucky to Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr.
THE FACTS: Davis received just 46 percent of the vote, compared to Caudill with 54 percent, according to reporting by The Associated Press.
CLAIM: Obama kicks reporter out of press briefing.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Former President Barack Obama did not throw a reporter out of a 2015 press conference for asking a question, as a claim circulating widely online suggests.
Kavanaugh accuser not photographed with former President Clinton
CLAIM: Photo said to show Former President Bill Clinton with Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
AP’s ASSESSMENT: False. The photo is an altered image.
Border Patrol agent not killed by rocks in ambush
CLAIM: Border Patrol agent killed by attackers with rocks near the U.S.-Mexico border.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. A Border Patrol agent was not ambushed and killed with rocks near the U.S.-Mexico border despite what a photo circulating widely on social media suggested.
THE FACTS: Rogelio Martinez was not killed in an ambush, despite what a Facebook photo circulating online said.
Actor Kurt Russell falsely quoted praising President Trump
CLAIM: Actor Kurt Russell praised President Donald Trump as "dedicated & determined" and says he wishes he could be as courageous.
Voting machine not rigged in central Ohio
CLAIM: Rigged voting machine discovered in Ohio precinct.
CLAIM: Image shows CNN anchor Don Lemon laughing during an apparent segment about Democrats burning flags on Election Day.
AP'S ASSESSMENT: False.The image was fabricated.
THE FACTS: A CNN spokeswoman told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the image of Lemon, which was paired with a banner claiming “Dems celebrate ‘blue wave’ burning flags on Election Day,” is false. The banner identified the show as "Reliable Sources," which Lemon does not host. He is the host of "CNN Tonight."
CLAIM: Barack Obama said, “We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.”
AP’S ASSESSMENT: True. The quote comes from a 2005 news conference where Obama, then a U.S. Senator from Illinois, spoke about immigration and those who employ immigrants.
A California-based beverage company is not selling caffeinated “energy” ham, despite an image circulating widely on social media.
Photos that show migrants sitting atop a train and boarding a bus in Mexico are not from the caravan now heading from Central America to the U.S., as some posts on social media suggest.
Tents given to members of the migrant caravan that’s working its way to the U.S. border were supplied by the Guatemalan Red Cross, Honduran Red Cross and Mexican Red Cross organizations.
Photos posted on the internet wrongly claimed the American Red Cross was providing tents to migrants outside of the country. The American Red Cross is part of the Global Red Cross Network, which features 187 national organizations.
Soros not owner of company that assembles voting machines
CLAIM: George Soros owns SmartMatic voting machines
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. George Soros, a philanthropist who donates to liberal political causes, does not own a company that assembles voting machines, despite what a photo circulating online suggested.
Reports on Yellowstone volcano threat are misleading
CLAIM: Threat of Yellowstone volcano eruption increases to high.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The U.S. Geological Survey did not increase the threat classification of the Yellowstone volcano in a 2018 report.
An image circulating online that shows Schumer splattered with blood and tearing a doll apart was doctored. The photo is paired with a quote falsely attributed to Schumer: “Fetuses aren’t people and have no right, if you can’t get an abortion just get rid of it when is born.”
Amanda Silverman, Schumer’s publicist, told The Associated Press that the photo and quote were fabricated.
“The whole thing is completely manufactured,” she said in an email.
NOT REAL NEWS: Photo of Mexican official being dragged by protesters not from caravan
A photo depicting a Mexican riot police officer being hauled by demonstrators is not from the migrant caravan making its way to the U.S. border.
Social media users captioned the photo online to say, “Mexican official being dragged by the caravan. Anyone up for open borders?”
NOT REAL NEWS: Pipe bomb suspect’s mugshot not altered by CNN
CNN did not alter a mugshot of pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc to make him appear whiter, despite a post circulating widely online.
The post contains two photos of Sayoc, one where his complexion appears much darker than in the other. The darker photo is labeled “BEFORE” and the lighter one “AFTER.” The caption reads, ”When you’re not white enough for the liberal narrative … CNN will fix you right up.”