Isn’t it great how you can spin the truth to make it, somehow, not true at all? Well, this is the game the so-called “fact checkers” play.
One of the most popular fact-checking sites, PolitiFact, rated a claim that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said supporters of former President Donald Trump “were not welcome here” as “mostly false,” since her remarks were directed at Cabinet officials, The Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.
“Waters did say that members of Trump’s Cabinet are ‘not welcome anymore, anywhere’ in a June 2018 critique of the administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy,” PolitiFact stated. “But she did not direct her comments at all Trump supporters as this post suggests.”
The fact-checker rated the claim that the congresswoman, a harsh critic of the former president, directed her comments specifically at Trump supporters as “mostly false.”
The fact-check, according to The Washington Examiner, appeared to be the result of a Facebook post that misquoted Waters as saying “every Trump supporting American” is not “welcome here.”
However, the California congresswoman’s actual comments were aimed at members of Trump’s Cabinet.
“If you think we’re rallying now, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” Waters said at a Los Angeles rally on June 23, 2018. “Already, you have members of your Cabinet that are being booed out of restaurants, who are — protesters taking up at their house, who are saying, ‘no peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep.’”
“And so, let’s stay the course. Let’s make sure we show up, wherever we have to show up,” she continued. “And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out, and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Months later, the congresswoman defended her remarks, saying that while she did not threaten Trump’s supporters in that particular speech, she has threatened them in the past, as The Washington Examiner pointed out.
“I did not threaten [Trump] constituents and supporters. I do that all the time, but I didn’t do that that time,” Waters said in a September 2018 speech to a laughing Los Angeles crowd.
Nonetheless, PolitiFact still rated the Facebook post’s claim as “mostly false,” as The Washington Examiner noted.
“And while Waters did make statements suggesting Trump Cabinet members should be singled out in public, she did not direct her comments at Trump supporters broadly, as this post suggests,” the fact-checker also said.
On top of misquoting Waters about Trump supporters, the Facebook post, according to PolitiFact, also misquoted her as saying: “We must welcome everyone who crosses our borders, whether they are illegal or not.”
However, the fact-checker said that “neither quote is accurate.”
“The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed,” PolitiFact went on to say, providing a link to more information about its partnership with the massive social media site.