Ted Cruz didn’t post identical tweets after 12 mass shootings
CLAIM: A compilation of screenshots shows that Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted identical messages after 12 mass shootings in the United States from 2012 to 2022.
AP ASSESSMENT: False. The image begins with a real message that Cruz tweeted after Tuesday’s shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, but the following 11 tweets were fabricated to make it look like he used the exact same message with a different city name each time. A Search for Cruz active Twitter accounts, web archives and a database of deleted tweets, shows that he has not repeatedly tweeted the same message.
THE FACTS: In the days following the mass shooting in Uvalde in which a shooter shot dead 19 children and two teacherssome social media users are expressing frustration with the frequency of mass shootings in the United States and criticizing authorities’ responses to them.
A message circulating in the aftermath falsely claimed that Cruz, a Republican senator, had recycled identical messages of support for the victims following other massacres, only exchanging on behalf of the city where the mass shootings took place. place each time.
The post features an image showing 12 tweets allegedly from Cruz. The first screenshot reads: “Heidi and I fervently raise children and families in prayer during the horrific shooting in Uvalde. We are in close contact with local officials, but specific details are Still in development. Thank you heroic law enforcement and first responders for acting so quickly.
The rest of the tweets shown use the same text but replace “Uvalde” with different locations. The locations shown are New York, Sacramento, Indianapolis, Rochester, El Paso, Virginia Beach, Pittsburgh, Park, Vegas, Orlando and New city. The timestamp of each tweet also changes.
“These mass shootings are happening so much that Ted Cruz really has a role model ready to tweet whenever they happen,” a Twitter user said Thursday, including the photo that claimed to show a collection of nearly identical posts. The tweet had gained more than 16,000 retweets and 40,000 likes by Friday morning.
The text of the first tweet, showing Cruz’s response to Uvalde, is right. But the date in the fabricated screenshot is incorrect. Cruz tweeted his post on May 24, not May 25.
The rest of the alleged tweets included in the image are not accurate, according to advanced searches on Twitter and web archive checks such as the rollback machine, and one ProPublica Database which includes Cruz’s deleted tweets since 2013.
And Cruz didn’t tweet at all from his personal Twitter account or his senator account in response to the mass shootings that occurred in Sacramento, Indianapolis, Rochester, Virginia Beach and Parkland.
The dates given in the fabricated screenshot falsely purporting to show Cruz’s responses to the shootings in Buffalo and Rochester are also incorrect. The date given for the Buffalo shooting is listed as April 2022, when the shooting took place the following month, in May. And the Rochester shoot is listed as September 2021, but that shoot was the year before, in 2020.
A spokesperson for Cruz did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
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.