Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not tweet that she felt businesses should remain closed until after the 2020 presidential election.
The now-viral fake tweet read:
It’s vital that Governors maintain restrictions on businesses until after the November Elections because economic recovery will help Trump be re-elected. A few business closures or job losses is a small price to pay to be free from his presidency. #KeepUsClosed
The Screenshot of the Fake Tweet Has Been Flagged by Facebook as Incorrect
The most prevalent version of the fake tweet claimed that it had been shared more than 20,000 times. That version was a screenshot of the fake tweet that was posted on Facebook by a man named Scott D Cheney who shared into a group named REOPEN NJ. The timestamp on the tweet is given as May 20, 2020.
As pointed out in Snopes’ fact-checking article on the tweet, there is no evidence of the original tweet being shared or anybody making comments on it. ProPublica’s database of deleted tweets from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shows no evidence of the tweet.
Facebook has flagged the post as being “false information.” The Facebook warning provides a link to a PolitiFact article labeling the post as fake. According to PolitiFact, “The Facebook post sharing the image was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.” Their article notes, “Ocasio-Cortez is a highly scrutinized elected official and if she said something as inflammatory as what appears in the post, it would have been widely reported.”
Prominent Republicans Including Rush Limbaugh & James Woods Spread the Fake Message
Media Matters for America reports that conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh read the tweet out on his June 23 radio show. The media watchdog mentioned in their report that Limbaugh “has previously accused “the Democratic hierarchy” of ordering governors to shut down their states’ economies.)
The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer tweeted that actor James Woods, who is a Donald Trump supporter, tweeted the screenshot of the fake tweet with the message, “Of course she deleted it.” The tweet no longer appears on the actor’s timeline. According to Will Sommer, Woods’ post was retweeted more than 5,000 times.
The Daily Dot reports that Fox News host Mark Levin also tweeted the screenshot. Levin accompanied the fake tweet with the message:
AOC let the cat out of the bag! The Democrats seek to destroy our economy, your jobs, and your businesses, hoping Trump will be blamed by the voters. See below. Keep in mind, AOC speaks for Biden. She’s an official part of Biden’s campaign.
Media Matters says that the post was also shared by Florida Republican congressional candidate Jessi Melton.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Has Been Referred to as Conservatives ‘Boogeyman’ in the Past
In March 2019, The Hill named Ocasio-Cortez as the “GOP’s new foe” and conservatives “annual boogeyman” at the conservative political conference CPAC. In August 2018, ABC News’ Johnny Verhovek’s reported that a Republican National Committee email referred to Ocasio-Cortez as a “Mini-Maduro.” An apparent reference to Venezuelan leader Nicholas Maduro.
That same year, Ocasio-Cortez made headlines when she rejected conservative pundit Ben Shapiro’s offer of a political debate. Ocasio-Cortez referred to Shapiro’s offer as “unsolicited” and compared it to catcalling.