Fake News: Trump's Team Has NOT Appeared To Delete Tweets Where He Used 'Invaders' To Describe Immigrants

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fake News: Trump's Team Has NOT Appeared To Delete Tweets Where He Used 'Invaders' To Describe Immigrants

Did President Trump's team appear to delete tweets where he used "invaders" to describe immigrants in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton attacks? No, that's not true: Tweets using the words "invaders" and "invasion" remained on the president's Twitter timeline a day after mass casualty shootings of August 3 and 4, 2019.

The false claim originated in various social media posts, including this tweet (archived here) published by "lawyer, writer, quipster, wonk" Amee Vanderpool on August 4, 2019. It read:

In light of El Paso and Dayton and the focus on white nationalist rhetoric, Trump's team has appeared to delete tweets where he used "invaders" to describe immigrants. This is a violation of the The Presidential Records Act of 1978 (44 USC §§ 2201-2207). #daytonshooter

This is what social media users saw:

Vanderpool, whose Twitter profile said she is a contributor to Playboy and a commentator for the BBC, argued it was a violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, since the White House has acknowledged Trump's tweets are presidential statements. Other Twitter accounts made the same charge, suggesting Trump aides were trying to clean up the president's record of using the same language -- specifically "invaders" and "invasions" --that accused El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius used in a "manifesto" posted online minutes before the mall massacre that killed 20 people and wounded another 26:

This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought own by an invasion.

Several candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination put blame on President Trump for inspiring the shooting with anti-immigrant rhetoric. Lead Stories is not addressing that claim in this article, just the deleted tweet accusation. Journalist Michelangelo Signorile, who hosts a radio show in SiriusXM, also tweeted the false deleted tweet claim:

But the tweets did not disappear, as CNN "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter pointed out to Vanderpool:

Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake also debunked the claim in a response to Vanderpool,

Finally, Vanderpool acknowledged she was wrong:

Still, Vanderpool's intial tweet was retweeted thousands of times.

You can see a "BAD INFORMATION ALERT" confirming this at Factbase:

August 4, 2019 Note:

While @realDonaldTrump has deleted more than 500 tweets, none of the 13 tweets using the root of the word "invade" nor the 9 tweets using the word "infest" have been deleted. You can use the search on the page to confirm. All are still public and on his Twitter feed.

Three tweets total have been deleted in August as of 8/4/19 @ 8:50 pm ET. There is no change in his delete pattern.

We wrote about twitter.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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