Fake News: Two Republican Senators Did NOT Say 'Is This Stuff Real?' About Impeachment Trial

Fact Check

  • by: Wayne Drash
Fake News: Two Republican Senators Did NOT Say 'Is This Stuff Real?' About Impeachment Trial

Did two Republican senators who only watch Fox News really say, "Is this stuff real? I haven't heard any of this before"? No, that's not true: Joe Lockhart, the White House press secretary for President Clinton during his impeachment, shared the story with his 48,000 followers on Twitter, only to walk it back minutes later as a made-up story.

The account originated from a tweet published by Lockhart on his official Twitter account on January 22, 2020 (archived here). The tweet read:

"Overheard convo between two Republican Senators who only watch Fox News. "is this stuff real? I haven't heard any of this before."

This was a shocking account, coming from a former White House press secretary who handled news conferences in the White House briefing room during the days of President Clinton's impeachment in the late 1990s.

Users on Twitter saw this tweet and shared it far and wide:

Joe Lockhart on Twitter

"Overheard convo between two Republican Senators who only watch Fox News. "is this stuff real? I haven't heard any of this before. I thought it was all about a server. If half the stuff Schiff is saying is true, we're up shit's creek. Hope the White House has exculpatory evidence"

Such a story would be big news if GOP lawmakers really shared such thoughts. Cracks like this among Republicans could lead to witnesses being called and documents shared - something the GOP-led Senate has not embraced.

The tweet was shared more than 9,000 times and had more than 37,000 likes as of this writing. But nine minutes after his original tweet, Lockhart said the story was fake.

Beyond his time as White House press secretary, Lockhart serves as a paid contributor for CNN. At a time when the news network gets berated by President Trump as "fake news," many Twitter users objected to Lockhart's made-up story.

The Babylon Bee, which bills itself as "fake news you can trust," tweeted back at Lockhart.

The Bee's tweet went viral, with many users adding an array of memes in the thread.

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  Wayne Drash

Wayne Drash, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is a former senior producer and writer for CNN’s Health team, telling narratives about life and the unfolding drama of the world we live on. He specialized in covering complex major issues, such as health insurance, the opioid epidemic and Big Pharma.

 

Read more about or contact Wayne Drash

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