Chain emails claim this picture's 'worth $678 million'
By Sue Owen
Published on Monday, January 6th, 2014 at 12:36 p.m.
Texas readers asked us about chain emails on the contract to build Healthcare.gov going to a company linked to a Princeton classmate of Michelle Obama. FactCheck.org and Snopes.com have taken a hard look at several claims in such emails they received.
Was CGI Federal given a no-bid contract to build Healthcare.gov and has it profited to the tune of $678 million?
The fact-checkers wrote that Toni Townes-Whitley is a senior vice president at CGI Federal who graduated from Princeton the same year as Obama (1985); they go into detail on possible connections between the two and write that they posed for a photo with their husbands at a 2010 White House holiday party.
Snopes and Fact-Check cast doubt on the $678 million figure, which Snopes said "appears to be mistakenly based on a figure that represented the total amount of money CGI had received for all of its government contracts related to health care for the previous several years." FactCheck wrote that a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman said Nov. 1 that the Healthcare.gov project’s budget was "in the neighborhood of $630 million."
Both stories look into other statements in the emails, as well, such as whether CGI "donated $47 million to Obama's campaign." With a tip of our fact-hunting hat, we’ll send you directly to our colleagues to read the rest of their findings: Snopes’ Dec. 6 piece and FactCheck’s Dec. 10 item.
FactCheck.org, "Michelle Obama and CGI Federal," Dec. 10, 2013
Snopes.com, "Unusual Development," Dec. 6, 2013
Researchers: Sue Owen
We want to hear your suggestions and comments. Email the Texas Truth-O-Meter with feedback and with claims you'd like to see checked. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.