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    "results": [
        {
            "id": 18811,
            "slug": "fact-checking-claim-about-who-couple-who-pointed-g",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Lawyer-couple who pointed guns at protesters are Black Lives Matter backers, Democrats and represent a police brutality victim.",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T17:32:28-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>A conservative activist painted the St. Louis couple who <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/jun/30/what-we-know-about-st-louis-couple-who-pointed-gun/\">pointed guns</a> at protesters marching outside their home as liberals who are actually aligned with the protesters.</p>\n\n<p>The &quot;gun-toting couple,&quot; wrote <a href=\"https://www.tpusa.com/bennyjohnson\">Benny Johnson</a>, support Black Lives Matter, are Democrats, and are representing a victim of police brutality.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The media is going to have a hard time comprehending this since they spent all of last night and this morning smearing them,&quot; wrote <a href=\"https://www.tpusa.com/bennyjohnson\">Johnson</a>, chief creative officer of Turning Point USA, a conservative <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/personalities/turning-point-usa/\">group</a> founded by <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/personalities/charlie-kirk/\">Charlie Kirk</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Johnson made the claim about Mark and Patricia McCloskey in a tweet, an image of which was then shared in a Facebook <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1374262892764770&amp;set=a.132183833639355&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">post</a> June 29.</p>\n\n<p>The Facebook post was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership</a> with Facebook.)</p>\n\n<p>Johnson deleted the tweet after he said he discovered a portion of it was inaccurate.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The incident</div>\n\n<p>Protesters seeking the resignation of St. Louis&rsquo; mayor in a controversy over police reform marched toward the mayor&rsquo;s house and past the McCloskeys&rsquo; home.</p>\n\n<p>The couple stood outside their home and brandished guns at the marchers, with Mark McCloskey saying his family feared for their lives because they said marchers had broken through a wrought iron gate that secured a private street in the neighborhood.</p>\n\n<p>The local prosecutor is investigating to see whether the couple should be charged.</p>\n\n<p>Now to the three parts of the claim.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Black Lives Matter statement of support</div>\n\n<p>The McCloskeys expressed support for Black Lives Matter in a <a href=\"https://twitter.com/RobertDEdwards/status/1277650481645596674/photo/1\">statement</a> released by their attorney, Albert Watkins, the day after the June 28 incident.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The peaceful protesters were not the subject of scorn or disdain by the McCloskeys. To the contrary, they were expecting and supportive of the message of the protesters,&quot; the statement said.</p>\n\n<p>The statement also quotes Watkins as saying:&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The Black Lives Matters movement is here to stay, it is the right message, and it is about time. The McCloskeys want to make sure no one thinks less of BLM, its message and the means it is employing to get its message out because of the actions of a few white individuals who tarnished a peaceful protest.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Wrong Mark McCloskey</div>\n\n<p>The tweet from Johnson included what appears to be a screenshot of Federal Election Commission data showing the name of Mark McCloskey and ActBlue. No other data is shown, but presumably the screenshot purports to show McCloskey donated to the group.</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/jun/12/ryan-fournier/conservative-pundits-share-false-claim-about-black/\">ActBlue</a> is a platform for people to contribute to Democratic campaigns and other causes like Black Lives Matter.</p>\n\n<p>Johnson apparently realized he erred on this part of his claim.</p>\n\n<p>On June 30, Johnson <a href=\"https://twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/1277960598555373568\">tweeted</a> an image of that tweet with this message: &quot;I deleted this tweet because the FEC screenshot that went viral online was from a different donor of the same name.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>According to the FEC, Mark McCloskey of the viral video made <a href=\"https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=mark+mccloskey&amp;contributor_city=st+louis&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2010&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2012&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2014&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2016&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2018&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2020\">20 contributions</a> between October 2016 and February 2017 to the Republican National Committee or Donald Trump&rsquo;s presidential campaign. Those are his most recent campaign contributions.</p>\n\n<p>McCloskey also made a few <a href=\"https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=mark+mccloskey&amp;contributor_city=st+louis&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1980&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1982&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1984&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1986&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1988&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1990&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1992&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1994&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1996&amp;two_year_transaction_period=1998&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2000&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2002&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2004&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2006&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2008&amp;two_year_transaction_period=2010\">donations</a> in 1996 to Republican politician Bill Phelps&rsquo; congressional campaign, a primary committee for the 1988 Bush-Quayle ticket, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.</p>\n\n<p>FEC records show that he has donated to Democrats in the past. Between 2004 and 2012, McCloskey <a href=\"https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?data_type=processed&amp;contributor_name=Mark+McCloskey&amp;contributor_state=MO\">donated</a> to Democratic candidates, including Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.</p>\n\n<p>On June 29, it was <a href=\"https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/st-louis-state-senate-candidate-not-keeping-gun-toting-lawyer-s-campaign-contribution/article_d5646fbd-df82-5fd1-9683-0b90369825a6.html\">reported</a> that a Democrat running for a Missouri state Senate seat said his campaign won&rsquo;t keep a $250 contribution he received from Mark McCloskey in 2019.</p>\n\n<p>We didn&rsquo;t find any donations from Patricia McCloskey in the FEC database.</p>\n\n<p>So, based on the pattern of their recent campaign contributions, it&rsquo;s wrong to say the couple are Democrats.</p>\n\n<p>In Missouri, voters <a href=\"https://s1.sos.mo.gov/cmsimages/ElectionGoVoteMissouri/register2vote/Adair.pdf\">do</a> <a href=\"https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/votingquestions\">not</a> register a party affiliation.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Represent police brutality victim</div>\n\n<p>Mark McCloskey represents Isaiah Forman, a man who is suing a police officer over injuries sustained during an arrest. According to a March 6 Associated Press <a href=\"https://www.startribune.com/indictment-missouri-officer-kicked-man-who-was-surrendering/568568172/\">news article:</a></p>\n\n<p>Forman is serving a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree assault on a special victim for crashing into a St. Ann, Mo., police car during an April 2019 chase. David Maas, then a police officer in suburban Woodson Terrace, kicked and struck Forman while he was compliant and not posing a physical threat to anyone, causing &quot;bodily injury&quot; and depriving him of his right to be &quot;free from unreasonable force,&quot; according to an indictment filed against Maas. Maas has been charged by the U.S. attorney&rsquo;s office in St. Louis with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>A lawyer for Maas denied the claims in the lawsuit and said Forman &quot;aggressively resisted arrest&quot; and &quot;struck a police vehicle, narrowly missing a police officer in the process.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A viral image shared on Facebook claimed that a lawyer-couple who pointed guns at protesters are Black Lives Matter backers, Democrats and represent a police brutality victim.</p>\n\n<p>There is some truth to it. The couple expressed support for Black Lives Matter after the incident, via a statement from their attorney. And Mark McCloskey represents a man who has filed a lawsuit alleging police brutality.</p>\n\n<p>But there&rsquo;s a reason the tweet was taken down. It uses campaign donation data from the wrong Mark McCloskey. The Mark McCloskey in the video has donated to both Democratic and Republican candidates, including multiple donations to the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump.</p>\n\n<p>We rate the statement Half True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Facebook, <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1374262892764770&amp;set=a.132183833639355&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">post</a> (archived <a href=\"http://archive.is/WDmAh\">here</a>), June 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Twitter, Benny Johnson <a href=\"https://twitter.com/bennyjohnson/status/1277960598555373568\">tweet</a>, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/jun/30/what-we-know-about-st-louis-couple-who-pointed-gun/\">&quot;What we know about the St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters, fearing &#39;angry mob,&rsquo;&quot;</a> June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Snopes, <a href=\"https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mark-mccloskey-donate-democrats/\">&quot;Did Mark McCloskey Donate to Democrats? After the couple pointed guns at protesters, rumors started to circulate about the McCloskeys&#39; political affiliations,&quot;</a> June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Twitter, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/RobertDEdwards/status/1277650481645596674/photo/1\">Rob Edwards tweet of statement</a>, June 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Federal Election Commission, <a href=\"https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=mark+mccloskey&amp;contributor_city=st+louis\">Mark McCloskey contributions from 2010-2020</a>, accessed June 30, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18818,
            "slug": "scotts-misleading-attack-biden-about-castro-maduro",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "rick-scott",
                "full_name": "Rick Scott",
                "first_name": "Rick",
                "last_name": "Scott"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Says “Joe Biden supported the Castro regime and meeting with Maduro.”",
            "ruling_slug": "barely-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T16:23:04-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>When asked about President Donald Trump&rsquo;s sagging poll numbers in Florida, Trump ally and Florida Sen. Rick Scott accused presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden of being an ally of Latin American dictators.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Biden supported the Castro regime and meeting with Maduro,&quot; Scott told <a href=\"https://www.fullcourtgreta.com/video/2020/06/27/sen-rick-scott-there-no-enthusiasm-joe-biden/\">Greta Van Susteren</a> on her news show &quot;Full Court Press&quot; on June 28.</p>\n\n<p>For voters of Cuban or Venezuelan descent in Florida, any suggestion that a politician supports repressive regimes that committed human rights abuses is a serious accusation. Cuban American voters in South Florida are an important voting bloc for Republicans, although Democrats point to <a href=\"https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-cuban-american-poll-20190131-story.html\">generational differences</a> with hopes of winning over <a href=\"https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/democrats-hope-sway-floridas-cuban-american-voting-bloc-amid-civil-unrest\">younger </a>voters.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Scott knows the power of his words about Latin American dictators. In 2018, <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/2019/04/22/floridas-hispanic-vote-nearly-doubled-in-2018-what-will-it-do-next-year/\">Scott focused heavily on Hispanic voters</a> and delivered an <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2018/sep/27/rick-scott/gov-rick-scotts-ridiculous-statement-sen-bill-nels/\">anti-socialism message</a> when he successfully ousted Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson by a <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/florida-senate\">tiny margin</a>. But is his statement accurate?&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>We found that Biden supports normalizing relations with Cuba as President Barack Obama did, but experts told us that doesn&rsquo;t equal supporting the regime. Biden had a brief encounter with Venezuelan President Nicol&aacute;s Maduro in 2015, but that meeting alone doesn&rsquo;t tell the full story about Biden&rsquo;s position with respect to the socialist leader.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&quot;Joe Biden supported the Castro regime.&quot;&nbsp;</div>\n\n<p>Scott&rsquo;s spokesperson pointed to <a href=\"https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/senator-rick-scott-condemns-joe-bidens-support-cuban-regime\">Biden&rsquo;s comments in April </a>when he told CBS&rsquo; <a href=\"https://miami.cbslocal.com/2020/04/27/cbs4-joe-biden-interview/\">Jim DeFede</a> that he would restore Obama&rsquo;s policy of engagement with Cuba.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;In large part, I would go back,&quot; Biden said. &quot;I&rsquo;d still insist they keep the commitments they said they would make when we, in fact, set the policy in place.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>DeFede asked Biden if re-engagement would reward Cuba at a time when its leaders are propping Maduro in Venezuela.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Well, they&rsquo;re having great difficulty propping up Maduro,&quot; Biden said. &quot;Number one, Maduro is in real trouble. Number two, there&rsquo;s no reason why we cannot still sanction them, but failing to recognize them at all is a different thing than sanctioning them.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>While Biden <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/updated-2020-candidates-answer-10-questions-on-latin-america/\">supports engagement with Cuba</a>, he has repeatedly criticized the regime&rsquo;s record on <a href=\"https://twitter.com/joebiden/status/1195810019020664833?lang=en\">human rights</a> and <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1261403984100818944\">political prisoners</a>.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I have no illusions about the situation in Cuba, and it&rsquo;s deeply concerning that the Cuban government continues to assert strong political and economic control while failing to respect press freedom and the freedom of assembly,&quot; Biden told the <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/foreign-policy/cuba-travel-restrictions/\">Washington Post during the primary</a>. &quot;But Cuba is not represented solely by its leadership. There are many different sectors that we can and should work with to support progress in Cuba &mdash; including entrepreneurs, religious groups, universities, young people and human rights defenders.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>There are varying opinions about whether the U.S. should engage with Cuba, including among <a href=\"https://cri.fiu.edu/research/cuba-poll/2018-fiu-cuba-poll.pdf\">Cuban American residents in Miami-Dade County</a>. Conservative Cuban Americans have argued that any U.S. engagement with Cuba ultimately helps the socialist regime. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2016/01/24/deciders-rubio/\">argued against any softening of policy toward Cuba</a>. During the <a href=\"https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/march-democratic-debate-transcript-joe-biden-bernie-sanders\">primary debate in March</a>, Biden said that Obama was trying to &quot;change Cuban policies so the Cuban people would get out from under the thumb of Castro and his brother.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Experts told us that support for engaging Cuba is not the same as endorsing the regime.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Engagement policies are always with adversaries, said Bert Hoffmann, Latin America expert at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and that was not &lsquo;supporting the regime&rsquo; but trying engagement policies,&quot; Hoffmann told PolitiFact. &quot;In the case of Cuba, Obama was always very clear that his engagement policy toward Cuba was in no way support of the regime, but a strategy to help the Cuban people and to stimulate change in a context where the Cold War-type confrontation between Cuba and the U.S. had been effectively stabilizing the Cuban regime for decades.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>William LeoGrande, professor of government at American University, said the charge that the Obama administration supported the Cuban regime amounts to &quot;partisan name-calling.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;President Obama&rsquo;s policy of opening a diplomatic dialogue with Cuba was based on the fact that the old policy of hostility and isolation was a failure,&quot; LeoGrande said. &quot;It hadn&rsquo;t worked for 60 years.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Obama challenged the Cuban regime on human rights and encouraged it to move toward democracy, LeoGrande said. U.S. interests required dialogue with Cuba on issues such as narcotics interdiction and environmental protection.</p>\n\n<p>There is debate about whether Obama&rsquo;s approach improved human rights for the Cuban people. Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, said it&rsquo;s clear Obama&rsquo;s intention was to influence democratic change &mdash; not to support the regime.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Biden on &quot;meeting with Maduro.&quot;</div>\n\n<p>Scott&rsquo;s spokeswoman pointed to a photo showing Biden and Maduro smiling at each other. It stems from their <a href=\"https://twitter.com/trumpwarroom/status/1172333728112103424?lang=en\">encounter in January 2015</a> during former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff&#39;s swearing-in ceremony in Brazil. We did not find an official transcript of their conversation, so we can only rely on what Biden and others said about their encounter and media reports.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"https://apnews.com/cb0f8669e9844019a6b356060c79dd95\">AP</a> at the time described it as a &quot;brief, impromptu meeting.&quot; An unnamed U.S. administration official said Maduro told Biden that he wanted improved ties, but was concerned about sanctions. Biden said one step Venezuela could take would be to release political prisoners. Maduro described the meeting as &quot;cordial.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Speaking in <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2019/09/16/joe-biden-returns-to-florida-in-bid-for-hispanic-voters/\">Miami in September</a>, Biden called &quot;it a coming to the Lord meeting with Maduro.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I told (Maduro), we&rsquo;d talk with him if he did the following things, starting with setting up elections, making sure he&rsquo;d release political prisoners, a whole range of things. That kind of ended our conversation,&quot; Biden said.</p>\n\n<p>So why was Biden laughing in the photo? We found a couple of different explanations.</p>\n\n<p>A Biden adviser, Juan S. Gonzalez, who identified himself in one of the photos, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/Cartajuanero/status/1172336671112564737\">tweeted that Biden</a> &quot;laughed when Maduro asked him to raise the price of oil (market didn&#39;t work that way) and that if he wanted to talk he first needed to release political prisoners and negotiate in earnest.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"https://www.yahoo.com/news/biden-maduro-shake-hands-exchange-words-brazil-meet-180452036.html\">Brazilian publication Valor</a> at the time <a href=\"https://valor.globo.com/politica/noticia/2015/01/02/se-tivesse-sua-cabeleira-seria-presidente-diz-biden-a-maduro.ghtml\">wrote</a> that Biden said to Maduro, &quot;If I had your hair, I&#39;d be president of the United States.&quot; (The <a href=\"http://mppre.gob.ve/2020/06/22/biden-pretende-olvidar-dialogo-presidente-maduro-estrategia-campana-politica/\">Venezuelan government website</a> in 2020 recounted a similar statement.)</p>\n\n<p>Other events point to rockier times. One month later, <a href=\"https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/02/joe-biden-not-plotting-overthrow-venezuela-president\">Maduro accused Biden</a> of trying to organize an effort to overthrow him. Biden&rsquo;s office denied the accusation but said Venezuela had violated freedom of speech, assembly and due process.</p>\n\n<p>Biden has &quot;been very clear that Maduro&#39;s government is illegitimate, and that Venezuela needs free and fair elections,&quot; LeoGrande said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>About a month after he met with Maduro, <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/blog/meeting-with-vice-president-biden-triggers-alleged-retaliation-from-venezuelan-government/\">Biden met with Lilian Tintori</a>, the wife of opposition leader and then-political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>During his campaign, <a href=\"https://www.cfr.org/article/presidential-candidates-venezuela\">Biden</a> <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1123352740363681792\">has</a> <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1214641417160724484\">repeatedly</a> <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/updated-2020-candidates-answer-10-questions-on-latin-america/\">criticized</a> Maduro. In February 2019, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1094345590069174273\">Biden called Maduro a &quot;tyrant&quot;</a> and called on the international community to support Juan Guaid&oacute; as president. Trump, too, <a href=\"https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/01/23/venezuela-juan-guaido-declares-himself-president-amid-protests/2658642002/\">recognized Guaid&oacute;</a> as the interim president.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Biden has also called for extending <a href=\"https://joebiden.com/todos-con-biden-policy/\">Temporary Protected Status</a> to Venezuelans who have fled for the United States. It is <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2019/mar/04/how-hard-it-venezuelans-get-asylum-us/\">tough for Venezuelans to get asylum</a> in the U.S.</p>\n\n<p>Democrats, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1274910217508196352\">including Biden</a>, have criticized Trump&rsquo;s comments about Maduro. In June, Trump told <a href=\"https://www.axios.com/trump-venezuela-guaido-maduro-ea665367-b088-4900-8d73-c8fb50d96845.html?utm_source=twitter&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_campaign=organic&amp;utm_content=1100\">Axios</a> that he was open to meeting with Maduro. In response to the backlash, Trump <a href=\"https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1275072468709859328\">tweeted</a>: &quot;I would only meet with Maduro to discuss one thing: a peaceful exit from power!&quot; John Bolton wrote in his <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-backtracks-on-a-meeting-with-venezuelas-maduro-after-chorus-of-criticism/2020/06/22/8f25d598-b491-11ea-aca5-ebb63d27e1ff_story.html\">book</a> that Trump thought Guaido was &quot;weak&quot; as opposed to Maduro, whom he called &quot;strong.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Our ruling</p>\n\n<p>Scott said, &quot;Joe Biden supported the Castro regime and meeting with Maduro.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Scott pointed to Biden&rsquo;s statements in April that he would engage with Cuba, as Obama did. But Scott ignores that Biden has repeatedly criticized Cuba&rsquo;s human rights record. Experts told us that Biden&rsquo;s plan to engage Cuba doesn&rsquo;t mean he supports the regime, although Cuba hardliners view it that way.</p>\n\n<p>Biden did have a brief encounter with Maduro in 2015 in Brazil, which was captured in photos. We don&rsquo;t have an official transcript of what was said but the fact that the two men spoke to each other doesn&rsquo;t mean they were in agreement. The AP reported that Biden suggested to Maduro that he should release political prisoners. Other reports say Biden made a joke about Maduro&rsquo;s hair. Biden has frequently called Maduro a &quot;tyrant&quot; and supported Guaid&oacute; as his replacement.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this statement Mostly False.</p>\n\n<p><em>PolitiFact staff writer Miriam Valverde contributed to this fact-check.</em></p>",
            "sources": "<p>Full Court Press, <a href=\"https://www.fullcourtgreta.com/video/2020/06/27/sen-rick-scott-there-no-enthusiasm-joe-biden/\">Sen. Rick Scott: &lsquo;There&#39;s no enthusiasm for Joe Biden&rsquo;</a> June 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Sen. Rick Scott press release, <a href=\"https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/senator-rick-scott-condemns-joe-bidens-support-cuban-regime\">Senator Rick Scott Condemns Joe Biden&rsquo;s Support of Cuban Regime</a>, April 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>CBS4, <a href=\"https://miami.cbslocal.com/2020/04/27/cbs4-joe-biden-interview/\">Joe Biden Confident He&rsquo;ll Turn Florida Blue, Says He&rsquo;ll Restore Obama-Era Cuba Policies In Exclusive CBS4 Interview</a>, April 27, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Former Vice President Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://joebiden.com/todos-con-biden-policy/\">Campaign website</a>, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden op-ed in the Miami Herald, Biden: Our Latin America policies are morally bankrupt. Mine reflect American values, June 24, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Miami Herald, Joe Biden said he &#39;confronted&#39; Venezuela&#39;s Nicolas Maduro. Is that true? Sept. 13, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Trump War Room, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/trumpwarroom/status/1172333728112103424?lang=en\">Tweet</a>, Sept. 19, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Juan S. Gonzalez, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/Cartajuanero/status/1172336671112564737\">Tweet</a>, Sept. 19, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/joebiden/status/1195810019020664833?lang=en\">Tweet</a>, Nov. 16, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1123352740363681792\">Tweet</a>, April 30, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1214641417160724484\">Tweet</a>, Jan. 7, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Joe Biden, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1274910217508196352\">Tweet,</a> June 21, 2020</p>\n\n<p>President Donald Trump, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1275072468709859328\">Tweet</a>, June 22, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Council on Foreign Relations, <a href=\"https://www.cfr.org/article/presidential-candidates-venezuela\">The Presidential Candidates on Venezuela</a>, July 30, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Rev.com, <a href=\"https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/march-democratic-debate-transcript-joe-biden-bernie-sanders\">March Democratic Debate Transcript: Joe Biden &amp; Bernie Sanders</a>, March 16, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Americas Quarterly, <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/article/updated-2020-candidates-answer-10-questions-on-latin-america/\">UPDATED: 2020 Candidates Answer 10 Questions on Latin America</a>, March 4, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Venezuelan government, <a href=\"http://mppre.gob.ve/2020/06/22/biden-pretende-olvidar-dialogo-presidente-maduro-estrategia-campana-politica/\">Biden pretende olvidar di&aacute;logo con el presidente Maduro como estrategia de campa&ntilde;a pol&iacute;tica</a>, June 22, 2020</p>\n\n<p>The Guardian, <a href=\"https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/02/joe-biden-not-plotting-overthrow-venezuela-president\">US says Joe Biden is not plotting to overthrow Venezuela&#39;s president</a>, Feb. 2, 2015</p>\n\n<p>AFP, Biden, <a href=\"https://www.yahoo.com/news/biden-maduro-shake-hands-exchange-words-brazil-meet-180452036.html\">Maduro shake hands, exchange words at Brazil meet</a>, Jan. 2, 2015</p>\n\n<p>AP, Biden, <a href=\"https://apnews.com/cb0f8669e9844019a6b356060c79dd95\">Venezuela leader discuss improving relations</a>, Jan. 2, 2015</p>\n\n<p>Tampa Bay Times, <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2019/09/16/joe-biden-returns-to-florida-in-bid-for-hispanic-voters/\">Joe Biden returns to Florida in bid for Hispanic voters,</a> Sept. 16, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Americas Quarterly, <a href=\"https://www.americasquarterly.org/blog/meeting-with-vice-president-biden-triggers-alleged-retaliation-from-venezuelan-government/\">Meeting with Vice President Biden Triggers Alleged Retaliation from Venezuelan Government</a>, Feb. 13, 2015</p>\n\n<p>Axios, <a href=\"https://www.axios.com/trump-venezuela-guaido-maduro-ea665367-b088-4900-8d73-c8fb50d96845.html\">Exclusive: Trump cold on Guaid&oacute;, would consider meeting Maduro</a>, June 21, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-backtracks-on-a-meeting-with-venezuelas-maduro-after-chorus-of-criticism/2020/06/22/8f25d598-b491-11ea-aca5-ebb63d27e1ff_story.html\">Trump backtracks on a meeting with Venezuela&rsquo;s Maduro after chorus of criticism</a>, June 22, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/foreign-policy/cuba-travel-restrictions/\">Questionnaire to candidates during the primary</a>, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Sun Sentinel, <a href=\"https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-cuban-american-poll-20190131-story.html\">Poll shows generational, political divides among Cuban-Americans</a>, Feb. 1, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post,<a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-threats-to-use-force-against-protesters-fit-a-long-standing-pattern/2020/06/02/d26dc58a-a4de-11ea-bb20-ebf0921f3bbd_story.html\"> Trump&rsquo;s threats to use force against protesters fit a long-standing pattern</a>, June 2, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2016/01/24/deciders-rubio/\">Marco Rubio&rsquo;s cold war</a>, Jan. 24, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Congressional Research Service,<a href=\"https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF10715.pdf\"> Venezuela: Overview of U.S. Sanctions</a>, June 2, 2020</p>\n\n<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/florida-senate\">Florida Senate Election Results: Bill Nelson vs. Rick Scott</a>, Jan. 28, 2019</p>\n\n<p>FIU, <a href=\"https://cri.fiu.edu/research/cuba-poll/2018-fiu-cuba-poll.pdf\">Cuba poll,</a> 2018</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2018/sep/27/rick-scott/gov-rick-scotts-ridiculous-statement-sen-bill-nels/\">Gov. Rick Scott&#39;s Pants on Fire statement that Sen. Bill Nelson is a socialist</a>, Sept. 27, 2018</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Mike Gwin, former Vice President Joe Biden campaign spokesman, June 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Sarah Schwirian, Sen. Rick Scott spokeswoman, June 29, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, William LeoGrande, professor of government at American University, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Bert Hoffmann, Latin America expert and professor at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email, Mark Feierstein, who held senior positions on Latin America in the Obama Administration and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, June 30, 2020&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Email, Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University and professor of anthropology, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview,&nbsp; Jennifer McCoy, a political scientist and expert on Latin American politics at Georgia State University, June 30, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18817,
            "slug": "no-coronavirus-vaccines-development-havent-killed-",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“Four kids who took the coronavirus vaccine died immediately.”",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T14:25:25-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>There&rsquo;s still no proven, publicly available vaccine for the coronavirus, but misinformation about it is already coursing through the internet.</p>\n\n<p>One recent Facebook post shares an image containing inflammatory claims about a coronavirus vaccine that might one day be available to the public.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The covid-19 vaccine will be mandatory in order to go back too school. They will contain RFID Chips,&quot; <a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200630234301/https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=268596624349001&amp;set=a.102790180929647&amp;type=3&amp;theater=\">the image in the post</a> reads. It continues: &quot;Many kids will die from the covid-19 vaccine. Just to remind you the 4 kids that took the vaccine, died immediately.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The post was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (<a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">Read more about our partnership with Facebook.</a>)</p>\n\n<p>The&nbsp;claims in the post&nbsp;are&nbsp;speculative and misleading in a number of ways, and <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-vaccine-microchip-idUSKBN23V1F5?fbclid=IwAR0ZbmbTJcPp3i2iZ4b6UoXTZFvp0jnQTvwWAVBqmkKCtYggnJathNuCFh4\">have&nbsp;been debunked</a> by another fact-checking organization.</p>\n\n<p>COVID-19 has killed more than half a million people worldwide, including nearly 130,000 in the U.S. Companies around the world are scrambling to develop a vaccine, and many potential vaccines are undergoing safety trials in humans.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Health officials are <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trumps-promise-of-warp-speed-fuels-anti-vaccine-movement-in-fertile-corners-of-the-web/2020/05/20/c2b3d408-9ab2-11ea-89fd-28fb313d1886_story.html\">struggling to reassure</a> some skeptics that a vaccine can be developed quickly without compromising safety.</p>\n\n<p>As of June 30, only one coronavirus vaccine <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html\">had been approved for limited use</a>. The Chinese government has approved it <a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/health/china-coronavirus-military-vaccine-intl-hnk-scli/index.html\">only for military personnel</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Currently there is no coronavirus vaccine that has been approved for the American public. And there is no evidence that children have died because they received one of the COVID-19 vaccines being developed.</p>\n\n<p>In April, PolitiFact investigated a claim that seven children in Senegal died after receiving COVID-19 vaccines and discovered <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/13/facebook-posts/no-seven-children-senegal-didnt-die-after-covid-19/\">the Facebook post&rsquo;s claim was false</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>In May, Reuters also reported that <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-guinea-vaccine/false-claim-video-shows-aftermath-of-fatal-covid-19-vaccination-in-guinea-idUSKBN22D67U\">social media posts were incorrect</a> in claiming that a TV news report from 2019 showed the deadly results of a COVID-19 vaccination trial in Guinea.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact found no evidence that anyone has died from complications related to a trial COVID-19 vaccination.</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact has also debunked several false claims involving the coronavirus vaccine and microchips. <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/03/facebook-posts/no-us-isnt-developing-vaccine-or-antivirus-chip-tr/\">The U.S. isn&rsquo;t developing an &quot;antivirus&quot;</a> for COVID-19 that will include an RFID chip, for example. There&rsquo;s also no evidence that Democrats are <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/23/facebook-posts/no-democrats-arent-pushing-microchips-fight-corona/\">pushing for mandatory vaccinations or microchip implants to fight the coronavirus</a>.</p>\n\n<p>And there is no evidence yet of any requirement that students be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to school, though some states <a href=\"https://www.wpr.org/will-wisconsin-kids-need-eventual-covid-19-vaccine-go-school-history-has-some-answers\">could require it</a> if a vaccine becomes available.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>State laws govern immunization requirements for schoolchildren, including those in private schools and daycare centers, but all states <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/publications/topic/vaccinations.html\">allow exemptions</a> for medical reasons, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and some allow exemptions for religious or philosophical reasons.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A viral image on Facebook claimed, &quot;Many kids will die from the covid-19 vaccine. Just to remind you the 4 kids that took the vaccine, died immediately.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>There is no evidence that children have died because of the coronavirus vaccines in development, or that a future vaccine will contain microchips.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this claim False.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>New York Times, <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html\">&quot;Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker,&quot;</a> accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Reuters, <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-vaccine-microchip-idUSKBN23V1F5?fbclid=IwAR0ZbmbTJcPp3i2iZ4b6UoXTZFvp0jnQTvwWAVBqmkKCtYggnJathNuCFh4\">&quot;Fact check: Four children have not died from a COVID-19 vaccine containing microchips,&quot;</a> June 24, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/13/facebook-posts/no-seven-children-senegal-didnt-die-after-covid-19/\">&quot;No, seven children in Senegal didn&rsquo;t die after COVID-19 vaccines,&quot;</a> April 13, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/23/facebook-posts/no-democrats-arent-pushing-microchips-fight-corona/\">&quot;No, Democrats aren&rsquo;t pushing microchips to fight coronavirus,&quot;</a> April 23, 2020</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/03/facebook-posts/no-us-isnt-developing-vaccine-or-antivirus-chip-tr/\">&quot;No, the US isn&rsquo;t developing a vaccine or &lsquo;antivirus&rsquo; with a chip to track people,&quot;</a> April 3, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Reuters, <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-guinea-vaccine/false-claim-video-shows-aftermath-of-fatal-covid-19-vaccination-in-guinea-idUSKBN22D67U\">&quot;False claim: video shows aftermath of fatal COVID-19 vaccination in Guinea,&quot;</a> May 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Wisconsin Public Radio, <a href=\"https://www.wpr.org/will-wisconsin-kids-need-eventual-covid-19-vaccine-go-school-history-has-some-answers\">&quot;Will Wisconsin Kids Need An Eventual COVID-19 Vaccine To Go To School? History Has Some Answers,&quot;</a> June 12, 2020</p>\n\n<p>CNN, <a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/health/china-coronavirus-military-vaccine-intl-hnk-scli/index.html\">&quot;Beijing approves experimental Covid-19 vaccine for use in Chinese military,&quot;</a> June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>CDC, <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/publications/topic/vaccinations.html\">&quot;State School and Childcare Vaccination Laws,&quot;</a> accessed July 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/trumps-promise-of-warp-speed-fuels-anti-vaccine-movement-in-fertile-corners-of-the-web/2020/05/20/c2b3d408-9ab2-11ea-89fd-28fb313d1886_story.html\">&quot;Trump&rsquo;s promise of &lsquo;Warp Speed&rsquo; fuels anti-vaccine movement in fertile corners of the Web,&quot;</a> May 20, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18816,
            "slug": "nfl-player-stood-alone-during-national-anthem-says",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "NFL player “stood alone\" while his whole team stayed in the locker room during the national anthem, “a real American patriot!”",
            "ruling_slug": "half-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T13:32:24-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>With the National Football League <a href=\"https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1269034074552721408\">softening</a>&nbsp;its stance on peaceful protests during the national anthem, more players <a href=\"https://www.cbsnews.com/news/adrian-peterson-protest-knee-washington-redskins/\">are</a> <a href=\"https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-players-to-kneel-for-anthem-as-a-group-and-some-believe-roger-goodell-could-take-part/\">expected</a> to kneel rather than stand during the pregame ritual in the coming season to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement protesting police brutality.</p>\n\n<p>That&rsquo;s likely to mean more criticism from people, <a href=\"https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1271914734724546564?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1271914734724546564%7Ctwgr%5E&amp;ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fstory%2Fsports%2F2020%2F06%2F13%2Fdonald-trump-nfl-us-soccer-kneeling-during-national-anthem%2F3184906001%2F\">including</a>&nbsp;President Donald Trump, who see the gesture as unpatriotic.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>On June 19, a Facebook user <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3624579084235596&amp;set=a.119718061388400&amp;type=3\">posted</a> a viral image of Pittsburgh Steeler and West Point graduate Alejandro Villanueva, a <a href=\"https://www.steelers.com/team/players-roster/alejandro-villanueva/\">two-time</a> Pro Bowl offensive lineman and former U.S. Army <a href=\"https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2019-news-articles/soldier-to-steeler-nfl-star-shares-insight-to-military-service/#:~:text=Villanueva%20served%20in%20the%20Army,isolated%20position%20on%20a%20battlefield.\">captain</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The caption on the image says: &quot;If you want to make any football player really famous. Let it be this man. He came out and stood alone while his whole team stood in the locker room. He&rsquo;s a veteran and did 3 tours in Iraq. Make him famous. His name is Alejandro Villanueva! A real American patriot!&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3624579084235596&amp;set=a.119718061388400&amp;type=3\">post</a> was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\">partnership</a> with Facebook.)</p>\n\n<p>Villanueva is a veteran who did <a href=\"https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2019-news-articles/soldier-to-steeler-nfl-star-shares-insight-to-military-service/#:~:text=Villanueva%20served%20in%20the%20Army,isolated%20position%20on%20a%20battlefield.\">three</a> tours of duty in Iraq, earning a Bronze Star. But the image isn&rsquo;t quite what its caption says it is.</p>\n\n<p>The image is from just prior to the Steelers&rsquo; road game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sept. 24, 2017. That day, <a href=\"https://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/25288/full-transcript-alejandro-villanueva-on-steelers-pregame-ordeal\">some</a> NFL players around the league kneeled, sat or locked arms during the anthem as a show of unity and a form of protest against comments by Trump, who had <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/sports/nfl-trump-anthem-protests.html\">said</a> protesting players should be fired.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>For that game, the Steelers had decided in a team meeting that players would keep any protests off the field and stay in the stadium tunnel during the anthem. But Villanueva emerged from the tunnel and went on the field anyway.</p>\n\n<p>The entertainment TV show &quot;Inside Edition&quot; did a <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj4_F-8UzDo\">story</a> with video clips from the anthem stating that Villanueva was &quot;breaking ranks&quot; with his teammates, and noting that Villanueva&rsquo;s jersey had become the top seller in the league.</p>\n\n<p>But Villanueva insisted he was not being defiant. He just got caught in an awkward moment.</p>\n\n<p>Here&rsquo;s part of what the former Army Ranger and captain <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJubf3o_YCo\">told</a> reporters the day after the game:</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;Based on my unique circumstances and based on the fact that I&#39;ve served in the Army and that pretty much everything that my life is lived through the military, I asked (quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) if there was a way to define the inside or where is it that we were going to stay and if I could watch the national anthem from the tunnel, and he agreed. He said the captains will be out there right behind me, so this plan sort of morphed to accommodate this tough, moral dilemma that I had in my hands to where the players could be behind me in the tunnel. ...</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\">&quot;I asked one of the security guards when the national anthem was going to start; he said 20 seconds. So I just walked out and I stopped as soon as I saw the flag, as soon as I had a vantage point. &hellip; And when I turned around to sort of signal everybody else to come in so they wouldn&#39;t leave me alone, then that&#39;s when (the song started and) they were essentially unable to exit. At that moment, it was the decision of, do you walk out of the national anthem and join your teammates? I know that would have looked extremely bad. Or as a team, do you start moving halfway through the national anthem?&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Villanueva said the impression that he chose to break ranks with his teammates was &quot;my fault only.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our rating</div>\n\n<p>A Facebook post suggested that Villanueva defiantly stood alone during a pregame national anthem as his teammates remained inside the stadium tunnel. Villanueva was the only Steelers player on the field during the anthem, just outside the tunnel, while the others were inside. But he later apologized, saying he &quot;unwillingly made a mistake&quot; by walking out ahead of his teammates.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important information. We rate it Half True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Facebook, post (archived <a href=\"http://archive.is/PqaBP\">here</a>), June 19, 2020</p>\n\n<p>YouTube, <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj4_F-8UzDo\">&quot;Inside Edition&quot; story</a>, Sept. 25, 2017</p>\n\n<p>YouTube, Watertown Daily Times <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJubf3o_YCo\">video</a> of Alejandro Villanueva statement, Sept 25, 2017</p>\n\n<p>Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, <a href=\"https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2017/09/25/alejandro-villanueva-steelers-national-anthem-protest/stories/201709250175\">&quot;Alejandro Villanueva: &#39;I feel embarrassed&#39; by anthem foul-up,&quot;</a> Sept. 25, 2017</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18814,
            "slug": "painting-people-around-world-wearing-masks-2020-no",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "A Denver International Airport mural of people wearing masks was painted in 1994.",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T11:57:35-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Conspiracy theories that claim COVID-19 was planned as part of a world domination scheme by the &quot;elite&quot; have run amok on the internet.</p>\n\n<p>A miscaptioned mural of people wearing masks was recently tacked onto those rumors as more evidence of the plot. But it&rsquo;s not.</p>\n\n<p>In late June 2020, Facebook users shared <a href=\"http://archive.is/iOmNc\">a photograph</a> of a mural that showed people of the world wearing masks. <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10218338679885438&amp;set=a.2814155120094&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">The</a> <a href=\"http://archive.is/vgdAJ\">posts</a> claim that the mural was created in 1994 for the Denver International Airport, and the mural proves that the virus was planned.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The Denver airport mural painted in 1994. Tell me this is not weird, how far do they plan this stuff in advance?&quot; text along the bottom of the image reads.</p>\n\n<p>One user who shared the image wrote: &quot;And I&rsquo;m the conspiracy &quot;theorist&quot;?! Sorry, but no&hellip;&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Another said, &quot;PLANDEMIC 1994 Denver International airport. Illuminati artworks on display.&quot;</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<div>&nbsp;</div>\n\n<p>The post was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about<a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\"> our partnership with Facebook</a>.)&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The mural itself is legitimate. But it&rsquo;s not from 1994, it&rsquo;s not in the airport, and it didn&rsquo;t portend the coronavirus pandemic.</p>\n\n<p>There is some confusion over who created the piece, but we can confirm that it has never been displayed in the Denver International Airport and was made in 2020, not 1994.</p>\n\n<p>The earliest online appearance of the piece was when CJ Trinidad, an artist in the Philippines, <a href=\"http://archive.is/A36Ah\">shared it to his Facebook page</a> in February 2020 with the caption &quot;MASKCOMMUNICATION.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>He posted multiple photographs of the artwork, including one of it <a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/p/CB9tdqkDE9f/\">in progress</a>, and another of him <a href=\"http://archive.is/uvprL\">posing with it.</a> His signature appears at the bottom right corner of the piece, and <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2961372850598898&amp;set=p.2961372850598898&amp;type=3&amp;theater\">apparel</a> that features the artwork has also been shared on his Facebook account.</p>\n\n<p>But the same piece was credited to someone named Neha Kumari for a <a href=\"https://iccr4art.com/gallerydemo.php\">coronavirus-themed global art competition</a> hosted by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Kumari entered it into the competition <a href=\"http://archive.is/N9yXh\">under a different title</a>. The image of the mural on the website also shows Trinidad&rsquo;s signature is cut off.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Authorship aside, the listed submission date of the artwork on the contest website is where people may have gotten the wrong idea about when it was created.</p>\n\n<p>The piece is listed <a href=\"https://iccr4art.com/gallery-detail.php?id=3302&amp;__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=ac3b3dba9add4e188b2c3470a512edffb920f71f-1593232243-0-AXlPoHOwyOaFgyV9bCmMBJbdBgIhjFY-0nptA-Posv3GaOc72cLGPihsVJmeY_p7aDzHY-W-q-tZYzPhEdNvhIyrYFgx8RoBb0U7TLW1gRR1PJnWIfyMk1Pw1YHsgS0qdRRXCcFdS1YRFOzIX5ay7z0BaXSgpdQXPlNZ8SzX3xe1oAV_7B1b_2DMembpQL8hPy1hm7kIC_fHj8i2vjwO829sFWk4N3F0hluWUowz-Zv32eGnINs70HO7FWm6sryZjFDzGpnArECayAOsQe3cHXEPnLxwoNY7hUUrWED9zdAlbnS9Q00iP-TCkDaXDGasxw\">on the site</a> as being submitted on Dec. 28, 1995, but this appears to be an error. The competition&rsquo;s submissions didn&rsquo;t open until April 2020. We reached out to the organization for clarification but haven&rsquo;t heard back.</p>\n\n<p>As for the Denver airport piece of the claim, that&rsquo;s easy to disprove. Alex Renteria, an airport spokesperson, told PolitiFact that the piece is not from the airport&rsquo;s collection.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The only mural painted in 1994 for DEN featuring international children wearing traditional clothing and that also features flags is Leo Tanguma&rsquo;s &lsquo;Children of the World Dream of Peace,&rsquo; but none are wearing masks,&quot; Renteria said.</p>\n\n<p>The airport opened to the public in February 1995 and has been <a href=\"https://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/31/definitive-guide-to-denver-international-airport-conspiracy-theories/\">a hotbed for conspiracy theories</a> for decades, particularly involving its bold, and sometimes unnerving, public art pieces.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>Facebook posts claim that a piece of artwork that shows citizens of the world wearing masks was created in 1994 and is displayed in the Denver International Airport.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>While the original artist is still unclear, the image of the piece does not show a mural that was made in 1994 at the airport.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this False.&nbsp;</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Facebook <a href=\"http://archive.is/iOmNc\">post</a>, June 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Facebook <a href=\"http://archive.is/A36Ah\">post</a>, Feb. 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Facebook <a href=\"http://archive.is/uvprL\">post,</a> March 16, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Instagram <a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/p/CB9tdqkDE9f/\">post,</a> June 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Indian Council for Cultural Relations, <a href=\"https://iccr4art.com/gallerydemo.php\">UNITED AGAINST CORONA- EXPRESS THROUGH ART</a>, Accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Indian Council for Cultural Relations, <a href=\"http://archive.is/N9yXh\">SUFFERING AND FIGHTING AGAINST CORONA VIRUS</a>, Accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Indian Council for Cultural Relations, <a href=\"https://www.iccr.gov.in/flashnews/art-competition-%E2%80%9Cunited-against-corona-express-through-art%E2%80%9D-guidelines-participants\">Competition guidelines for participants</a>, Accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Denver Post, <a href=\"https://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/31/definitive-guide-to-denver-international-airport-conspiracy-theories/\">The definitive guide to Denver International Airport&rsquo;s biggest conspiracy theories</a>, Oct. 31, 2016</p>\n\n<p>Email interview, Alex Renteria public information officer at the Denver International Airport, June 30, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18815,
            "slug": "photo-shows-st-louis-protesters-pointing-microphon",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "facebook-posts",
                "full_name": "Facebook posts",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Facebook posts"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "An image from the St. Louis protest is “what MSM (mainstream media) won’t show you. Peaceful demonstrator pointing weapon at homeowner.”",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T11:28:22-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>You&rsquo;ve no doubt seen the photos of a white man and woman in an upscale St. Louis neighborhood pointing guns at protesters marching near their house.</p>\n\n<p>A poster on social media says that&rsquo;s not the whole story, and uses a different photo from the ones you&rsquo;ve seen to make a different point. &quot;This is what MSM (mainstream media) won&rsquo;t show you. Peaceful demonstrator pointing weapon at homeowner,&quot; the post reads.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>You can see the post and the image <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/dick.stambaugh.5/posts/2657796381105562\">here</a>. (We&rsquo;re not including it in this story because we don&rsquo;t have rights to the image) In the image, the woman is pointing a handgun at a group of protesters. In the bottom right hand corner, a Black man in a white shirt is pointing a long, narrow black cylinder back at the woman. The text accompanying the photo on Facebook says it&rsquo;s a weapon, but eyewitnesses say it wasn&rsquo;t.</p>\n\n<p>In the bottom left hand corner of the image is a watermark from Reuters, a news agency.</p>\n\n<p>The post was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about<a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\"> our partnership with Facebook</a>.)&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The picture is authentic. We corroborated that the photo was taken June 28, 2020, by Reuters photographer Lawrence Bryant. <a href=\"https://pictures.reuters.com/CS.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&amp;VBID=2C0FC00NFB2C&amp;RW=1440&amp;RH=691#/SearchResult&amp;VBID=2C0FC00NFB2C&amp;RW=1440&amp;RH=691&amp;POPUPPN=1&amp;POPUPIID=2C0FQEX2714DX\">The photo is available on the Reuters website for purchase.</a></p>\n\n<p>The caption information provided with the photograph says the man in the image was not holding a gun.</p>\n\n<p>The caption information from Reuters says: &quot;Patricia McCloskey and her husband Mark McCloskey draw their firearms on protestors, including a man who holds a video camera and microphone, as they enter their neighborhood during a protest against St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. June 28, 2020.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Bryant spoke about the incident in a subsequent interview with Reuters. He described the protesters as peaceful.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I wanted to show there were people protesting peacefully and they came to engage them,&quot; <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-protests-couple-im/a-picture-and-its-story-us-couple-waves-guns-at-anti-racism-protesters-idUSKBN2413FQ\">he said</a>. We reached out to Bryant and will update this story with additional information if we hear back.</p>\n\n<p>We consulted videos from the event looking for further information about what happened.</p>\n\n<p>In this video from <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/29/st-louis-protest-gun-mayor/\">Storyful and posted on the Washington Post</a> website, you see the McCloskeys interacting with some protesters, but not the man in the white shirt. The McCloskeys are holding guns. The protesters in the video do not have weapons. They are holding phones and tablets and are recording the McCloskeys.</p>\n\n<p>In another video from Twitter user <a href=\"https://twitter.com/averyrisch/status/1277398535973949440?s=20\">@averyrisch</a>, you can see the McCloskeys holding weapons. You don&rsquo;t see any protesters holding weapons. You do not see the man in the Reuters image in the white shirt.</p>\n\n<p>Mark McCloskey <a href=\"https://www.kmov.com/news/st-louis-couple-seen-pointing-guns-at-protestors/article_afbb1b2c-b98e-11ea-ba7e-b3452007bfc8.html\">told St. Louis television station</a> that &quot;one fellow standing right in front of me pulled out two pistol magazines, clicked them together and said, &lsquo;you&rsquo;re next.&rsquo;&quot; We couldn&rsquo;t corroborate that in any of the photo or video footage from the event. Pistol magazines do not match the description in the photo, nor does the context. Daniel Shular, a local reporter who covered the protest, told CNN that some protesters had weapons, but &quot;<a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/01/us/st-louis-couple-protest-firearms-mob-trnd/index.html\">no one drew their guns on the people from the house</a>.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>One other note: The person who made the claim on Facebook that the protester was holding a weapon says he is from Pennsylvania and does not claim to have attended the protest.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>A post with an image from St. Louis says, &quot;This is what MSM (mainstream media) won&rsquo;t show you. Peaceful demonstrator pointing weapon at homeowner.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The person who took the photo said the peaceful demonstrator was holding a video camera and microphone, not a gun.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this claim False.</p>",
            "sources": "<p><a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/dick.stambaugh.5/posts/2657796381105562?__cft__[0]=AZW3VEUMlRanJMcZDMDaVezuoe857qXwIq9IUW6CFc3rlbYVc4vBbDWJd57PKT5tsa9fL_julDarmsQAwTrZ7Dh3GUeEb0MxXKms3B20MD8xOe68Npg_OX5uDhR4BvXjOWA&amp;__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R\">Facebook post</a>, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Reuters, <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/us-minneapolis-police-protests-couple-im/a-picture-and-its-story-us-couple-waves-guns-at-anti-racism-protesters-idUSKBN2413FQ\">A picture and its story: U.S. couple waves guns at anti-racism protesters</a>, June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://pictures.reuters.com/CS.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&amp;VBID=2C0FC00NFB2C&amp;RW=1440&amp;RH=691#/SearchResult&amp;VBID=2C0FC00NFB2C&amp;RW=1440&amp;RH=691&amp;POPUPPN=1&amp;POPUPIID=2C0FQEX2714DX\">Reuters photo archive</a>, accessed July 1, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/29/st-louis-protest-gun-mayor/\">Storyful video of the St. Louis incident</a>, June 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://twitter.com/averyrisch/status/1277398535973949440?s=20\">@averyrisch</a> video of the incident, June 28, 2020</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.kmov.com/news/st-louis-couple-seen-pointing-guns-at-protestors/article_afbb1b2c-b98e-11ea-ba7e-b3452007bfc8.html\">St. Louis television station KMOV coverage of the incident</a>, interview with Mark McCloskey</p>\n\n<p>CNN, <a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/01/us/st-louis-couple-protest-firearms-mob-trnd/index.html\">St. Louis homeowner who pointed weapon at protesters says he &#39;was a victim of a mob&#39; and doesn&#39;t oppose Black Lives Matter</a>, July 1, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18813,
            "slug": "scott-milne-violating-campaign-finance-laws-appear",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "vermont-democratic-party",
                "full_name": "Vermont Democratic Party",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Vermont Democratic Party"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "\"Advertisements for [Scott] Milne’s travel company allow Milne to illegally use corporate funds.\"",
            "ruling_slug": "false",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T10:00:00-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>The Vermont Democratic Party has called on state media organizations to stop running advertisements for Milne Travel, a business owned by Scott Milne, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Milne has recently appeared in <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCZ_qc2HgHQ\">television ads</a> for his travel agency. The Democrats allege Milne is spending corporate funds &quot;in service of boosting his name recognition for political gains.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Advertisements for Mr. Milne&rsquo;s travel company allow Milne to illegally use corporate funds and skirt around campaign finance laws to boost his name recognition for political gain,&quot; party officials said <a href=\"https://www.vtdemocrats.org/milne-travel\">in a statement</a>.</p>\n\n<p>The television ad featuring Milne does not make a reference to his political candidacy. In the advertisement, Milne says he hopes the Covid-19 pandemic will soon subside, and that a &quot;brighter day is on the horizon.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;When you are ready to travel again, we&#39;re right here, ready to help, just as we&#39;ve been since 1975,&quot; Milne says.</p>\n\n<p>But the Democratic Party charges that Milne&#39;s ad doesn&#39;t focus on his business, but his personal story.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It&#39;s in fact kind of a bio narrative that you would put in a campaign ad, so that&#39;s where the concern lies,&quot; R. Christopher Di Mezzo, a spokesperson for the party, said in an interview.</p>\n\n<p>The current ad does not highlight Milne&#39;s backstory. But in 2016, when he was running for U.S. Senate, Milne also appeared in ads for his company, which mentioned that his parents founded the company in the 1970s.</p>\n\n<p>Is running and appearing in ads for his company while seeking the lieutenant governor&#39;s office really an illegal use of corporate funds, as the Democrats claim?</p>\n\n<p>The Democratic Party pointed to federal and state campaign finance laws to back up their claim.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>State law defines an &quot;electioneering communication&quot; as one that clearly refers to a candidate for office, and either supports, or opposes that candidate. Federal law has a similar definition: candidates and corporations must report expenditures that promote the election of candidates.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But campaign finance experts said that just because Milne appears in ads for his company while running for office at the same time doesn&rsquo;t mean he is running afoul of the law.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Brian Porto, a professor at Vermont Law School who specializes in election law, said that after reviewing state statutes, he can&rsquo;t find &quot;clear evidence of a violation.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;He may be using &lsquo;corporate funds&rsquo; from his company, but using your company&#39;s funds to promote your company&#39;s product -- in this case, travel services -- is perfectly legal,&quot; Porto said.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Admittedly, Mr. Milne appears in the ads, but their purpose is to promote his company, not him,&quot; Porto said, adding he didn&rsquo;t see how the ads &quot;intend to promote [Milne&rsquo;s] candidacy.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;If the viewer didn&#39;t already know that Milne was a candidate, she certainly wouldn&#39;t learn from the ad that he was a candidate,&quot; he said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Porto noted that the advertisements could &quot;boost his general name recognition&quot; and suggested that an &quot;ethical compromise&quot; would be for Milne to not appear in them until after the election.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The Vermont Secretary of State&rsquo;s Office referred to state elections statutes and declined to comment.<br>\n&nbsp;<br>\nBurlington attorney and longtime Progressive John Franco, who has represented Vermont political candidates in campaign finance cases, called the Democrats&#39; claim that the ads were an illegal use of corporate money &quot;BS.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Franco said that he doesn&#39;t doubt that Milne might be trying to use the ads for a political advantage. But that doesn&#39;t mean he&rsquo;s violating the law. &nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I have no doubt that that&#39;s what&#39;s going on. But is it a campaign finance violation? No,&quot; Franco said. &quot;This complaint by the Democrats doesn&#39;t even meet the straight face test. There&#39;s nothing about this ad that&#39;s a campaign ad. It just isn&#39;t.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Jared Carter, a constitutional law professor at Vermont Law School, echoed that Milne may be running the ads to increase his name recognition. But he said Milne -- who has advertised his business for years in print, on radio and television -- is still engaging in &quot;protected commercial speech that is not connected to his campaign.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;So to say that Scott can&#39;t advertise the business that carries his name because he happens to be running for lieutenant governor, at least from a constitutional perspective, sounds dubious,&quot; Carter said. The ads never mention Milne&rsquo;s campaign, he noted.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It&#39;s virtually impossible, at least under their interpretation it would seem, for him to be able to advertise his business while also running for lieutenant governor,&quot; he added. &quot;So I think on the surface that&#39;s how it strikes me, as probably not with a lot of merit.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Milne declined an interview request. In an email he said: &quot;Our ads are perfectly appropriate and will continue running their planned schedules.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Brendan Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance watchdog group, said questions about whether candidates seeking office can appear in ads for their businesses frequently come up at the federal level.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Fischer said these cases rarely present a &quot;super clear line&quot; between an advertisement &quot;that does not constitute a federal electioneering in communication and an ad that could be construed as promoting the person&#39;s candidacy.&quot; He said Milne&rsquo;s ad occupied this &quot;gray area.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Fischer said Milne opened the door to questions being raised by mentioning a &quot;pressing public, or political issue,&quot; referring to the Covid-19 pandemic.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The connection between the content of the ad to sort of pressing political issues, and the naming of the candidate himself could be factors that would be considered,&quot; Fischer said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><em>DISCLOSURE: Milne Travel is an underwriter with VTDigger.&nbsp;</em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our verdict</div>\n\n<p>The Vermont Democratic Party said &quot;Advertisements for Mr. Milne&rsquo;s travel company allow Milne to illegally use corporate funds.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>While Milne&rsquo;s ads may have the effect of boosting his name recognition, there is no support for the VDP&rsquo;s claim that the ads are illegal.</p>\n\n<p>Democrats could and do argue that Milne is &quot;skirting&quot; the law by appearing in his company&rsquo;s advertisements while he is seeking public office.<br>\n&nbsp;<br>\nBut legal experts say that unless the advertisements refer to Milne&rsquo;s candidacy, they would not violate Vermont campaign finance laws.</p>\n\n<p>We rate the VDP&rsquo;s statement false.&nbsp;<br>\n&nbsp;</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Statement, <a href=\"https://www.vtdemocrats.org/milne-travel\">Vermont Democratic Party Calls for VT Media Organizations to Place Moratorium on Milne Travel Advertisements During Campaign</a></p>\n\n<p>Interview with&nbsp;R. Christopher Di Mezzo, Vermont Democratic Party</p>\n\n<p>Interview with&nbsp;Brian Porto, Vermont Law School</p>\n\n<p>Interview with John Franco, attorney</p>\n\n<p>Interview with Jared Carter, Vermont Law School</p>\n\n<p>Interview with Brendan Fischer, Campaign Legal Center</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18812,
            "slug": "stoney-makes-u-turn-national-search-new-richmond-p",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "levar-stoney",
                "full_name": "Levar Stoney",
                "first_name": "Levar",
                "last_name": "Stoney"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "On conducting a national search for a new Richmond police chief.",
            "ruling_slug": "full-flop",
            "publication_date": "2020-07-01T01:00:00-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>On June 16, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney forced city Police Chief William Smith to resign and pledged a national search for a replacement who could improve community relations and &quot;reimagine&quot; the way police work.</p>\n\n<p>Ten days later, Stoney announced he hired Gerald Smith - the deputy police chief in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, N.C. - to head Richmond&rsquo;s force. The fast turnaround has led some activists to accuse Stoney of breaking his pledge to conduct a thorough search for a chief while, at the same time, seeking community advice on how to reshape the police department.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Hearing that Mayor Levar Stoney is not fulfilling his promise or commitment to involve the public and the advocates that have been doing this work is not surprising to any of us,&quot; Chelsea Higgs Wise, a longtime activist with Richmond for All, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in a June 28 article.&nbsp; &quot;It just shows that his choices are not one that are keeping the public in mind.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>We took a look on the Flip-O-Meter whether Stoney changed his position on conducting a national search.</p>\n\n<p><strong>The ousting</strong></p>\n\n<p>The controversy arose from the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man, underneath the knee of a Minneapolis policeman. Protests spread across the nation and began in Richmond four days later, leading to vandalism, some looting, and clashes between the demonstrators and the city&rsquo;s police.</p>\n\n<p>A key moment came on June 1 when police sprayed tear gas into a peaceful group of protestors gathered at the statue of Robert E. Lee on Monument Ave. Stoney repeatedly apologized to an estimated 1,000 demonstrators who voiced outrage outside City Hall the next day. He promised to involve citizens in reforming the department.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>On June 16, Stoney announced he had requested and received the resignation of Chief William Smith. The mayor promised a painstaking search for a new chief who would bring change to the department and improved community relations.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;There is no timeline,&quot; <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=550666105814204&amp;ref=watch_permalink\">Stoney said</a>. &quot;We will do a national search, eventually. Right now, we have to do a number of things on our plate, right? A lot of police departments across the country have a lot on their plate and what we want to do is a national search.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>More immediately, Stoney said he&rsquo;d be setting up a citizens&rsquo; review board to give the community a voice in changing police policies - including use of force and dealing with people experiencing mental health crises.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><strong>Blackwell</strong></p>\n\n<p>In the meantime, Stoney named police Maj. William &quot;Jody&quot; Blackwell as interim chief, creating a new controversy. Blackwell fatally shot a man, Jeramy O. Gilliam, while on duty in 2002. Although a grand jury cleared Blackwell of wrongdoing, many residents,&nbsp; protestors and Gilliam&rsquo;s family were critical of his promotion to interim chief.</p>\n\n<p>Stoney said he was aware of the shooting when he appointed Blackwell.</p>\n\n<p><strong>The hiring</strong></p>\n\n<p>Ten days later, Stoney announced he hired a new chief. &quot;I talked to a number of candidates. Chief Gerald Smith was on the top,&quot; he said at a June 26 news conference. &quot;I think he&rsquo;s the sort of leadership we need at this time.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Reporters asked Stoney how the quick hiring squared with his pledge to have the community involved in reshaping the police department.&nbsp; &quot;I&rsquo;m still the mayor of the great City of Richmond and plan on being mayor of the great City of Richmond for the next five years - four years - and I will say that we all recognize what we need right now,&quot; he replied.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Stoney said the next day that he worked constantly on finding a new chief since the firing of the old one and the hiring of the new one, and he &quot;solicited the advice and the recommendations of policing leaders across the country.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>There&rsquo;s no doubt, however, that Stoney changed his national search plans.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>On June 28, the city ran an ad in the Times-Dispatch saying it was beginning a national search for a police chief that day, which was two days after Smith had been hired. The ad said the city would begin reviewing applications on July 26.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The job posting also debuted on the city government&rsquo;s employment site on June 28 - again, two days after it had been filled.</p>\n\n<p>It finally should be noted that while there is criticism of the process through which the new chief was hired, we have not heard complaints aimed at Gerald Smith or his qualifications for the job. He started in Richmond on July 1.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Also, we tried to reach Jim Nolan, Stoney&#39;s director of communications, for this story. He did not reply.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><strong>Our ruling</strong></p>\n\n<p>Stoney promised a deliberate, national search for a new police chief, then filled the job in 10 days - two days before the first advertisements appeared.</p>\n\n<p>We rate that a Full Flop.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Richmond Times-Dispatch, &quot;New police chief arrives less than two weeks after Mayor promises nationwide search,&quot; June 28, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Mayor Levar Stoney, <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=550666105814204&amp;ref=watch_permalink\">News conference comments</a>, June 16, 2020 (19:15 mark).</p>\n\n<p>Stoney, News conference comments, June 26 and 27, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Times Dispatch, police chief ad on Page F-5, June 28, 2020.</p>\n\n<p>Richmond On-Line Staffing System, posting for police chief, June 28. 2020.</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18810,
            "slug": "did-donald-trump-lose-trade-war-he-started-joe-bid",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "joe-biden",
                "full_name": "Joe Biden",
                "first_name": "Joe",
                "last_name": "Biden"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "“Trump lost a trade war that he started.”",
            "ruling_slug": "mostly-true",
            "publication_date": "2020-06-30T17:37:58-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, minced no words in attacking President Donald Trump&rsquo;s trade policies in <a href=\"https://democrats.org/news/dnc-releases-new-television-ad-on-trumps-trade-record-in-pa-played/\">a recent ad</a>.</p>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgE8l1GQb4k&amp;feature=youtu.be\">June 24 ad</a> focuses on China and features multiple images of Chinese President Xi Jinping. (The ad was produced by the Democratic National Committee with Biden&rsquo;s approval, and is targeted at Pennsylvania voters.) Here&rsquo;s the key narration:</p>\n\n<p style=\"margin-left: 36pt;\"><em>&quot;Trump said he&rsquo;d get tough on China. He didn&rsquo;t get tough &mdash; he got played. Trump lost a trade war that he started. Farmers bankrupted. Steel workers betrayed. And manufacturing, in a recession. Donald Trump lost.&quot;</em></p>\n\n<p>We checked with trade policy specialists, both those who are supportive of free trade and those who are more skeptical, and we found a general agreement that Biden&rsquo;s point was reasonable, though it may be too soon to declare an irreversible loss for Trump.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Because the ad focuses on China, we will limit our discussion here to Trump&rsquo;s policies on trade with China, as opposed to other countries. (The Trump campaign and the White House did not respond to inquiries for this article.)</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Did Trump start a trade war?</div>\n\n<p>Generally speaking, a trade war is &quot;a confrontation between two or more countries that involves one country initiating an increase in its tariff rate against another country, usually over that country&rsquo;s alleged wrongdoing,&quot; said Kent Jones, a professor of economics at Babson College. &quot;This sort of provocation typically leads to the other country retaliating with tariffs of its own. The warfare often continues with escalating tariffs on both sides.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>There&rsquo;s a good argument that Trump started a trade war, experts say.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It can fairly be said that Trump started the trade war with China by ignoring World Trade Association rules regarding disputes among members, which require both parties to submit to a review of the alleged wrongdoing by a WTO panel of legal experts before taking any unilateral action of their own,&quot; Jones said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The U.S. has complained for years about Chinese trade practices. For instance, &quot;the U.S. has complained over several presidential administrations about Chinese infringement of intellectual property rights,&quot; said Ross Burkhart, a Boise State University political scientist.</p>\n\n<p>However, even if China&rsquo;s action&rsquo;s were provocative, experts agree that Trump pushed the existing trade tensions between the two countries to the point of a trade war.</p>\n\n<p>For the United States, the typical mechanism is to invoke Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, which is used to punish trading partners deemed by the U.S. to be violating trade agreements or restricting U.S. commerce.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The Trump administration has <a href=\"https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF10708.pdf\">invoked</a> Section 301 tariff increases of 25% on several occasions starting in 2018. Collectively, the first four tranches of tariff increases were valued at $550 billion.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">How does a country win a trade war?</div>\n\n<p>&quot;Theoretically, if the country initiating the higher tariffs can get the other country to submit to its demands, change its behavior, or conclude a formal agreement to terms of capitulation, then one could say that a country has &lsquo;won&rsquo; the trade war,&quot; Jones said.</p>\n\n<p>But trade wars are difficult to win, experts agree. Typically, &quot;the only issue is who will lose the most,&quot; said Barry Bosworth, an economist at the Brookings Institution.</p>\n\n<p>It&rsquo;s fair to say that China has not simply capitulated: It responded tit-for-tat to the U.S. tariff increases, including shifting its purchases of agricultural products to other countries.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Is there evidence that the U.S. is losing the trade war with China?</div>\n\n<p>It&rsquo;s possible to look at a few metrics to determine which side is winning this particular trade war. None of them look especially promising for the president.</p>\n\n<p>One is the <a href=\"https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html\">balance of trade in goods between China and the United States</a>. Initially, the trade deficit got worse under Trump but has improved modestly in the past year. (The impact of the coronavirus will make it hard to gauge improvements going forward.) Still, the balance of trade remains solidly in China&rsquo;s favor.</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Other metrics involve the U.S. manufacturing sector. In seeking to take on China, Trump had pledged to reverse the sector&rsquo;s decline. Here&rsquo;s a look at gross manufacturing output by quarter. Output grew during the first half of Trump&rsquo;s tenure but declined slightly during the second half.</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 2 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Manufacturing employment showed a similar pattern under Trump, a rise followed by stagnation.</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 3 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>In all, the trade balance and the health of the manufacturing sector may have improved marginally. If that was the end of the story, Trump might be able to argue that he&rsquo;s made progress, even if it&rsquo;s short of Chinese capitulation.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But there are other significant downsides to Trump&rsquo;s trade policy, experts say.</p>\n\n<p>Most notably, the U.S. agriculture sector has been hit by retaliatory actions by China.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The U.S. Agriculture Department <a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/02/20/china-could-purchase-much-less-us-farm-product-than-thought-new-usda-estimate-suggests/\">projected</a> in February 2020 that agricultural exports to China would reach $14 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. That would be an increase of $4 billion over the prior year, but well short of the $40 billion Trump had pledged a month earlier.</p>\n\n<p>Trump administration efforts to boost agricultural purchases were meant to reverse declines provoked by the U.S. tariffs in the first place. &quot;Did Trump gain leverage to secure a &lsquo;deal&rsquo; with China? Yes, he did. Is that deal any good? It&rsquo;s doubtful,&quot; said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.</p>\n\n<p>The Trump administration has also paid compensation to farmers hurt by China&rsquo;s policies <a href=\"https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/12/31/790261705/farmers-got-billions-from-taxpayers-in-2019-and-hardly-anyone-objected\">worth at least $28 billion over two years</a>. Despite this compensation, farm bankruptcies hit an <a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-farms-bankruptcy/us-farm-bankruptcies-hit-an-eight-year-high-court-data-idUSKBN1ZT2YE\">eight-year high</a> in 2019. And experts say that once the markets are lost, they <a href=\"https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-09/u-s-farms-face-long-term-losses-from-trump-trade-war-bcg-warns\">may be gone</a> for good.</p>\n\n<p>The harm was also spread more widely than just the farm sector.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>For starters, the money to compensate farmers comes from American taxpayers. Beyond that, the United States typically gets stuck with paying the tariffs it imposes, rather than China. Indeed, the impacts of the trade war filter throughout the economy.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;U.S. tariffs against Chinese manufactured imports disrupted U.S. supply chains, raising input costs to many U.S. firms that used these products,&quot; Jones said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><em><strong>RELATED: <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/may/14/donald-trump/does-china-mostly-pay-us-tariffs-rather-us-consume/\">Who pays for US tariffs on Chinese goods? You do</a></strong></em></p>\n\n<p>Independent observers have projected a net economic hit to the United States from the trade friction with China. A 2019 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development <a href=\"https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF10708.pdf\">estimated</a> that the tariff hikes could cut U.S. and Chinese GDP by 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively, by 2021-22.</p>\n\n<p>In a December 2019 study, Federal Reserve <a href=\"https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trumps-tariffs-hurt-us-manufacturers-fed-study/story?id=67987989\">researchers</a> <a href=\"https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/feds/files/2019086pap.pdf\">concluded</a> that Trump&#39;s tariffs &quot;have not boosted manufacturing employment or output, even as they increased producer prices.&quot; And the economic analysis firm Moody&#39;s concluded in September 2019 <a href=\"https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trumps-trade-war-has-killed-300000-jobs-194717808.html\">estimated</a> that the trade conflict with China has reduced U.S. employment by 300,000 jobs.</p>\n\n<p>A different Federal Reserve study from October 2019 <a href=\"https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-income-boost-claim-did-trump-administration-boost-incomes-by-7000/\">found</a> that tariffs on Chinese imports added about $800 annually per household, wiping out gains for the typical household under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">What&rsquo;s the verdict on the trade war so far?</div>\n\n<p>Trade specialists told PolitiFact that it may be too soon to say that Trump has &quot;lost&quot; the trade war, as the pro-Biden ad said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It&rsquo;s too early to say he &lsquo;lost,&rsquo; but he obviously hasn&#39;t &lsquo;won&rsquo; in the sense of getting meaningful, durable, market concessions greater than what he has given in return,&quot; said I.M. (Mac) Destler, an emeritus professor at the University of Maryland&#39;s Center for International Security Studies. &quot;It isn&#39;t over yet, but he seems on track to lose.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Experts added that Trump&rsquo;s approach has worsened the odds of success by not going through the World Trade Organization.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The U.S. has lost its reputation as a reliable participant in the international economic order,&quot; Bosworth said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Our ruling</div>\n\n<p>The ad approved by Biden said, &quot;Trump lost a trade war that he started.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Longstanding Chinese trade policies may have provoked Trump into acting, but by moving first to impose tariffs, Trump at the very least escalated existing trade tensions into a trade war.</p>\n\n<p>And while it may be premature to say that Trump has &quot;lost&quot; the conflict, we found wide agreement among trade experts that he is losing. He has not succeeded in getting China to capitulate to structural demands. He&rsquo;s made marginal gains in the U.S.-China trade balance and in U.S. manufacturing output. But those have been undercut by significant retaliatory tariffs for the agriculture sector and wider harm to the economy from higher prices, supply chain disruptions, and slower economic growth.</p>\n\n<p>We rate the statement Mostly True.</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Democratic National Committee, <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgE8l1GQb4k&amp;feature=youtu.be\">ad on behalf of Joe Biden</a>, June 24, 2020</p>\n\n<p>U.S. Census Bureau, <a href=\"https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html\">balance of trade in goods with China</a>, accessed June 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Congressional Research Service, &quot;<a href=\"https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/IF10708.pdf\">Enforcing U.S. Trade Laws: Section 301 and China</a>,&quot; June 26, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Federal Reserve Board, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/feds/files/2019086pap.pdf\">Disentangling the Effects of the 2018-2019 Tariffs on a Globally Connected U.S. Manufacturing Sector</a>,&quot; December 2019</p>\n\n<p>Daniel Mitchell, &quot;<a href=\"https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2019/03/18/understanding-the-trade-deficit/\">Understanding the Trade Deficit</a>,&quot; March 18, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Washington Post, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/02/20/china-could-purchase-much-less-us-farm-product-than-thought-new-usda-estimate-suggests/\">China could purchase much less U.S. farm product than thought, new USDA estimate suggests</a>,&quot; Feb. 20, 2020&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Reuters, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-farms-bankruptcy/us-farm-bankruptcies-hit-an-eight-year-high-court-data-idUSKBN1ZT2YE\">U.S. farm bankruptcies hit an eight-year high: court data</a>,&quot; Jan. 30, 2020</p>\n\n<p>ABC News, &quot;<a href=\"https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trumps-tariffs-hurt-us-manufacturers-fed-study/story?id=67987989\">President Trump&#39;s tariffs have hurt US manufacturers, Fed study says</a>,&quot; Dec. 30, 2019</p>\n\n<p>CBS News, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-income-boost-claim-did-trump-administration-boost-incomes-by-7000/\">Is Trump right that Americans&#39; incomes have risen $7,000 since he took office?</a>&quot; Oct. 24, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Bloomberg, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-09/u-s-farms-face-long-term-losses-from-trump-trade-war-bcg-warns\">U.S. Farms Face Long-Term Losses From Trump Trade War, BCG Warns</a>,&quot; Oct. 9, 2019</p>\n\n<p>NPR, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/12/31/790261705/farmers-got-billions-from-taxpayers-in-2019-and-hardly-anyone-objected\">Farmers Got Billions From Taxpayers In 2019, And Hardly Anyone Objected</a>,&quot; Dec. 31, 2019</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact, &quot;<a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/may/14/donald-trump/does-china-mostly-pay-us-tariffs-rather-us-consume/\">Who pays for US tariffs on Chinese goods? You do</a>,&quot; May 14, 2019</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with Daniel Mitchell, free-market economist, June 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with Kent Jones, professor of economics at Babson College, June 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with Ross Burkhart, Boise State University political scientist, June 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with&nbsp; I.M. (Mac) Destler, emeritus professor at the University of Maryland&#39;s Center for International Security Studies, June 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, June 26, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Email interview with Barry Bosworth, economist at the Brookings Institution, June 26, 2020</p>"
        },
        {
            "id": 18809,
            "slug": "image-toddler-kkk-garb-isnt-georgia-gov-brian-kemp",
            "speaker": {
                "slug": "viral-image",
                "full_name": "Viral image",
                "first_name": "",
                "last_name": "Viral image"
            },
            "targets": [],
            "statement": "Old photo shows Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and his mother wearing KKK garb.",
            "ruling_slug": "pants-fire",
            "publication_date": "2020-06-30T16:18:03-04:00",
            "ruling_comments": "<p>Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is not the toddler photographed wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit with his mother.</p>\n\n<p>But some posts on Facebook are sharing an old photo that says this is the case.</p>\n\n<p>The black-and-white image shows a young boy and a woman wearing KKK attire and displays text that says, &quot;Just so you know this is Governor Kemp and his Mother.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The post was flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about<a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\"> our partnership with Facebook</a>.)&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>There is no evidence the image shows Georgia&rsquo;s current governor, or his mother.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The <a href=\"https://www.gettyimages.co.nz/detail/news-photo/this-unidentified-klan-woman-gets-her-son-dressed-up-real-news-photo/515457292?adppopup=true\">original photograph</a> appears on Getty Images with a caption that notes that the identities of the woman and child are unknown.</p>\n\n<p>Getty notes that the image was created on April 27, 1956. Brian Kemp wasn&rsquo;t born until Nov. 2, 1963, so it&rsquo;s not possible that he could be the boy pictured.</p>\n\n<p>We rate this miscaptioned photo Pants on Fire!</p>",
            "sources": "<p>Facebook <a href=\"http://archive.is/W5B5P\">post</a>, June 25, 2020</p>\n\n<p>Getty Images, <a href=\"https://www.gettyimages.co.nz/detail/news-photo/this-unidentified-klan-woman-gets-her-son-dressed-up-real-news-photo/515457292?adppopup=true\">Woman Dressing her Son in KKK Attire</a>, April 27, 1956</p>\n\n<div>&nbsp;</div>"
        }
    ]
}