As the media reports more details about the Cesar Sayoc, the man accused of sending explosives to critics of President Donald Trump, some skeptics are finding the suspect’s character sketch a little too on the nose.
"This is the van ... looks way too staged," wrote one person who posted a picture of a white van to Facebook on Oct. 26. The windows are plastered with what appear to be stickers, including one with an image of CNN commentator Van Jones with the words "dishonest media" and "CNN sucks."
This story was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) The van isn’t fake, but the suggestion that it’s a plant to support false flag theories is wrong.
According to the federal criminal complaint filed against Sayoc, he was "arrested on or about Oct. 26, 2018, in Florida, in the vicinity of his white van. The windows of Sayoc’s van were covered with images including images critical of CNN."
Sayoc was apparently living in the van in Aventura, Fla., The New York Times reported on Oct. 26. Some of the town’s residents reported regularly seeing such a van with windows plastered "with a thick collage of pro-Trump stickers," according to the paper.
"It struck me because of the crazy, conspiratorial stickers covering the windows," the Times quoted former Aventura resident David Cypkin as saying. "It was unsettling."
Other media outlets, including the Washington Post and the Miami Herald, have also reported on the van, posting photos of the vehicle and talking to Floridians who recall seeing the van before the pipe bombs were mailed.
We rate this statement as Pants on Fire!