A viral post circulating on Facebook attempts to make it look like several Democratic politicians — most of whom are 2020 presidential candidates — are concealing their true identities from the public.
The claim features a list of individuals with their photographs alongside their "known names" followed by their newly revealed "real names." President Donald Trump rounds out the list at the end as the only person who allegedly uses his real name.
The post (which misspells many of the names) reads:
"O.k. dig this: Barack Hussien [sic] Obama’s real name is: Barry Soetoro. Kamala Harris’ real name is: Maya Harrison. Ilha [sic] Omar real name is: Ilhan Esmi. Bill Deblazio’s [sic] real name is: Warren Wilhelm Jr. Elizabeth Warren’s real name is: Liz Herring. Pete Buttigeig’s [sic] real name is: Paul Montgomery. Bernie Sanders’ real name is: Bernard Gutman. Donald J. Trump’s real name is: Donald J. Trump."
The post 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 list consists of maiden names, middle names, relatives names and nicknames.
Let’s take this person by person.
As stated in his birth certificate, President Barack Obama’s real, full name is Barack Hussein Obama, II.
We previously fact-checked where the names Barry Soetoro and Barack Hussein Obama intersect.
"Barry" was a childhood nickname for "Barack." He went by Soetoro, the last name of his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, when he was young and growing up in Indonesia. At the age of 10, Obama moved back to his birthplace of Hawaii and stopped using the last name.
Bill de Blasio was born Warren Wilhelm Jr. on May 8, 1961, in Manhattan. But in 1983, he petitioned a New York court to change his name to Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm because he said his father was largely absent and he wanted to embrace his mother’s Italian heritage. He formally adopted the name Bill de Blasio in January 2002.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s real name is Elizabeth Warren. She was born Elizabeth Ann Herring in Oklahoma City to parents Donald and Pauline Herring. "Liz," of course, is a common shortened nickname for the name Elizabeth. (Her childhood nickname, Betsy, is what her mother called her.)
She kept the last name Warren after she and her first husband, Jim Warren, divorced in 1980.
This is weird cherry-picking. The South Bend, Ind., mayor’s full name is Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg (not "Buttigeig" as the post spells it). He is the only child to Joseph Buttigieg and Jennifer Anne Montgomery Buttigieg.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ real name is Bernard Sanders. His parents were Elias Ben Yehuda Sanders and Dorothy Glassberg. The misconception that the senator’s surname is actually Gutman appears to come from a 1921 U.S. immigration record when his father arrived from Poland. The record lists Sanders’ father as Eliasz Gitman, though he was naturalized under Elias Sanders. The recording lists Bernie Sanders’ grandmother as Jetti Gutman, which was her married name.
A viral Facebook post claims a list of prominent Democratic politicians are concealing their true identities from the public and shares what it says are their "real names."
The names the candidates are accused of faking are, in fact, their legal names. The Facebook post pulls pulls their maiden names, married surnames, nicknames, middle names and in one case a sibling’s name to make the candidates seem nefarious.
We rate this post False.