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A bogus news story claimed that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told Rachel Maddow it would be better if Hurricane Irma destroyed Florida, but the post really came from a website that is part of a network of Internet trolls.
A headline on an Oct. 16, 2017, post on the suspiciously named lmaoitsnews.website read, "Hillary caught on tape laughing about Irma ‘wiping out all of those Florida hillbillies’." Facebook users reported the story as being potentially made up, as part of the social media company’s efforts to combat fake news.
"To be honest, Rachel, it would probably be good for the country if Irma were to just wipe every Florida hillbilly off the map," the post quoted Clinton. "I mean … they live in trailers by the water, right?"
The lmaoitsnews.website story said Maddow was shocked by Clinton’s statement, canceling the interview and agreeing to hide the recording. The post claimed a sound engineer smuggled the recording out to release to the public should he need to "save the country or himself."
AsAmericanAsApplePie.org appears to be part of a series of fake websites associated with Christopher Blair, a self-described liberal troll who publishes fabricated stories in an attempt to trick conservative readers.
We’ve fact-checked plenty of stories that originated from websites run by or affiliated with Blair, including TheLastLineOfDefense.org, FreedomCrossroad.us, OurLandOfTheFree.com and FreedomJunkshun.com.
AsAmericanAsApplePie.org uses a website template similar to these other sites, and carries a disclaimer that reads, "As American as Apple Pie is here to be your beacon of something you can kinda rely on sometimes but not really."
Clinton did not deride Florida on tape or suggest its residents should be blown away by a hurricane. We rate this statement Pants On Fire!
Lmaoitsnews.website, "Hillary Caught On Tape Laughing About Irma ‘Wiping Out All Of Those Florida Hillbillies’," Oct. 16, 2017
AsAmericanAsApplePie.org, "Hillary Caught On Tape Laughing About Irma ‘Wiping Out All Of Those Florida Hillbillies’," Sept. 10, 2017
PunditFact, "If you're fooled by fake news, this man probably wrote it," May 31, 2017
Tampa Bay Times, "Check out these livestreams as Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida," Sept. 10, 2017
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