Stand up for the facts!
Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.
I would like to contribute
But some have used the occasion to drum up false rumors about public figures, including placing them on Epstein’s private Boeing 727. By the account of one woman who spoke to The Miami Herald and who filed a civil suit against Epstein that was settled in 2017, the jet transported young women to entertain guests and was nicknamed "The Lolita Express," which she described as "the vessel for him to abuse girls and get away with it."
One problematic Facebook post shares a photoshopped image of CNN anchors Chris Cuomo, Brian Stelter and Jake Tapper, and claims the three men’s names are on the released flight logs of the Lolita Express.
The post’s text reads: "Hey, CNN...why are three of your anchor’s names on the Epstein ‘Lolita Express’ flight logs?" It was posted by the page "Q Army," one of many social media pages related to the Q’Anon conspiracy theory.
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.)
This rumor is fabricated. None of their names or initials are on the released Epstein flight logs.
CNN spokesperson Barbara Levin told PolitiFact that there is "ZERO truth" to this rumor.
The flight logs, which became public through civil lawsuits by women who said they were sexually abused by Epstein, span from 1997 to 2005 and were handwritten by pilot David Rodgers. The logs can be found online in a few places, and while there are certainly some noteworthy names, such as President Bill Clinton (who issued a statement about the plane rides shortly after Epstein’s arrest), the CNN anchors’ names are not on there.
Other fake lists of alleged Lolita Express passengers can be found online and have included President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and even Pope Francis, to name a few.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, July 26, 2019
Indictment, United States of America v. Jeffrey Epstein, accessed July 29, 2018
Miami Herald, Jeffrey Epstein investigation, accessed July 26, 2019
New York Times, The Case Against Jeffrey Epstein, July 26, 2019
New York Times, Jeffrey Epstein’s Pilots Are Subpoenaed in Sex Trafficking Case, July 26, 2019
The Miami Herald, How a teen runaway became one of Jeffrey Epstein's victims, Nov. 26, 2018
Town and Country Magazine, What We Know So Far About Jeffrey Epstein's Sex Trafficking Case, July 25, 2019
Scribd, Epstein Flight Logs, accessed July 26, 2019
The Hill, Bill Clinton issues statement on Epstein charges, July 8, 2019
Twitter Angel Lurena, Clinton statement, July 8, 2019
Email interview, Barbara Levin, CNN spokesperson, July 26, 2019
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.