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Depending on who you ask, worries about a Cold War with China are well-founded or overblown. And while today’s chatter may be more about cyber attacks than nukes, we should be safe from airborne weapons—at least according to something a Facebook post claims U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said.
"We’ll never have to worry about China attacking us!," reads the text over a photo of the New York congresswoman that was published on Facebook on March 7. "They are 12 hours ahead, so we’ll have plenty of time to shoot down their missiles!"
One commenter wondered how "anyone can really be this dumb?"
"Who is supporting her?" another commenter said. "Everytime she opens her mouth, she relieves all doubt."
This 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.)
A spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez said the quote was fabricated.
And we couldn’t find any credible evidence that she said this. First we searched for the quote on Google; there were only a few results. One user shared the quote attributed to Ocasio-Cortez on a Mississippi Gun Owners forum, though without a source, and someone else posted it on Godlike Productions, another internet forum. It also appeared on websites with a Ukrainian web address.
We searched Nexis for old news stories with Ocasio-Cortez making the statement and came up empty. We also couldn’t find reports of anyone saying it.
Next, we looked for social media posts and news reports about the congresswoman and Chinese missiles, in case she said something similar to the quote, but we couldn’t find instances of Ocasio-Cortez discussing them.
In September, a spokesman for her congressional campaign told FactCheck.org that "the entire quote was fabricated."
"She’s never even discussed Chinese missiles. Period," spokesman Corbin Trent said. "Her foreign policy topics have been about peace not war."
We rate this post as Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, March 7, 2019
Foreign Policy, "A new Cold War has begun," Jan. 7, 2019
The Washington Post, "The ‘new Cold War’ with China is way overblown. Here’s why," Feb. 8, 2019
FactCheck.org, "Viral meme makes up Ocasio-Cortez quote," Sept. 26, 2018
Interview with Corbin Trent, communications director, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, March 12, 2019
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