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"JFK Jr was declared the frontrunner for the NY Senate seat in 1999," the Nov. 5 post says. "Days later his plane crashed, making Hillary Clinton the newly elected senator."
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.) It’s been shared more than 2,000 times. An identical post from 2017 is nearing 30,000 shares.
Here are the facts.
On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife and his sister-in-law were killed in a plane crash. Kennedy, then the founder and publisher of George magazine, was piloting the single-engine Piper Saratoga when it plunged into the Atlantic Ocean. Then-President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton attended the memorial mass.
The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the crash probably happened after Kennedy, who was inexperienced at flying his plane alone at night, became disoriented in haze.
Kennedy was not a candidate for any public office when he died. But a few days after this death, the New York Daily News ran a story citing two anonymous friends who said they thought Kennedy would have run for office some day.
"Earlier this year, in one of the best-kept secrets in state politics, Kennedy considered seeking the seat of retiring Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D-N.Y.) in 2000, the friends confirmed yesterday," the story says. Though a private poll in 1997 found that JFK Jr. was the state’s most popular Democrat by far, according to the story, "the idea became moot once First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton signaled her interest in running, but the two friends said they expected the son of the slain president eventually would have jumped into politics as a candidate."
A 1999 Washington Post story says that a "Kennedy insider" claimed leading Democrats had unsuccessfully approached Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to run for Moynihan’s seat.
Hillary Clinton was elected to Moynihan’s vacated seat on Nov. 7, 2000.
We rate this Facebook post False.
Facebook post, Oct. 27, 2017
Facebook post, Nov. 5, 2019
The New York Times, Bodies from Kennedy crash are found, July 22, 1999
CNN, Clintons, Kennedy family fly to New York for JFK Jr. mass, July 23, 1999
The New York Times, Safety board blames pilot error in crash in Kennedy plane, July 7, 2000
New York Daily News, JFK Jr. mulled run for Senate in 2000, July 20, 1999
The Washington Post, Camelot’s future: The Kennedy generations, July 25, 1999
U.S. House of Representatives, Hillary Rodham Clinton, visited Nov. 8, 2019
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