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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 25, 2019

Brooke Baldwin didn’t say this about veterans, but she did come under fire for other comments

An old Facebook post attributing a false quote to CNN host Brooke Baldwin is again making the rounds and now has more than 145,000 shares on the social media platform. 

"CNN’s Brooke Baldwin: ‘Don’t hire veterans! They’re too damaged to be trusted with authority!’" the 2015 post says. 

It 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.) 

We reached out to CNN about the post and Liza Pluto, a spokesperson for Baldwin’s show, told us it’s not accurate. 

"This is not true and Brooke did not say that," she said. 

Searching Nexis for news coverage of that quote, we found no results. 

We did find stories from 2015 about an apology from Baldwin over comments she made about veterans — just not what appears in this Facebook post. 

On April 28, 2015, Baldwin interviewed the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., on camera amid protests and violence in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death in police custody. Speaking about police training, she said: "I was talking to a city councilman here last week who was saying, ‘Brooke, these people have to live in the communities. There’s no emotional, or there’s a lack of emotional investment,’ and a lot of these young people … and I love our nation’s veterans, but some of them are coming back from war, they don’t know the communities and they’re ready to do battle." 

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She was quickly criticized, garnering headlines like this one from Breitbart: "CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin blames military veterans for Baltimore riots."

As the Washington Post’s media critic documented, she tweeted that same day: "Folks. Please don’t misunderstand me. Dear friends/family of mine are veterans. I was repeating a concern vocalized to me lately. That’s it." 

The next morning, though, she went on air to apologize

"I made a mistake yesterday," she said. I was recounting a story, a conversation I had had recently just referring to police. And I absolutely misspoke, I inartfully chose my words 100% and I just wish speaking to all of you this morning: I wholeheartedly retract what I said."

Later on air she said she "gave credence to the idea that veterans returning from war who were police officers were furthering the problems in communities like these here in Baltimore and nationwide. And I just have to take a moment again today and say I was wrong. I was so wrong." 

Our ruling

The Facebook post claims Baldwin said: "Don’t hire veterans! They’re too damaged to be trusted with authority."

We didn’t find any credible evidence that she said that. The statement appears to be an interpretation of comments she made involving veterans during an interview, but it goes too far by presenting incendiary words as if Baldwin herself said them. 

We rate this Facebook post False.


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Brooke Baldwin didn’t say this about veterans, but she did come under fire for other comments

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