A bogus article circulating on Facebook says that Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff paid witnesses more than $40 million to testify in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The hoax originated on a satirical website but was lifted by another website called "Today Breaking News."
The article’s headline (the only part of the story that users can see on Facebook) reads: "Adam Schiff Paid Witnesses Over $40 Million To Testify Against Trump."
The story 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.)
No, Schiff did not pay any witnesses to testify about President Trump in the impeachment inquiry. This entire account is fabricated.
The article was copy-and-pasted from the satirical website BustaTroll, which includes a disclaimer that everything on its site is "fiction." (PolitiFact wrote about the man behind that site a few years ago.)
There is no satire or parody disclaimer on the Today Breaking News website, and the only thing pointing to this version being fake is a satire logo in the bottom-right corner on an image of Schiff. A satire or parody disclaimer could not be found on the website.
We found the same fabricated story on two other sites that similarly do not contain satirical disclaimers. One uses a different photograph of Schiff that doesn’t have a logo, and the other has the logo covered with additional text.
We rate it Pants on Fire!
Today Breaking News, Adam Schiff Paid Witnesses Over $40 Million To Testify Against Trump, Accessed Jan. 21, 2020
BustaTroll, Adam Schiff Paid Witnesses Over $40 Million To Testify Against Trump, Dec. 3, 2019
FactCheck.org, ‘Satire’ Misinforms on Impeachment Witnesses, Jan. 3, 2020
PolitiFact, If you're fooled by fake news, this man probably wrote it, May 31, 2017
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