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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke April 12, 2023

Facebook post twists contentious exchange on U.S. Senate floor

If Your Time is short

  • This twists a testy floor exchange.

A recent Facebook post takes an old video clip of two senators sparring on the U.S. Senate floor and twists something that was already fiery into something false. 

"‘JUST SH.UT YOUR MOUTH’ watch Chris Murphy RUN like COWARD after Ted Cruz EXPLODED on him with facts," reads the description of the video in the April 9 post

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The video is from Sept. 14, when Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., objected to a unanimous consent request from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in connection with a Republican-backed school safety bill that would allow school districts to put more armed police in schools.

Murphy walked off the Senate floor as Cruz resumed speaking, criticizing the Democrat and his colleagues, Fox News reported at the time. But then Murphy returned to the floor to accuse Cruz of engaging in political theater.

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When Cruz took the mic yet again, he said that if Murphy had "just shut his mouth, just sat there," the proposed bill would have been passed into law. 

The video in the Facebook post shows this exchange. What it doesn’t show (because it didn’t happen that way): Cruz exploding at Murphy and telling him to "just shut your mouth" as the Democratic senator flees.

Murphy walked away at one point in the exchange but came back to the Senate floor before Cruz’s "shut his mouth" comment.

The statement contains an element of truth because Cruz did use the phrase "shut his mouth." But the claim ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. 

We rate claims that Murphy ran away because Cruz exploded and yelled "just shut your mouth" Mostly False.


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Facebook post twists contentious exchange on U.S. Senate floor

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