Getting himself briefly banned from Twitter made us wonder whether David A. Clarke Jr., the provocative Donald Trump supporter and former Milwaukee County sheriff, had tweeted anything lately that we should fact check.
On Dec. 30, 2017, Clarke tweeted this:
LYING Lib media spreads FAKE NEWS about me and @realDonaldTrump to fool their liberal followers into believing LIES because as Mrs. Bill Clinton once said, "Look, the average DEMOCRAT VOTER is just plain STUPID. They’re easy to manipulate." Classic!
Clarke included with his tweet an image that pictures Clinton, the alleged quote and a reference to a book originally published in 2004 by Dick Morris. Morris was an adviser to President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and later became an ardent Hillary Clinton basher.
So, Clarke claims that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president in 2016, once said "the average Democrat voter is just plain stupid, they’re easy to manipulate."
Do you remember any news headlines about that?
Catching up with Clarke
Despite being a staunch conservative, Clarke ran as a Democrat for sheriff in heavily Democratic Milwaukee County. He held the post from 2002, eventually becoming a favorite of conservatives across the country as he spoke out on national issues, until resigning in August 2017. Then he took his current job, as a senior adviser with the pro-Trump America First Action Super PAC. Clarke had been a surrogate for Trump during Trump’s 2016 campaign against Clinton.
CNN reported on Jan. 2, 2018, that days earlier, Clarke was temporarily blocked from tweeting after Twitter user complaints alerted the company that three of his messages violated Twitter’s terms of service. Clarke was placed in read-only mode until he deleted three tweets that seemed to call for violence against members of the media.
In one of the deleted tweets, Clarke said:
When LYING LIB MEDIA makes up FAKE NEWS to smear me, the ANTIDOTE is to go right at them. Punch them in the nose & MAKE THEM TASTE THEIR OWN BLOOD. Nothing gets a bully like LYING LIB MEDIA"S attention better than to give them a taste of their own blood #neverbackdown.
Claim against Clinton
The quote Clarke attributes to Clinton was among those featured in a March 2016 PolitiFact National article that was headlined, "7 Hillary Clinton quotes on the Internet that are complete fakes."
Which doesn’t get Clarke’s claim off to a good start.
The article said Snopes.com had debunked the alleged quote. The Snopes fact check, originally published in December 2015, rated the quote false, saying:
This statement was not uttered by Hillary Clinton, nor was it published in the 2005 book Rewriting History by Dick Morris as something she ostensibly said. We found no record of this quote in any major publication or news account. In fact, the first mention of this item came in October 2015, more than a decade after Morris’ book was published, on a Tumblr page dedicated to generating fake Hillary Clinton quotes.
In addition, Morris told us by email that the quote attributed to Clinton is "not true."
Indeed, had the quote been real, it would have caused a storm of news coverage.
Clarke did not respond to our emails and phone call.
Clarke says that Hillary Clinton once said "the average Democrat voter is just plain stupid, they’re easy to manipulate."
Not only is there no evidence to confirm the alleged quote, which surfaced on a site dedicated to generating fake Clinton quotes, it had been debunked two years earlier.
That makes Clarke’s statement false and ridiculous -- Pants on Fire.