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Sanders not closing campaign offices in South Carolina

December 4, 2019 GMT

CLAIM: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been quietly closing offices in South Carolina as a sign his campaign is ending.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Sanders is not closing his campaign offices in South Carolina.

THE FACTS: Sarah Ford, a campaign spokeswoman for the Vermont senator, told The Associated Press in an email that Sanders has nine offices in the state and the campaign is expanding locations.

The campaign opened an office in Aiken, South Carolina, two weeks ago, she said.

Social media users began circulating the claim on Twitter and Facebook on Sunday to make it appear as though Sanders was winding down his campaign. VineSight, a technology company that tracks misinformation, identified the false posts spreading online on Wednesday. One Twitter account, which displayed support for Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, received thousands of likes on its post with the false claim. Harris announced Tuesday she was dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Last month, Sanders replaced his campaign’s South Carolina director. The state has been a focus for Sander’s 2020 campaign after he lost to Hillary Clinton there by 47 points in the 2016 Democratic primary.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536