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Fabricated travel ban tweet falsely attributed to Senate minority leader

March 2, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: Sen. Chuck Schumer deleted a tweet saying President Trump’s travel ban to China is “an excuse to further his ongoing war against immigrants.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The tweet was fabricated, and it was not posted on Schumer’s verified Twitter account.  

THE FACTS: In the last few days, a fabricated tweet circulated on social media making it appear that Schumer, the Senate minority leader, posted a statement Feb. 5 criticizing Trump’s travel ban around the new coronavirus.

“The premature travel ban to and from China by the current administration is just an excuse to further his ongoing war against immigrants. There must be a check and balance on these restrictions,” the false tweet stated.

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A number of people on Twitter falsely claimed that Schumer deleted the tweet. 

Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer confirmed to the AP in an email that the tweet is fabricated. “He never tweeted it in the first place and therefore could not have deleted it.” 

A screen capture of Schumer’s Twitter page from Feb. 5  on the Wayback Machine, an internet archive, shows no such tweet. In addition, the tweet is not listed on ProPublica’s archive of Schumer’s deleted tweets. 

Due to the new coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. declared a public health emergency in late January, and Trump signed an order temporarily barring foreign nationals other than the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who had traveled to China within 14 days. There are more than 89,000 confirmed new coronavirus cases globally. with more than 3,000 deaths.

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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