Viral Posts Attribute Fake Tweet to Cruz

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Quick Take

A screenshot purports to show a 2016 tweet from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz concerning climate change. Cruz’s office said the tweet was fake, and there is no record of Cruz ever posting it. The phony screenshot went viral anyway.


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As critics lambasted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for flying to Cancun, Mexico, for a family trip amid a winter storm emergency in his state, social media users widely shared a supposed 2016 tweet from the Republican concerning his views on climate change.

“I’ll believe in climate change when Texas freezes over,” the purported tweet reads.

But there is no record of Cruz ever posting that tweet.

The image shows the tweet being posted at 5:44 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2016. We searched on Twitter and found no trace of Cruz posting the tweet then — or at any other time. Nor did we find the post in an archived version of his Twitter account from Sept. 9, 2016.

The tweet also isn’t in a log of deleted tweets by Cruz that is maintained by ProPublica.

And Steve Guest, a communications adviser for Cruz, confirmed in an email to us that the tweet is fabricated, saying: “That tweet is fake.”

Over the years, as we’ve reported, Cruz has challenged the facts on climate change — making inaccurate and misleading claims along the way.

But as we said, he didn’t post the tweet in question.

Still, well-followed, often left-leaning social media accounts shared the screenshot — treating it as authentic.

“Sooo…you believe NOW, @tedcruz?” one tweet with the screenshot, retweeted more than 2,600 times, reads. “Asking for millions of frozen Texans.”

One Instagram post of the screenshot alone garnered more than 350,000 likes before it was deleted.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

Sources

Cruz, Ted (@TedCruz). Twitter. Archived 9 Sep 2016.

Deleted Tweets From Ted Cruz, R-Texas.” PolitiWoops. ProPublica. Accessed 19 Feb 2021.

Guest, Steve. Communications adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz. Email to FactCheck.org. 19 Feb 2021.

Levitan, Dave. “Cruz on the Global Cooling Myth and Galileo.” FactCheck.org. Updated 5 Jun 2015.

Peoples, Steve and Jake Bleiberg. “‘Obviously a mistake’: Cruz returns from Cancun after uproar.” Associated Press. 19 Feb 2021.

Schipani, Vanessa. “Cruz’s ‘Pseudoscientific’ Climate Claims.” FactCheck.org. 1 Feb 2016.

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