FACT CHECK: Was Rick Perry In Russia On 9/11?

Emily Larsen | Fact Check Reporter

People on Twitter said Tuesday that Energy Secretary Rick Perry was in Russia on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

“At least he’s not in Russia today with Rick Perry,” CNN legal analyst Renato Mariotti said in response to a tweet noting that President Donald Trump landed in Pennsylvania for a 9/11 memorial service.

Many other laypeople on Twitter claimed Perry was in Moscow on Sept. 11.

“A reminder that today, on September 11th, the dancing treasonous moron of our energy department, Rick Perry, is in Moscow and will be there until the 13th. Such patriotism, to Russia,” said one user.

“For Our National 9/11 Remembrance Day, Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry Is In Moscow To Discuss Removing More Energy Sanctions. Can you say, ‘unpatriotic’?” tweeted another user.

Verdict: False

The Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed that Perry was in Washington, D.C., on 9/11. His meetings in Moscow start Sept. 13.

Fact Check:

Griffin tweeted a Forbes article that said Perry was in Russia this week for meetings with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak. Other Twitter users pointed to a Reuters report, citing Russian media, that said Perry’s meetings in Moscow would start on Sept. 11.

“U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry will visit Moscow from Sept. 11 to 13, Russian media reported on Sunday, citing a diplomatic source,” Reuters originally said.

Perry does have meetings in Moscow this week with Novak, but he was not in Russia on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The DOE press office said in a tweet that the reports were inaccurate. “His meetings in Moscow are later this week,” the tweet said.

A DOE spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Caller News Foundation that Perry attended meetings in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11 and that his meetings in Moscow start Thursday.

Reuters updated its report to say that Perry met with Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, in Washington, D.C. on Monday and that meetings with Novak in Moscow would start Thursday.

Griffin deleted his tweet and apologized for the error in a subsequent tweet after an inquiry from TheDCNF.

The DOE planned a moment of silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11 at 8:46 a.m. EST – the time that the first plane hit the World Trade Center North Tower.

Russian media said that the energy officials would discuss sanctions against Iran, U.S. sanctions against Russia and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which transfers gas from Russia to Europe. The DOE has not confirmed the full extent of topics planned for the meetings.

Mariotti did not respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE: After publication of this story, Mariotti deleted his tweet and apologized for the error.

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Emily Larsen

Fact Check Reporter