FACT CHECK: Did Rashida Tlaib Say, ‘Americans Have Spent Decades Raping And Pillaging My People’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

Many people on Twitter shared a screenshot of a tweet allegedly from Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib about Americans “raping and pillaging.”

“Americans have spent decades raping and pillaging my people,” reads the alleged tweet. “What goes around comes around.”

Verdict: False

The tweet is from a fake, unverified account with only a handful of followers. The congresswoman’s real account is verified and has more than 280,000 followers. The hoax account appears to have been deleted.

Fact Check:

One tweet sharing the screenshot received more than 6,000 retweets. “Please share!!! Make it viral!! She is admitting to being a traitor to the American people and needs to be unseated immediately,” it read.

However, the tweet that Tlaib allegedly posted is from an unverified account with relatively few followers that no longer exists.

A screenshot taken before the account went offline shows that it had 30 followers, whereas Tliab’s account has more than 280,000 followers and a blue check mark next to her name, indicating the account has been verified by Twitter.

The unverified account used the same profile image and banner as Tlaib’s profile and appeared to have the same Twitter handle, @RashidaTlaib.

But, as some Twitter users pointed out, the unverified account used a capital “i” in place of a lowercase “L” in the Twitter handle, as each Twitter account must have its own unique handle.

“Nice trick using a capital i in your handle so it looks like her actual handle which is @RashidaTlaib. Can’t fake that blue checkmark, though,” wrote one user.

The account appears to have been deleted sometime after the tweet was posted.

Twitter warns that impersonation is a violation of the social media platform’s rules. “Twitter accounts portraying another person in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended under the Twitter impersonation policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.

Tlaib was recently elected to represent Michigan’s 13th congressional district, which includes parts of Detroit. She is the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress and one of the first Muslim women.

She recently garnered considerable media attention after using an expletive to describe President Donald Trump while calling for his impeachment.

Tlaib’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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