FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show A CNN Article About Bernie Sanders Insulting Pete Buttigieg

Matt Noel | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Instagram allegedly shows a screen grab of a CNN article with the headline: “Bernie Sanders told Pete Buttigieg in private 2018 meeting that a ‘rat-faced little baby’ can’t win presidency, sources say.”


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Verdict: False

The image is a photoshopped screen grab of a real CNN article.

Fact Check:

The image started cropping up on social media in January, around the same time that CNN and The Des Moines Register jointly held the seventh Democratic presidential primary debate in Iowa. One iteration has been liked more than 3,000 times on Instagram.

“Bernie Sanders told Pete Buttigieg in private 2018 meeting that a ‘rat-faced little baby’ can’t win presidency, sources say,” reads the headline of the alleged story. (RELATED: Did Bernie Sanders Say The US Has ‘Had Enough With White Men In Places Of Power’?)

Though the image claims to show a CNN article about Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders insulting South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg in 2018, no such article actually exists. A search of CNN’s website didn’t turn up any media reports with the headline shown in the post. It appears to be a doctored version of a real article.

The original story, published Jan. 13, detailed a December 2018 meeting between Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in which Sanders allegedly told her that a woman couldn’t win the presidency. It cited the accounts of two people Warren spoke to “directly soon after the encounter” and two people “familiar with the meeting.”

Sanders has vehemently denied making the remark and accused Warren campaign staffers of “lying” about the meeting.

Matt Noel

Fact Check Reporter
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