FACT CHECK: Did Ilhan Omar Say, ‘When We Win In November, We Will Eliminate Social Security Entitlements For Seniors’?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An article shared on Facebook claims that Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar said, “When we win in November, we will eliminate Social Security entitlements for seniors.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of Omar making the comments attributed to her in the article. The story was lifted from a parody news website.

Fact Check:

The Facebook post links to an article, titled “Omar: ‘When We Win in November, We Will Eliminate Social Security Entitlements for Seniors,'” published by the website CPJ News on July 10. Omar made the vow to do away with such benefits during a rally for Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the article alleges.

Omar tweeted an endorsement for Sanders in October 2019, before he suspended his presidential campaign in April. She has since expressed support for former Vice President Joe Biden, tweeting the she “will vote for him and help him defeat Trump.”

“These old people haven’t earned these entitlements!” the CPJ News article quotes Omar as saying during a Sanders rally. “We need more funding for our infrastructure and education centers and the biggest government expense is social security entitlements for senior citizens. We will have these phased out completely by 2024. We need to look toward the future generations and provide them welfare benefits, not the past of these older generations.”

There is, however,  no evidence Omar called to “eliminate Social Security entitlements for seniors.” Searching news reports and her congressional website didn’t turn up any instance of Omar making the comments attributed to her in the article. The statements also don’t appear on her social media pages.

Omar has advocated for expanding some federal entitlement programs during her congressional tenure. (RELATED: Did Democrats Introduce A Bill To ‘Euthanize Seniors’ To Save Social Security?)

“We should expand Medicaid, UI and SNAP, but we must deliver universal funds now!” she stated in a March 19 tweet thread about a coronavirus economic relief package she proposed. “Universal programs ensure that every American has a stake in our policies – that’s why programs like Social Security are so successful.”

The CPJ News article lifts word-for-word from a story published by Bustatroll.org, a parody news website that describes itself as part of a network that publishes “parody, satire, and tomfoolery.” Yet, while Bustatroll.org disclaims that “everything on this website is fiction,” CPJ News fails to make clear the content is satirical, portraying it as fact.

The reposting of parody news stories without clearly identifying that the content is satirical is a common way misinformation spreads online. In January, the Daily Caller debunked a viral article claiming President Donald Trump signed an executive order instituting term limits for Congress that originated on the satire website Daily World Update.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
Follow Trevor on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/tschakohl