FACT CHECK: Did Donald Trump Call Tammy Duckworth ‘Lieutenant Nolegs’ In A Tweet?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook claims President Donald Trump deleted a tweet calling Democratic Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth “Lieutenant Nolegs.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of Trump tweeting or deleting the statement. The tweet appears to be fabricated.

Fact Check:

The screen grab of the alleged tweet circulated widely after The Atlantic published on Sept. 3 an anonymously-sourced report alleging Trump denigrated fallen soldiers. The tweet, which Trump purportedly sent on Jan. 21, 2018, disparages Duckworth, a combat veteran that lost her legs in 2004 while serving in Iraq.

“Being lectured by Lieutenant Nolegs Duckworth, a woman without any legs trying to say that my bone spurs were fake, DOCTORS CERT PROVES IT!” Trump allegedly tweeted and subsequently deleted. “Democrats are still upset about their loss but we all know Crooked Hillary set them upto (sic) fail, Sad!”

The supposed tweet appears to reference the bone spurs diagnosis Trump received in 1968 that, according to The New York Times, allowed him to receive a medical exemption for the Vietnam War draft. There is, however, no record of Trump ever tweeting the disparaging comment pictured in the post. (RELATED: Did Voters Just Elect The First Asian-American Woman To Congress?)

A search of Trump’s verified Twitter accounts – @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS – turned up no matches. The Daily Caller News Foundation also didn’t find the tweet in the Trump Twitter Archive, a database of Trump’s tweets dating back to May 2009, or ProPublica’s archive of his deleted tweets. Had he actually tweeted the comment, media outlets almost certainly would have reported on it.

While this particular tweet appears to have been fabricated, Trump has criticized the military record of a politician in the past. In 2015, he said Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain, who was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for over five years, was “not a war hero,” adding, “I like people that weren’t captured,” according to the Washington Post.

Fabricated Trump tweets can easily be created using websites such as FakeTrumpTweet.com. Check Your Fact has previously debunked several fake tweets people claimed Trump sent, including one alleging he tweeted, “WHO Thinks ‘Child Lifes (sic) Matter’ Should Be PAINTED In The STREETS Of Hollywood???”

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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