FACT CHECK: Did Tom Cotton ‘Humiliate’ Merrick Garland And Call Him ‘Dumb’?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purports Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton “humiliated” Attorney General Merrick Garland and called him “dumb.”

Verdict: False

The video’s caption is inaccurate. The over 16-minute video features two clips of two Senate Committee hearings, and at no point does Cotton make the purported remark.

Fact Check:

Garland named prosecutor Jack Smith as a special counsel into multiple probes over former President Donald Trump, Axios reported. In addition, Garland recently said the Justice Department wants “all the transcripts and other evidence” collected by the House as part of their Jan. 6 investigation, according to CNN.

The Facebook video, viewed 28,000 times, purports Cotton “humiliated” Garland and called him “dumb.” “[WARNING MESSAGE]: These aren’t dumb people They think you’re dumb Tom Cotton HUMILIATED Garland,” the video’s caption reads.

The claim is false. There are no credible news reports suggesting Cotton “humiliated” Garland and called him “dumb.” Likewise, the claim neither appears on Cotton’s website nor his verified social media accounts. The Justice Department also has not publicly commented on the claim.

The over 16-minute video features two clips of two Senate Committee hearings.

In the first clip, Cotton asks Garland if the Justice Department is investigating NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci for allegedly lying to Congress about funding gain-of-function research during a 2021 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Cotton also questions Garland about a memo he argues was used to stifle parents’ speech at school board meetings.

In the second clip, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley questions Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox about allegations that the social media company teamed up with the federal government to infringe on Americans’ free speech rights during a 2022 Senate Homeland Security Committee meeting

At no point does Cotton “humiliate” Garland or call him “dumb.” Hawley also does not make such a remark at the attorney general. (RELATED: Did Ted Cruz Tell Merrick Garland That Dr. Fauci Should Be ‘Locked Up’?)

Check Your Fact has contacted Cotton’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter

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