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No, Sen. Ted Cruz Hasn’t Posted Equivalent Tweets After 12 Mass Shootings

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CLAIM: A compilation of screenshots shows that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has tweeted similar messages after 12 mass shootings within the U.S. from 2012 to 2022.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The image begins with an actual message Cruz tweeted following Tuesday’s shooting at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, but the next 11 tweets have been fabricated to seem like he used the very same message with a distinct city name every time. A search of Cruz’s energetic Twitter accounts, web archives and a database of deleted tweets, shows he didn’t repeatedly tweet the identical message.

THE FACTS: In the times following the mass shooting in Uvalde during which a gunman fatally shot 19 children and two teachers, some social media users are expressing frustration on the frequency of mass shootings within the U.S. and criticizing officials’ responses to them.

One post circulating within the aftermath falsely claimed that Cruz, a Republican senator, had been recycling similar messages of support for victims following other massacres, only swapping within the name of town where the mass shootings took place every time.

The post features a picture showing 12 tweets purportedly from Cruz. The primary screenshot reads, “Heidi & I are fervently lifting up in prayer the kids and families within the horrific shooting in Uvalde. We’re in close contact with local officials, however the precise details are still unfolding. Thanks to heroic law enforcement & first responders for acting so swiftly.”

The remaining of the tweets shown use the identical text but replace “Uvalde” with different locations. The locations listed are Recent York, Sacramento, Indianapolis, Rochester, El Paso, Virginia Beach, Pittsburgh, Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando and Newtown. The timestamp of every tweet also changes.

“These mass shootings occur a lot that Ted Cruz really got a template able to tweet each time they occur,” one Twitter user stated Thursday, including the photo that purported to point out a group of the nearly-identical posts. The tweet had gained greater than 16,000 retweets and 40,000 likes as of Friday morning.

The text in the primary tweet, showing Cruz’s response to Uvalde, is real. However the date within the fabricated screenshot is inaccurate. Cruz tweeted his message on May 24, not May 25.

The remaining of the purported tweets included within the image aren’t accurate, in keeping with advanced Twitter searches and checks of web archives similar to the WayBack Machine, and a ProPublica database that features Cruz’s deleted tweets since 2013.

While Cruz has used some phrases multiple times in tweets about mass shootings — for instance “lifting up in prayer,” and addressing the “community” and “first responders” — he has not used an analogous template.

And Cruz didn’t tweet in any respect from either his personal Twitter account nor his senator account in response to the mass shootings that happened in Sacramento, Indianapolis, Rochester, Virginia Beach and Parkland.

The dates listed within the fabricated screenshot falsely claiming to point out Cruz’s responses to shootings in Buffalo and Rochester are also incorrect. The date given for the Buffalo shooting is listed as April 2022, when the shooting happened the following month, in May. And the Rochester shooting is listed as September 2021, but that shooting happened the yr prior, in 2020.

A spokesman for Cruz didn’t immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.

This is a component of AP’s effort to handle widely shared misinformation, including work with outside corporations and organizations so as to add factual context to misleading content that’s circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.

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