Q: Did Michelle Obama say that the school shooting in Florida was President Donald Trump’s fault?
A: No. That claim is circulating on dubious websites. The former first lady hasn’t said anything like that publicly.
According to data from the not-for-profit organization Gun Violence Archive, there were 30 mass shootings in the United States between the beginning of the year and Feb. 14 — when Nikolas Cruz was arrested for killing 17 students at his former high school in Parkland, Florida.
That organization classifies any incident that involves four or more people being shot or killed, not including the shooter, as a mass shooting. According to its statistics, the 2018 figure is very close to the average of 29.2 mass shootings by Feb. 14 over the past five years. (In 2017, there had been 43 mass shootings by that date; in 2016 there had been 22; in 2015, 29; and in 2014, 22.)
Regardless of how many shootings there have been, former First Lady Michelle Obama hasn’t recently blamed Trump for them.
But a made-up story circulating on Facebook is claiming that she has. Users of the social media site rightly flagged it as potentially false.
The headline on the false story says: “Michelle Obama: ‘Florida Shooting Is Clearly Trump’s Fault, These Shootings Are Happening Constantly Since He Became Our President. We Must Protect Our Children From This Tyrant.‘”
The only public comment that Obama has made about the recent shooting is retweeting a post from Barack Obama’s Twitter account:
We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job. And until we can honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 15, 2018
The false story claims that Michelle Obama made the remark during the “Obama Foundation worldwide event.” But the Obama Foundation has had no events since Feb. 14 and doesn’t appear to have ever hosted an event by that name.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label false stories flagged by readers on the social media network.
Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Booking Report for Nikolas Jacob Cruz. 15 Feb 2018.
Gun Violence Archive. Mass Shootings. Accessed 20 Feb 2018.
“Michelle Obama: ‘Florida Shooting Is Clearly Trump’s Fault, These Shootings Are Happening Constantly Since He Became Our President.We Must Protect Our Children From This Tyrant.'” ustoday.website. 16 Feb 2018.
Schwartz, Ian. “Michelle Obama: The Problem With Raising Strong Men.” Real Clear Politics. 3 Nov 2017.