A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Did Not Post Conspiratorial Tweet


Quick Take

A tweet that suggests a conspiratorial “pattern” — from the protests over George Floyd’s death, to the pandemic, to the presidential impeachment, to the 2016 election – is being falsely attributed to former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The tweet is actually from an unverified Twitter account that misspelled her name.

Full Story

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been closely allied with President Donald Trump since 2016, when she served as a senior advisor on his presidential campaign. Shortly after Trump was elected, she was appointed deputy assistant to the president and deputy press secretary. When Sean Spicer resigned in July 2017, Sanders was promoted to press secretary.

In that role, Sanders clashed regularly with the media, until she stepped down in June 2019. But she remains a strong Trump supporter.

Recently, though, she has been falsely associated with a conspiracy theory circulating on social media that  attempts to link a series of “odd” events that have arisen since the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

A Facebook post sharing what might initially appear to be a tweet from the former press secretary claims, “It’s ‘odd’ that the ANITFA insurgency happened just as COVID-19 loses steam It’s ‘odd’ that COVID-19 happened the moment impeachment failed. It’s ‘odd’ that impeachment happened the moment Russian hoax failed. The Russian hoax happened because Hillary lost. Notice the pattern?”

But Sanders never posted the tweet.

The tweet first appeared on an unverified account under the name “Sarah Hucklebee” — a misspelling — along with a profile picture of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The bio reads: “I’m not who you think I am, but @mollyjongfast blocked me, just in case. But I am still #MAGA #KAG #WWG1WGA.”

The misspelling of her name and bizarre bio make it clear that this account doesn’t belong to Sanders. Sanders’ actual, verified Twitter account has no mention of this conspiracy.

Despite the lack of evidence that Sanders wrote this tweet or supports its claims, the post has been widely circulated. One Facebook post containing the tweet was shared more than 11,000 times and garnered hundreds of comments.

Since her departure from the Trump administration, Sanders maintains a high profile as a regular contributor on Fox News, and there has been speculation that she will run for Arkansas governor in 2022.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

Sources

Breuninger, Kevin. “Trump’s former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joins Fox News as a contributor.” CNBC.com. 22 Aug 2019.

Forgey, Quint. “Sarah Huckabee Sanders launches new website as she weighs run for Arkansas governor.” Politico.com. 28 Aug 2019.

“Fox News signs Sarah Huckabee Sanders to provide political commentary.” FoxNews.com. 22 Aug 2019.

Grynbaum, Michael. “Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Steadfast Trump Fan, Never Wavered.” New York Times. 14 Jun 2019.

Haberman, Maggie and Annie Karni. “Sanders’s ‘Slip of the Tongue’ Would Be a Problem in Some White Houses. Not Trump’s.” New York Times. 19 Apr 2019.

Haberman, Maggie and Katie Rogers. “Trump Has a New Press Secretary Who Knows How to Defend Him.” New York Times. 7 Apr 2020.

Hucklebee, Sarah (@hucklebee_sarah).  “It’s ‘odd’ that the ANITFA insurgency happened just as COVID-19 loses steam It’s ‘odd’ that COVID-19 happened the moment impeachment failed. It’s ‘odd’ that impeachment happened the moment Russian hoax failed. The Russian hoax happened because Hillary lost. Notice the pattern?” 10 Jun 2020.

LaVito, Angelica. “Sean Spicer resigns as White House press secretary after objecting to Scaramucci hire.” CNBC.com. 21 Jul 2017.

McCammon, Sarah and Ayesha Rascoe. “Press Secretary Sarah Sanders To Leave The White House.” NPR.org. 13 Jun 2019.

“Sarah Huckabee Sanders.” Ballotpedia.org. Accessed 16 Jun 2020.

“Sanders, Sarah Huckabee.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed 16 Jun 2020.