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No, Trump did not call Republicans “the dumbest group of voters”

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As the world awaits for United States’ election result, a lot of misinformation and fake news is surfacing on the Internet about Mail-in-ballot votes and counting procedures. The President Donald Trump at one point declared himself as the winner and became a source of serious misinformation/fake news. Meanwhile, an old image of Trump with a quote attributed to him is going viral across social media. The quote reads as, “If I were to run, I would run as Republican. They’re the dumbest group of people in the country. They believe anything on Fox News, I could lie and they’d still eat it up, I bet my numbers would be terrific”. The viral image claims that Donald Trump has made the above  statement in an interview given to People Magazine in 1998.

A twitter user @ThatDamnNate_ has shared the viral image which has got over 32K retweets.

Please find other claims here, here, here, here. This posted on Reddit also.

FactO Check:

With keyword searches on Google, we found the claim was fact-checked by Snopes.com (Fact-checking site) in 2015. This image was also viral in 2015 when Trump was announced as the presidential candidate for the Republican party. According to a fact check published by Associated press in 2019, a People magazine spokeswoman told the Associated Press that the magazine looked into the claim exhaustively when it first surfaced years ago but did not find anything remotely like it made by the president.

According to another article published by Huffpost in 2015, Oprah Asked Donald Trump in 1998 in a talk show, If He’d Ever Run For President. He replied, “Probably not,” Trump responded. “But I do get tired of seeing the country get ripped off… I just don’t think I have the inclination to do it.”

Conclusion: This is a 5-year-old misleading and false claim which has resurfaced. This has already been fact-checked by AP, Snopes, Reuters.

Fake News

Kangana Ranaut falsely claimed that Bilkis Bano (Shaheen Bagh Dadi) participated in farmers’ protest

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Thousands of farmers from Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting since September against the three agriculture bills passed by the government. After failing to gain support from their respective state governments (except for Rajasthan and Punjab), the farmers’ union have decided to march to Delhi to mount pressure on the union government. The protesting farmers had a clash with the police near the interstate border at Haryana’s Ambala district where water cannons were used to disperse the protesters. Amidst this ongoing protests, a lot of BJP and right-wing supporters are trying to discredit the farmers’ protest by sharing misinformation across social media. A collage of images of two elderly woman iv viral across social media with a claim that Shaheen Bagh Dadi – Bilkis Bano was present at the farmers’ protest.

Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has quoted the viral tweet and made some degrading comments. She said the Dadi who featured in Time magazine for being the most powerful Indian is now available in 100rs. Kangana’s tweet has garnered thousands of likes before she took it down.

Twitter user Gaurav Pradhan tweeted the viral image and claimed that Shaheen Bagh Dadi was present at the farmers’ protest and is available for hire on a per daily basis, food, cloth and money. The tweet has garnered over a thousand retweets and thousands of likes.

 

FactO Check: 

The image on the left in the viral collage is the image of Bilkis Bano – Shaheen Bagh Dadi, published in several articles (here, here and here) during the Anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh. Whereas the image on the right was posted by several Facebook pages and journalists during the farmers’ protests. According to Neel Kamal of Times of India, these elderly women are protesting against the farm-bills in Punjab.

Fact check website Boom has published a video where Bilkis Bano has refuted the viral claims. When Boom interview Bano at her house, she denied that the woman in the photo is not her. “I am sitting at home, in Shaheen Bagh. I am not the one in the photo. The farmers who are protesting and the photo of the woman that is being shared is not mine. I will be joining the protest tomorrow,” Bano told BOOM.

Conclusion: Bilkis Bano has clearly denied that she is not present at the farmers’ protests. It is evident that the elderly woman in the  yellow scarf is not Bilkis Bano -SHaheen Bagh Dadi as claimed by Kangana Ranaut and other social media users. The viral claim is false, misleading and an intentional attempt to malign the farmers’ protest.

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Fake News

Navika Kumar falsely claims that Congress has deleted Ahmed Patel’s pic from their website after his demise

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Indian National Congress party veteran leader and Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel passed away due to multiple organ failure on Wednesday. Ahmed Patel, the trusted aide to Sonia Gandhi was undergoing treatment for more than a month after he tested positive for Covid-19. The untimely demise of the veteran leader shook the party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Sonia Gandhi and several other leaders have condoled Patel’s demise.  Navika Kumar’s (editor/journalist of Times Now) latest tweet about Ahmed Patel has created a stir in social media. Navika Kumar posted a picture supposedly taken from the Indian National Congress party’s website and claimed the party has now deleted the picture of Ahmed Patel from their website.

The picture is supposed of a computer monitor which displays the Indian National Congress party’s website and its treasurers. The viral tweet has garnered over 100 retweets before got deleted. The image was followed by some philosophical speech which roughly translates to, “We have come empty-handed and will leave empty-handed, the world quickly forgets”. Please see the tweet here

FactO Check:

When Navika Kumar posted the tweet, many users in the comment section proved her wrong by posting the screenshots of the INC’s website which still has Ahmed Patel’s picture as the treasurer. One can see the same in INC’s website here.

Facing a backlash for her untimely and immature tweet, Navika Kumar has deleted the post and tweeted an explanation that when she saw the website, she couldn’t find the pic.

Conclusion: Navika Kumar’s claim is fake, misleading, and utterly baseless. Sometimes photos on the website take a while to load. This is a very common problem and depends on the site loading speed too. There could be other reasons too. If only Navika Kumar have patiently waited to refresh the page or check it from other devices, she could have escaped this embarrassment. Even though the follow-up tweet was intended for damage recovery, the last line, “Pareshaan Kyun ho Bhai log?” destroys the sole purpose and clearly shows the lack of responsibility from a renowned journalist. Of course, people would be anxious Navika ji, you are a journalist, they expect you to report facts, not gossips.

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Fake News

Indian army denies media reports of ‘pinpoint strikes’ in PoK

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Several media agencies today, citing a report by Press Trust of India (PTI) and govt. sources have published and broadcasted news claiming that the Indian army has carried out an airstrike in PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). Times of India citing govt. sources published an article, “India carries out ‘pinpoint strikes’ on terror launch pads in PoK: Govt sources” claiming that heavy damage was inflicted on terror camps in PoK. India Today, Times NowAmar Ujala, Dainik Bhaskar, and Dainik Jagran are some other agencies that have published similar reports.


Prominent journalists like Deepak Chaurasia, Anjana Om Kashyap, and Rubika Liyaquat have tweeted that Indian security forces have carried out targeted strikes in PoK and caused heavy damage to terror camps.

FactO Check: 

Press Trust of India on Thursday reported a story which stated, “The Indian Army is carrying out “pinpoint strikes” on suspected terror launchpads inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in response to Pakistani military’s unrelenting efforts to push a maximum number of terrorists into India before the onset of harsh winters, sources in the security establishment said on Thursday. The ‘deep state’ in Pakistan has tried to manage a fine balance between escaping the scrutiny by global anti-terror watchdog FATF and supporting terror at the same time with an aim to fuel unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.”

Following the report by PTI and several other agencies, the Indian Army has clarified in a statement that no firing or ceasefire violation has happened on Thursday. The army also further clarified that, “The PTI story is based on analysis of the Ceasefire Violations (CFV) that took place on November 13. It is clarified that there has been NO firing or CFV in LC today”.  ANI has also tweeted the same stating that no firing has happened across the Line of Control today.

Conclusion: Based on the statement by the Indian Army, there has been no firing or airstrikes across PoK today. Whiles some of the journalists have clarified their mistakes, others just deleted their previous posts.

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