Twitter added a false description to a trending topic about Donald Trump Jr., repeating the incorrect claim from progressives and mainstream media reporters that he claimed the governor of Texas is a Democrat.
The official Twitter moment claimed “people are confused by Donald Trump Jr’s reference to Texas’ ‘Democratic governor,’ since the current governor, Greg Abbott, is a Republican.”
Same people who always decry “misinformation on social media” have been knowingly pushing the provably false lie that Don Jr. said the TX Gov is a Dem.
— Andrew Surabian (@Surabees) February 19, 2021
The claim, which a fact-checker at Newsweek and a reporter at the Washington Post conceded is false, arose because Don Jr. claimed that critics of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during a statewide emergency in Texas have turned a blind eye to the actions of Democrat governors.
Who wants to tell him that the Governor of Texas is a Republican? https://t.co/DkwA6YM7G0
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) February 19, 2021
Users on Twitter misinterpreted Don Jr.’s reference to “Democrat governor’s” as a claim that the Republican governor of Texas is a Democrat. The claim was repeated by left-wing blogs including the Independent and UpRoxx.
But in the video clip linked by Don Jr., his comments were not a reference to the Texas governor.
A fact-checker at Newsweek clarified that Don Jr.’s comments were a reference to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, both Democrats:
While defending Cruz, Trump Jr. never mentions Abbott by name in the tweet or the video he posted.
In the clip, Trump Jr. appears to be referencing the Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom when mentioning governors “flagrantly disregarding their executive orders.”
While arguably worded confusingly, Trump Jr. makes no direct mention of Abbott being a Democrat. He never even names Abbott in the video or tweets, but he does directly name Cuomo and makes reference to Newsom.
A reporter at the Washington Post also conceded that Don Jr. was not talking about Abbott.
People are dunking on this as if Trump Jr. thinks Texas has a Dem governor, which isn’t what he says.
What was most interesting to me: Trump Jr. twice in this video admits that the vacation was a bad idea — including “quite certainly.”
But the media must be attacked. https://t.co/bSU9ZDOctm
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) February 19, 2021
In the past, Twitter has attached its own fact-checks to alleged misinformation that is trending on the platform. It has not done so in the case of this trend.