Chelsea Clinton Tweets Out Fake News


Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton / AP

Chelsea Clinton tweeted out two fake news stories in the past few days, one of which she later acknowledged was false while the other about an abortion law in Arkansas she continued to defend as fact.

Clinton sent out one story on Wednesday that described how climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is "disappearing" from its website, in an apparent swipe at President Donald Trump, who has questioned the existence of climate change.

The second story discussed a new law in Arkansas that would, according to Clinton's retweet from Saturday, allow rapists to sue victims who get an abortion.

Both stories have since been proven false, and the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross called out Clinton for promoting the stories.

Clinton responded to Ross on Thursday by admitting that the climate story was "mistaken" while arguing that the abortion article was in fact true.

However, a fact check conducted by the website Snopes, which reports on false internet stories, found that Clinton was wrong about the abortion article.

Clinton retweeted a story from the Independent that said Arkansas "passed a law that will let rapists sue victims who want an abortion." The law in question, though, expressly prohibits damages from being awarded when a terminated pregnancy began from a criminal act. In other words, rape victims cannot be sued for getting an abortion.

The law, titled the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion, bans abortions through the dismemberment of the fetus by making this procedure a felony, according to Snopes. But JR Davis, spokesman for Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, pointed to the following passage in the law: "Civil damages shall not be awarded to a plaintiff if the pregnancy resulted from the criminal conduct of the plaintiff."

"Thus, a rapist cannot sue his victim and reap any benefits from doing so," Snopes reported. "Furthermore, the law excludes a woman ‘who receives or attempts to receive a dismemberment abortion' from civil liability."

The law allows spouses, parents, and legal guardians to sue physicians who perform the procedure, though.

According to Snopes:

The thrust of the law is that it makes it a felony for doctors to perform dilation and evacuation abortion procedures, except in cases where such a procedure is necessary to prevent death or physical maiming of the mother. Critics note that the law doesn't allow an exception for patients to obtain the specified procedure even in cases of rape or incest. According to Davis, the law is "not a prohibition on abortion in the second trimester," but rather a restriction on a specific abortion method.

The story that Clinton sent out on Twitter misrepresents the Arkansas law, according to the fact check.

Clinton retweeted the two fake news stories despite her mother, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, calling fake news an "epidemic" in December.

"Let me just mention briefly one threat in particular that should concern all Americans," Hillary Clinton said at an event honoring now retired Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.).

The "epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda" could have "real-world consequences," she said, adding that "this isn't about politics or partisanship."

"Lives are at risk," Clinton continued. "Live of ordinary people just trying to go about their days to do their jobs, contribute to their communities.

"It's a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly. Bipartisan legislation is making its way through Congress to boost the government's response to foreign propaganda and Silicon Valley is starting to grapple with the challenge and threat of fake news," Clinton concluded.

The former Democratic nominee's remarks came two months before her daughter tweeted out the two fake news stories.

UPDATE 3:23 A.M.: This story originally said that both of Chelsea Clinton's tweets were from Wednesday. The article has since been updated to include the correct dates of each tweet.