A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out. Here are the real facts:
NOT REAL: Federal Judge Slaps Mueller Down, Rules He Overstepped His Prosecutorial Power
THE FACTS: A federal judge has not ruled that special counsel Robert Mueller overstepped his authority by bringing charges against a former Trump campaign chairman, contrary to an article on the website Republic Information. U.S. Senior Judge T.S. Ellis III did ask pointed questions about Mueller’s authority at a pretrial hearing in Virginia and suggested that prosecutors’ true motive was to get Paul Manafort to “sing” against the president. But the judge withheld a ruling on a motion by Manafort’s defense lawyers to dismiss tax and bank fraud charges. Manafort’s lawyers had argued that the charges against him are far afield from Mueller’s mandate to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
NOT REAL: Clint Eastwood Leaves His Estate To The Trump 2020 Campaign
THE FACTS: Claims that Clint Eastwood is donating a Northern California ranch and other assets to President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign are false, according to representatives of the actor. False reports circulating on social media claim Eastwood’s donations include 40,000 acres of Nevada grazing land and $7 million in cash. The sites say the campaign will use the ranch as a Pacific Northwest command center “far from the prying eyes of Obama and the deep state.” Daily World Update, a self-dubbed satirical site, is among the sites making the claim. In an April 27 story, it quotes the actor as saying his doctors have urged him to get his affairs in order. The claims are “false in every respect,” attorney Kevin Marks wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
NOT REAL: Kyle Busch Found Dead After Committing Suicide
THE FACTS: NASCAR driver Kyle Busch is alive and well, despite a report online claiming he killed himself. The story from Sports Analog, which bills itself as offering “sports updates worldwide,” isn’t true, Busch spokesman Bill Janitz told The Associated Press. The false story claimed Busch shot himself at his North Carolina home at 11:46 a.m. Monday.
NOT REAL: New York Governor Appoints New Permanent Attorney General, And She ALREADY Lost To Trump
THE FACTS: Online stories have falsely claimed Hillary Clinton is New York’s new attorney general. The sites contend New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Clinton as the permanent replacement for Eric Schneiderman, who resigned as attorney general Monday following allegations of sexual misconduct. They also falsely claim that Cuomo rescinded the appointment of his first choice, Barbara Underwood. Senior Deputy Communications Director Rich Azzopardi called the story 100 percent “fake, fake, fake.” Azzopardi said Clinton was not named to the post, and Underwood, as the state’s solicitor general — the number two position in the attorney general’s office — automatically became acting attorney general.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
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