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Fact Check-Fabricated Republican senator’s tweet on a veteran support bill was created by satirical account

A fabricated tweet purporting to show a post published by Republican Senator Pat Toomey on the proposed veteran support bill was created by a satirical Twitter account.

The screenshot shows Toomey’s official Twitter handle (@SenToomey) in the upper third of the image, with the tweet purportedly sent on July 28, 2022. The alleged post reads: “As much as it pains me, almost to tears, I cannot vote for the Veteran Support Bill proposed in the US Senate. We simply cannot afford to give radical Joe Biden a win. Veterans may die because of this, but that’s what they signed up for. That’s why this is so hard on me.”

One user who shared a screenshot of the supposed tweet on Facebook said: “This is the Republicans and this has to STOP RIGHT NOW!!!!!!” (here).

Another said: “wow, just wow I think "cannot give biden [sic] a win" says it all. #PatToomey is willing to let vets die just to spite the democrats. This is not acceptable” (here).

Other examples of the screenshot spread further on Facebook can be found (here), (here), (here) and (here).

The image is fabricated, however, and the screenshot was first tweeted by a satirical Twitter account ‘Faith Back Rub’ (@FaithRubPol) (twitter.com/FaithRubPol).

The account regularly posts fabricated tweets with a stamp viewable in the bottom right corner noting that they are created by ‘Back Rub.’ On the bottom right of the above screenshot, a note reads: “Parody by Back Rub.”

The screenshot itself of the purported tweet also provides several indicators towards its inauthenticity, with the time printed in the bottom left corner as 9:62am.

The account’s description clearly outlines that the profile is satirical: “Trying to understand this crazy world & get a few laughs. Most of our images are satire.”

A search through Toomey’s profile did not reveal the supposed post (twitter.com/SenToomey) Neither did a Twitter advanced search via his official account. (archive.ph/fWHDG).

The tweet is also not viewable when searching through archived deleted tweets compiled by Politwoops, by ProPublica (here).

On July 27, 2022, Senate Republicans blocked a bill to provide healthcare for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits while serving abroad (here).

A technical correction held up the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, then Republican Pat Toomey blocked a quick procedural passage in the Senate, citing concerns with how money was appropriated in the bill (here).

The bill, without Toomey's amendment, came up for a final vote in the Senate late on Wednesday, and it won the support of 55 senators, five votes short of the 60 needed for passage (here).

Reuters has previously addressed a fabricated Jen Psaki tweet created by the aforementioned account that duped users online (here).

VERDICT

Satire. An image purporting to show a tweet published by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey on a veteran support bill was created by a satirical Twitter account.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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