Texas congressman described as wishing for another 9/11 doesn’t exist

11:00 p.m Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 MyStatesman.com
Here’s what the Twitter feed for a fake Texas congressman looked like before it was closed this month. (Screen shot, cachedview.com, Feb. 14).

A newsy web post renounces a right-leaning U.S. House member from Texas for publicly wishing for another 9/11.

Hold that grimace: The congressman doesn’t exist, and neither does the far West Texas district the character is purported to represent on a recently shuttered Twitter account.

We launched into this fact check after a reader urged us to look into what seemed to be the nonexistent Rep. Rob McCaskill of Texas.

After the reader’s nudge, our web search under “Rob McCaskill” led to a Feb. 11 post on liberalplug.com stating that the very same Texas Republican had singled out the judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who left in place a U.S. district judge’s ruling blocking President Donald Trump from temporarily barring people from seven countries from entering the country.

The post initially says: “GOP Rep Rob McCaskill (R-Texas) Twitter feed, much like the Orange one in the Oval Office, is a huge basket full of crazy.”

The post later says that McCaskill tweeted: “Can’t wait for the next 9/11 so the 9th District circuit ruling judges will wish they didn’t roll over for enemies wishing death on America #MuslimBan.”

Liberalplug.com’s post continues: “Um, seem scary to you? With tweets saying the judges would be responsible for a terrorist attack, the administration is laying the groundwork for a deeper police state or for something we’ve never had in this country, martial law. Trump is a dictator. While McCaskill may not be smart enough to be in on the plan, he’s certainly complicit and he’s demonstrating what nearly all Republicans are guilty of. He doesn’t care about the American people. He only cares about his party.”

First things first: Texas’ 36 House members include no one named McCaskill.

Also, when we checked last week, no Rob McCaskill Twitter feed existed. But a distinct online search employing cachedview.com, which compiles webpages accumulated over time, led to what looked like the no-longer-in-business Twitter feed for “Rep. Rob McCaskill” of Pecos.

On that feed, a photo of a smiling, balding fellow with a jacket over his shoulder says McCaskill is “representing Texas’ 37th district beginning 2017!”

Note: Texas has no 37th district.

Our review of the limited number of tweets on the cached version of the account showed that whoever controls its posts put up about 25 tweets from Jan. 25 until 10:07 a.m. Feb. 10, nearly all of them explicitly supportive of Trump.

LiberalPlug.com’s McCaskill story, mostly critical of Trump, otherwise encourages readers to click through to another website that says it centers on discussions of the U.S. and the world from a leftist perspective.

We didn’t spot mention on the liberalplug site of its leaders or purpose—nothing saying either that it’s intended to be a news source or, conversely, a spoof. Also, clicking on a Facebook icon on the site plunked us onto a Facebook page titled “Liberal Daily,” which says it’s a media/news company; we messaged it but did not hear back.

Otherwise, we noticed, a volunteer-led effort called Media Bias/Fact Check calls liberalplug.com “a news and opinion website with extreme left-wing bias. Some stories appear to be outright fake news. Most others are not properly sourced and amount to left-wing propaganda. This source is not credible.”

Our ruling

LiberalPlug.com says Rob McCaskill, a Republican U.S. House member from Texas, posted a message on Twitter wishing for another 9/11.

There’s no such Texas congressman to wish for anything, making this claim incorrect and ridiculous.

Pants on Fire!

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