The Associated Press has checked out stories and visuals that were untrue that social media ran with recently. There are people who believe everything on social media. They don’t heed the warnings that “anybody can put anything on the internet.”
One of the false claims on social media was that special counsel Robert Mueller has spent $50 million in taxpayer funds investigating Russian election interference. According to the AP, the investigation has not come close to $50 million. Justice Department reports from December put the cost at about $25 million. Mueller has charged 34 people in relation to the investigation. To us $25 million is a lot of money when there are credible reports that the Russians did try to interfere with the election but their efforts had little or no influence on the outcome.
Also on social media, there was a claim that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, supports a minimum wage of $22 an hour and does not pay her interns. The AP check on the facts is that she didn’t call for $22 an hour. What she said is that if the minimum wage had been tied to productivity between 1969 and 2013, it would be $22 an hour. Warren does support a minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2024. Warren pays interns $15 an hour who do not receive funding from other sources.
There was a video on social media that purports to show Indian Air Force fighter jets attacking militants in Pakistan. The AP said the false video was created from the military simulation video game “Arma 2,” according to the makers of the game.
Then there was a claim on social media via a photo that shows President Trump incorrectly saluting a flag during the national anthem. The AP reported it is a false image. The original photo of Trump shows his hand was placed properly over his heart. Two other separate photos from Getty Images and a newspaper show the president was saluting the flag correctly.
The internet should be regulated with appropriate punishment for violators of the regulations.
AP Fact Check makes an ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is widely shared online.