Fact-checker: Ocasio-Cortez's 'doctored documents' claim 'misleading,' but gets no Pinocchios

Washington Post fact-checkers said Monday that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Defense: Graham clashed with Pentagon chief over Syria | Talk grows that Trump will fire Coats | Coast Guard officer accused of domestic terrorism plot Coast Guard lieutenant arrested, accused of planning domestic terrorism Hillicon Valley: Microsoft reveals new Russian hack attempts | Google failed to disclose hidden microphone | Booker makes late HQ2 bid | Conservative group targets Ocasio-Cortez over Amazon MORE's (D-N.Y.) claim that Green New Deal documents had been "doctored" was "misleading," but would not be awarded any Pinocchios.

“No one created ‘doctored’ versions of the Green New Deal that included these outlandish proposals,” wrote Post fact-checker Salvador Rizzo.


“Most of the criticism she is responding to was based on documents from her office," he added.

Ocasio-Cortez was roundly criticized last week for proposals in the Green New Deal, which she sponsored, that included eliminating all air travel and the government paying people who are "unwilling to work."

The freshman lawmaker later tweeted that there were multiple "doctored" Green New Deal resolutions and FAQs "floating around."

Rizzo also took issue with a Trump tweet that the resolution would eliminate "all Planes, Cars, Cows, Oil, Gas & the Military."

“There’s a case to be made that the criticism about ending airplanes and cows was a stretch to begin with, since the resolution didn’t mention any of that and the FAQs were not definitive on those points,” Rizzo wrote in the Post.

“But Ocasio-Cortez has now disowned the FAQs and the statements that went beyond the resolution,” the fact-checker concluded. “The line about providing for people 'unwilling to work' has been walked back completely. So we won’t be awarding any Pinocchios in this kerfuffle.”

The paper applies Pinocchios in rating public statements, ranging from one to four Pinocchios depending on the degree of the lie, with four being the most egregious.

Ocasio-Cortez and the Post fact-checking unit have traded criticism in the recent past.

On Jan. 25, an article by fact-checker Glenn Kessler had assigned three Pinocchios to Ocasio-Cortez over a comment she made during an interview that "a vast majority of the country doesn't make a living wage." 

Kessler disputed that "a vast majority of the country" was not making a living wage, while also noting that Walmart and Amazon pay more than the minimum wage.

Ocasio-Cortez took issue with Kessler's rating, questioning whether he should use a "Walmart-funded think tank as reference material for wage fairness."

"That’s like citing the foxes to fact-check the hens. Here’s 4 Geppettos for your contested Pinocchios," Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter not long after the fact-check was published.

Kessler fired back at the congresswoman about the study used for the fact-check, saying it had been complied by Jason FurmanJason FurmanFact-checker: Ocasio-Cortez's 'doctored documents' claim 'misleading,' but gets no Pinocchios WaPo fact-checker fires back at Ocasio-Cortez criticism over rating: 'She's wrong' The need for transparency and reform in proxy voting MORE, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration.

"Since @AOC accused The Fact Checker of relying on a Walmart-funded think tank paper when we fact-checked her, we need to set the record straight," Kessler tweeted. "She's wrong. Don't always believe what you see on Twitter. The article has been updated with a note explaining the provenance."

Updated at 4:56 p.m.