Sen. John CornynJohn CornynAbbott bows to Trump pressure on Texas election audit Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook Democrats up ante in risky debt ceiling fight MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday shared a 2018 photo of a group of Democratic senators and questioned why they were not wearing masks.
Cornyn retweeted a picture of Democratic Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehousePlastics industry lashes out at 'regressive' Democratic tax plan Democrats draw red lines in spending fight What Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling MORE (R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Cory BookerCory BookerLawmakers gear up for spending bill, infrastructure votes Booker: End of police reform negotiations a 'frustrating experience' Sunday shows - All eyes on spending votes MORE (N.J.) huddled together during the September 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings over the nomination of now-Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGraham tries to help Trump and McConnell bury the hatchet Republicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Senators denounce protest staged outside home of Justice Kavanaugh MORE.
“What’s missing in this photo?” wrote Mary Ann Mendoza, a vocal Trump supporter.
Cornyn simply responded with: “Masks?”
Masks? https://t.co/28BIX2oIuR— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) October 14, 2020
The Republican senator, who also sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is currently conducting day three of a four-day confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Many social media users quickly pointed out the photograph was taken before the coronavirus pandemic, with some accusing Cornyn of spreading disinformation.
⚠️Mask misinformation—TX Senator John Cornyn tweets a misleading photo about Dems not wearing masks. It was a photo from 2018. This is the kinda of disgusting mask fake info that is ruining pandemic response. C’mon @JohnCornyn—you follow my account, so show some decency. #COVID19 https://t.co/E0OM3P4XNr— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) October 14, 2020
Wasn't John Cornyn in the room?? https://t.co/rNh9PM6gnE— ☕ (@joemfox) October 14, 2020
Sen. Cornyn is spreading disinformation. This photo is old.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 14, 2020
Among those who criticized Cornyn was Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyPhotos of the Week: Renewable energy, gymnast testimonies and a Met Gala dress Senators denounce protest staged outside home of Justice Kavanaugh Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' MORE (D-Vt.), another member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who wrote that he was looking forward to his colleague “calling out President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE for not wearing a mask next time.”
Hi John, this picture was taken well before the pandemic.— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) October 14, 2020
Also, I look forward to you calling out President Trump for not wearing a mask next time. https://t.co/aMDG5v4gAw
Cornyn later responded to another Twitter user who noted the photo was from 2018, writing “Thanks for clarifying.”
Thanks for clarifying https://t.co/DzUkfQsPIO— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) October 14, 2020
Cornyn has not deleted his previous tweet. The Hill has reached out to his office for comment.
Mendoza was slated to speak about Trump’s crackdown on the border and support of law enforcement during the Republican National Convention in August but was pulled from the lineup after posting an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.