The claim: Sen. Kamala Harris said "Our military are soulless cowards. Their budget must be cut"
After Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., became the first Black woman and Asian American person on a major party's presidential ticket, an old fake quote about the military being "soulless cowards" has made its way to social media.
"Our military are soulless cowards. Their budget must be cut. We have become a nation of baby killers through our military" starts a meme posted to Facebook on Aug. 20.
The post goes on to claim that Harris said that "our soldiers have become nothing more than a collection of evil sadistic monsters," and claims the quote came from September 2019.
USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.
A similar version of the claim was also shared on Instagram. Another user tweeted on Aug. 19, "Didn't Kamala Harris once make the statement our military Are soulless cowards. I'm pretty sure it was her."
The claim first appeared in 2019 after it was posted to a satirical website, and has now resurfaced – along with other false claims about Harris – after she was picked as the Democratic Party's vice presidential nominee.
Quote originated from satirical site
The quote being falsely attributed to Harris emerged in September 2019, after being published by Daily World Update, a site that defines itself as "parody, satire, and tomfoolery."
"Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined." Daily World Update's site reads. "Any similarities between this site’s pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical."
Media Bias/Fact Check also labels Daily World Update as a "satire website that pokes fun at conservatives while openly disclaiming they are a satirical source."
Our ruling: False
The claim that Harris called the military "soulless cowards" is FALSE, based on our research. The statement originated from a website that explicitly states it is satirical.
Our fact-check sources:
Media Bias/Fact Check, Daily World Update
Daily World Update, About page
Daily World Update, Sept. 2019, Kamala:’Our Military Are Soulless Cowards. Their Budget Must Be Cut.’
Check Your Fact, Sept. 23, 2019, FACT CHECK: DID KAMALA HARRIS SAY, ‘OUR MILITARY ARE SOULLESS COWARDS’?
Snopes, Sept. 12, 2019, Did Kamala Harris Say ’Our Military Are Soulless Cowards’?
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.
Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.
This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Fake Kamala Harris quote is from satire site