This Wednesday, senior legal adviser to President Trump’s campaign Jenna Ellis shared an image of Teddy Roosevelt, along with a quote attributed to the former president that read, “To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.”
The problem is, there’s no record of Teddy Roosevelt ever saying such a thing.
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) November 25, 2020
Responding to the backlash in the comments beneath her post, Ellis tried to explain herself.
“For people asking, this quotation has been attributed to Roosevelt, but there isn’t a specific record of him saying this in a speech. I posted it because the [idea] itself is true, whether or not he said it!” she wrote in a subsequent tweet.
But as Reuters points out, the quote, which has been circulating the internet for months, is fraudulent.
“Reuters found no mention of this quote among those compiled by the Theodore Roosevelt Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to perpetuating his memory and ideals (here),” read a Reuters fact check from July. The quote did not appear among the list of notable quotations listed by the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University, another organization working to preserve Roosevelt’s legacy ( here ). In the past, the quotation has been attributed to other statesmen like Winston Churchill, ( here , here ). On other social media sites, the quotation has circulated with attribution to Roosevelt, as anonymous, or attributed to an “unknown” source since 2009 ( here ).”
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