In late 2022, an image was shared online that claimed defeated Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake had once tweeted, "Congratulations to the obese American public for getting one of their own into the White House, the fattest U.S. president since Taft."
The date next to the tweet showed Nov. 9, 2016, the same day when former U.S. President Donald Trump had been projected as the winner in that year's U.S. presidential election.
We found no proof that Lake ever tweeted this, though. Some skeptical Twitter users said that they searched websites that serve to archive internet content, and also found no evidence that the tweet was real.
Based on our study of other social media posts that Lake had made on the same day in 2016, it appeared to be unlikely that she would have tweeted any such thoughts about "the obese American public" or Trump's weight.
Further, just as the other Twitter users mentioned above, there's no record of the words in the tweet being mentioned online before Nov. 4, 2022.
For this claim, we have issued a fact-check rating of "Unproven," which means that our findings were inconclusive or self-contradictory. While this claim may have appeared to be false, it's important to remember that we don't establish fact-check ratings based on appearances. Rather, we look for data that leaves not even a shadow of a doubt, which, in this case, we did not find.
Lake On Trump's Victory
In the early-morning hours of Nov. 9, 2016, right after Trump had given his victory speech, Lake posted her thoughts on his victory to both Facebook and Twitter. The post was in no way negative about Trump or his supporters.
At the time, Lake was a local news anchor at Fox 10 Phoenix. In that kind of a full-time, public-facing position, political neutrality can often be key. Had she posted anything that negatively focused on "the obese American public," it likely would have made it into local newspapers and on other nearby TV stations. We found no such coverage.
Looking for the Tweet's Origins
The oldest post that we could find that included the tweet screenshot was from Nov. 4, 2022, when a Reddit user had posted the image on the r/redscarepod subreddit. It's unclear if the person who made the post was the first person to share it.
Around an hour later, the @Kaylan_TX Twitter account reposted the image. @Kaylan_TX's tweet received tens of thousands of engagements.
The image of the tweet screenshot was also posted on Facebook by progressive political commentator Brian Tyler Cohen on Dec. 8. Cohen's post was likely what led readers to contact us to ask if it was a real tweet.
This story will be updated if more information comes to light.