Claim: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz posted a photograph showing him posing with a tiger rug in his Washington, D.C., office.
REAL PHOTOGRAPH; INACCURATE DESCRIPTION
Example: [Collected via Facebook, April 2015]
Origins: A photograph purportedly showing Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz posing alongside a tiger rug splayed on the floor of his Washington, D.C., Senate office began recirculating in the online world in April 2015. The photograph, which was originally posted to Cruz's Twitter account
Cruz's spokeswoman Catharine Frazier told the Washington Post at the time that the senator "ran across [the rug] in Houston and took a picture." Cruz said that he was "shopping for the office" when he posted the image to Twitter, but Frazier maintained that Cruz was just joking and had no intention of bringing the tiger rug back to Washington. Cruz's spokeswoman also said she wasn't sure if the rug was real or not.
The tweet, which has since been deleted, stirred up controversy after it was initially posted in 2014, and animal rights groups such as PETA and the Humane Society condemned Cruz for making light of an endangered species:
"We fear it's real, but real or fake, it sends a bad message to the public at a time when we are trying to save the world's tigers from extinction."
This image likely began recirculating in early 2015 due to Ted Cruz's recent announcement of his entry into the contest for the Republican presidential nomination. Several web sites have misled viewers into believing that the photograph was recent to that announcement rather than something that was initially posted a year earlier.
Last updated: 27 April 2015
Itkowitz, Colby. "The Day After Ted Cruz Posed with a Tiger Skin Rug." Washington Post. 24 April 2014.