Fact Check

Did President Trump Delete Tweets That Referred to Immigrants as "Invaders"?

A Twitter rumor held that the chief executive's team went on a deletion spree after a mass shooter killed 20 people in El Paso.

Published Aug 4, 2019

 (Natee Meepian / Shutterstock.com)
Image Via Natee Meepian / Shutterstock.com
After the 2019 El Paso shooting, President Trump deleted tweets that referred to immigrants as "invaders."

After the August 3, 2019, mass shooting at a mall in El Paso, Texas, that left twenty people dead and dozens more injured, news accounts reported that a suspect arrested for crime had posted a four-page "manifesto" online shortly beforehand in which he expressed "an intense hatred for immigrants and Mexicans":

The writings from the suspected shooter said the attack was in response to a "Hispanic invasion" of Texas, warning that the population will make Texas and other states a "Democrat stronghold" that will allow the party to win future presidential elections.

"They are the instigators, not me. I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion," the document said.

The suspected shooter also wrote that immigration can only be detrimental to the future of the United States and "make one of the biggest issues of our time, automation, so much worse."

"It makes no sense to keep on letting millions of illegal or legal immigrants flood into the United States, and to keep the tens of millions that are already here," the manifesto said. "Invaders who also have close to the highest birthrate of all ethnicities in America."

By the following day, a rumor was afloat in social media that President Trump's "team" had begun deleting tweets in which Trump, like the shooting suspect, had referred to immigrants as "invaders":

However, at the time that rumor was posted, the three tweets it referenced as examples (one of which had nothing to do with immigrants) were still openly accessible in Trump's Twitter feed (and remained so at the time of this writing):

The same account that promulgated the rumor later acknowledged that the supposedly "deleted" tweets were in fact still posted, but then contended President Trump had deleted two other tweets:

However, those two other deleted tweets were ones in which President Trump had condemned the El Paso shooter (not immigrants), and which he had reposted later the same day:


Sacks, Brianna and Adolfo Flores.   "The Suspected El Paso Terrorist Said He Was Motivated by a Hatred of Immigrants."     BuzzFeed News.   4 August 2019.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.