Nearly forty thousand Twitter users follow Fox News‘ political account, @foxnewspolitics, many of whom were undoubtedly floored when, early Monday morning, the feed announced the death of President Obama.
The report, of course, was false — it stated that the president had been shot twice in a restaurant in Iowa while on the campaign trail. A series of six false tweets were sent out beginning at 2 a.m. EST as follows:
- @BarackObama has just passed. The President is dead. A sad 4th of July, indeed. President Obama is dead
- @BarackObama has just passed. Nearly 45 minutes ago, he was shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck; shooter unknown. Bled out
- @BarackObama shot twice at a Ross’ restaurant in Iowa while campaigning. RIP Obama, best regards to the Obama family.
- The shooter will be found
- 2 gunshot wounds have proved too much. It’s a sad 4th for #america. #obamadead RIP
- We wish Joe Biden the best of luck as our new President of the United States
Due to the late hour, the tweets remained online for nearly two hours before they were deleted.
Fox News quickly clarified via its official website that the twitter account had been hacked and that the messages posted were “malicious and false.” President Obama was not in Iowa or on the campaign trail at all; he was at home at the White House enjoying the Fourth of July celebrations with his family.
The Secret Service is conducting a full investigation.