During the 2016 US election campaign, you will have no doubt stumbled across this picture of Donald Trump and the quote:
If i was to run, I'd run as a Republican. They're the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they'd still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.
The quote has been roundly debunked.
Not only is there no evidence of a political profile or interview with Donald Trump in People's online archives but there's no evidence of these words whatsoever.
In recent weeks, a picture of Betsy DeVos, American's latest education secretary, has been percolating around the internet in a similar fashion.
It features a picture of DeVos and the quote:
My family is the biggest contributor of soft money to the Republican National Committee. I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence.
Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return.
We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment.
It's true that the DeVos family have been, and are, huge contributors to the Republican party.
Followthemoney.org says that DeVos and her husband have made campaign donations of $47,559,870 between 2000 and 2015.
The National Institute on Money in State Politics also report that over a number of years, DeVos has donated more than $2.6 million to Republican candidates and conservative groups.
DeVos was, by the narrowest of margins, voted in as education secretary after Vice President Mike Pence was forced to cast a rare, tie-breaking vote on the Senate floor.
With the above in mind, any wary internet user would question the validity of the viral DeVos quote.
Surely it was mocked up in a similar way to the doctored Trump people quote... Right?
According to The New Yorker, The Washington Post and the Centre for Public Integrity (as reported by ABC News), Betsy DeVos was "brutally candid" about her views on money in politics in a 1997 op-ed she wrote for the Capitol Hill Newspaper Roll Call.
The full quote, sourced from CPI, reads:
[M]y family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican party…. I have decided, however, to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence.
Now, I simply concede the point. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues.
We expect a return on our investment; we expect a good and honest government. Furthermore, we expect the Republican party to use the money to promote these policies, and yes, to win elections.
The New Yorker report that DeVos added:
“People like us must surely be stopped.”
So there you have it. One internet quote picture that can't be entirely debunked.
And one the subject of quotes; in March 2016, DeVos told the Washington Examiner that Donald Trump was an “interloper” who did not “represent the Republican party”.
indy100 has contacted Betsy DeVos' office for comment.