Tweet claiming to be Texas governor’s Christmas message about migrants is fake

A screenshot shared by actress Bette Midler claims to show a tweet from Gov. Abbott about shipping migrants from Texas. But it’s not real.
Credit: Twitter

On Christmas Eve, three buses of migrants were dropped off near the Washington D.C. home of Vice President Kamala Harris. When the buses, which came from Texas, dropped off the group, the temperature was around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In the days following, a screenshot claiming to show a tweet about those migrants from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has gone viral.

“We celebrated Christmas Eve by putting migrants on a bus and kicking them out into the freezing cold. May the joy of Christ’s birth fill your heart as it did ours. Merry Christmas from the Abbott family,” the screenshot says. It also shows a picture of Abbott with his wife and daughter.

Actress Bette Midler shared the screenshot. The tweet has more than 7 million views and 79,000 likes on Twitter.


Is the Gov. Greg Abbott tweet with a Christmas message about migrants real?



This is false.

No, the tweet is not real. 


VERIFY went through Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Twitter page and found no evidence of the tweet. The tweet also does not show up on Abbott’s profile on Politwoops, an internet tool by ProPublica that tracks politicians’ deleted tweets. 

We also used Twitter’s advanced search function to search for keywords seen in the screenshot, like “migrant,” and did not find the tweet. The tweet does not appear on an archive of Abbott’s Twitter page, saved on the Wayback Machine, an internet archiving tool.

Using RevEye, a reverse image search engine, VERIFY found the screenshot on Reddit with the “satire/fake tweet” label.

There are also clear indications the purported screenshot is an edited image– there is blurring above the photo where the original text was removed and the font of the added text doesn’t match Twitter’s standard font. 

The photo in the edited image is of Abbott and his family. VERIFY could trace that to a Dec. 25, 2019, tweet from the governor

“Cecilia, Audrey & I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas,” the original tweet said. 

VERIFY reached out to Abbott’s office for a statement about the edited image and did not hear back at the time of publication.   

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