CNN fact checker Daniel Dale refuted uncorroborated claims circulating online that Rep. Lauren Boebert once worked as an escort, had two abortions, and advertised her services on a “sugar daddy” website.
The rumors were started online by American Muckrakers PAC, a Democratic Party-aligned super PAC that was behind the unearthing of embarrassing and compromising videos of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).
Among the spurious claims that went viral about Boebert (R-Colo.) was that she was introduced to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) after being hired as an escort by a member of the Koch family. Boebert, who has denied the claims, has threatened legal action against the super PAC.
Dale appeared on CNN on Monday and relayed to viewers that David Wheeler, the super PAC co-founder, “acknowledged to me that all five of these [claims] were indeed inaccurate, but that his group still stands by what he calls the main points of the allegations, all of which Boebert vehemently denies.”
Dale’s on-air remarks were reported by the online news site Mediaite.
“But so far the PAC has not provided corroborating evidence to prove the so-called main points,” said Dale.
“And Mr. Wheeler acknowledges that they’ve gotten a bunch of other things wrong.”
Dale continued: “The PAC published a photo of a woman posing on a bed in a tight dress.”
He added: “One of their anonymous sources claimed that she had gotten this photo from the page the super PAC claims Boebert had on sugardaddymeet.com.”
“Well, the photo is not actually of Lauren Boebert. It is a photo of a different woman. How do I know? Well, it was on that woman’s old profile on a modeling website.”
“The woman told me directly last week that it was her.”
Dale reported that after Wheeler suggested that the woman in question was lying, she provided “more evidence including an old hard copy of the bed photo and another photo of herself in that same dress.”
According to Dale, Wheeler acknowledged that the woman in the photograph wasn’t Boebert. Dale reported that Wheeler blamed “our source [having] mixed that up with something else.”
Wheeler’s group also claimed that Boebert, who is a fierce pro-life advocate, had an abortion in the fall of 2004, but Dale notes that Boebert denies this.
The congresswoman also gave birth to a son in March 2005, so “fall 2004 seemed like an implausible timeline,” according to the CNN analyst.
“When I pointed out her son’s birth date Mr. Wheeler said the 2004 claim was a typo by our social media guy even though it was on their website and he changed the page to say fall of 2005,” said Dale.
Dale also poured cold water on the theory that Boebert was hired as an escort by a member of the wealthy and powerful Koch family who subsequently introduced her to Cruz during a ski trip to Aspen, Colo.
According to American Muckrakers PAC, Boebert accepted at least $136,250 from Cruz, which she used to successfully run for Congress in 2019.
“Again, Boebert denies she was ever an escort,” according to Dale.
“She also denies having met or spoken to Cruz until after she won her 2020 primary. And Sugardaddymeet.com told me it has ‘no record’ of Boebert ever using the site.”
Dale also refuted a claim by American Muckrakers PAC that Boebert failed to report a $70,500 donation from Cruz.
“But that’s just not true. She did report it quickly,” he said.
“The donation from Cruz’s so-called Victory Fund, which backed more than 20 GOP candidates in that election — Boebert was not unusual — came in September 2020 and Boebert’s campaign reported it in its quarterly finance report in October 2020.”
“That is quick, that is prompt.”
Dale said that ultimately there isn’t enough evidence to support the super PAC’s claims.
“I can neither prove true nor prove false some of this PAC’s story about Boebert,” he said.
“It is theoretically possible, sure, that some parts could maybe be proven accurately eventually.”
“But so far, at least, the PAC has not released substantiating proof and is asking people to just trust them.”
Dale added: “And given how much the PAC has gotten wrong in what it has actually released so far, I think it would be quite understandable if a lot of people were just not feeling all that trusting.”