In recent days, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) repeatedly pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has fled to the United States, supposedly escaping protesters in Ottawa who are furious with vaccine mandates, COVID-19 health measures and Trudeau himself.
In the past week, Roy twice promoted the fictional online rumor, which was initially circulated by an anonymous Twitter account that calls itself “Terror Alarm,” according to CNN. The photo that the account used in its tweet was of Trudeau and his family in the foreground and an American flag in the background that had, in reality, been taken in 2016. At the time, Trudeau had arrived in the U.S. for an official visit to Washington, D.C.
Despite the fact that the Canadian prime minister is not in the U.S., Roy, in his tweets, demanded Trudeau be deported.
But on Sunday morning, the anonymous “Terror Alarm” Twitter account walked back its baseless claims of Trudeau’s whereabouts. It tweeted a “#FactCheck” of itself that said Trudeau “is NOT in hiding” but rather “is in Covid-related self-isolation.”
That much is at least partially true: The prime minister announced last week he has COVID-19 and is working remotely. Official itineraries said that Trudeau was in an undisclosed location in Canada’s capital region over the weekend. Trudeau’s undisclosed location was a change from his usual “Ottawa, Ontario” location on his public schedule.
Trudeau also expressed concerns last week over potential violence during a planned protest by truckers and others who oppose public health restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Roy has not deleted his tweets nor issued a correction.