Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman March 16, 2023

Did Kari Lake tweet that Donald Trump was ‘fat’ in 2016? Not that evidence shows

If Your Time is short

  • This tweet appears to be doctored. 

  • It didn’t appear in multiple searches of archive websites and we didn’t find it searching Lake’s Twitter accounts.


A supposed tweet from defeated Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is making a splash on Twitter. But it’s not about her falsely claiming that she won the 2022 general election against Democrat Katie Hobbs, as she has done many times. (Hobbs beat Lake by more than 17,000 votes.)

Rather, the screenshot, which was shared March 11 on Twitter, shows Lake calling former President Donald Trump "fat" shortly after he won the 2016 presidential election. (President William Howard Taft was famously heavy, weighing more than 300 pounds.)

"Congratulations to the obese American public for getting one of their own into the White House, the fattest U.S. president since Taft." The timestamp in the image showed 12:31 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2016, the same day Trump was projected to win the election.

Twitter screenshot
The image was shared alongside a caption that said, "Did you know,...? In 2016, Kari Lake was against Trump,... and called him fat in a tweet."

But we found no evidence that Lake wrote this, although Politiwoops — a ProPublica database of deleted tweets from politicians — is no longer able to operate after  changes that followed Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.

Searches for Kari Lake tweets in the archive website WayBack Machine turned up no results for 2016. Neither did a search in and GhostArchive.

We also searched Lake’s Twitter account for the words in the tweet and found nothing. 

Featured Fact-check

This claim also surfaced in November 2022 and was met with research from a number of skeptical internet sleuths. Multiple Twitter users responded at the time, saying they also searched various internet archives and found no evidence the tweet existed.

Results from a reverse-image search show no record of the tweet being mentioned online before Nov. 4, 2022, making its legitimacy even more unlikely. 

In July 2022, Fox News reported that Lake, who previously worked as a news anchor for KSAZ-TV in Phoenix, had shared an anti-Trump meme on Facebook that said "Not my president" in the days before his January 2017 inauguration. But Lake said in the caption that the meme, which outlined ways to protest the event, was sent to her by a Facebook follower. 

Her campaign also told Fox that this was "very clearly a news-anchor's post; reporting that there was outrage against President Trump's election and asking if people were going to visibly protest his inauguration as the meme suggests. To make anything more out of it is just silly."

The post has since been removed from Lake’s account.

Meanwhile, shortly after Trump was declared the winner in 2016 (the same day of the supposed tweet about Trump’s weight), Lake shared her thoughts on Facebook. She wrote that, "Donald Trump just delivered a very solid victory speech. Sadly, I think many of the people who dislike him, and are upset, did not hear it. I hope it gets replayed tomorrow because I sense he wants to try to bring this country together after a difficult campaign."

We rate claims that Lake tweeted in 2016 an insult about Trump’s weight False.

Our Sources

Twitter post (archived), March 11, 2023

Associated Press, Calling the presidential race state by state, Nov. 9, 2016 

Twitter post, Nov. 5, 2022

WayBack Machine search, March 26, 2023 search, March 16, 2023 

TinEye reverse image search, March 16, 2023 search, March 16, 2023

Twitter, Kari Lake account, March 16, 2023

Kari Lake Facebook post, Nov. 9, 2016

Fox News, Trump-backed Kari Lake shared anti-Trump 'not my president' meme on Facebook days before 2017 inauguration, July 20, 2022 

Harvard Health Publishing, Letters from an obese president tell a familiar story of struggling with weight, Oct. 15, 2013

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Samantha Putterman

Did Kari Lake tweet that Donald Trump was ‘fat’ in 2016? Not that evidence shows

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up