Eric Swalwell Fact-Checks 3 Republicans Over Bridge Crash Misinformation

Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna and Kari Lake all rushed to suggest the Rainbow Bridge incident was an act of terror.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) called out several prominent Republicans for spreading misinformation about Wednesday’s car crash on the Rainbow Bridge near Niagara Falls.

The crash, which caused an explosion when it occurred on the U.S. side of the bridge to Canada, prompted the closure of nearby border crossings and initial speculation of possible terrorism, which intensified after Fox News incorrectly reported that it was an “attempted terrorist attack.”

The conservative network walked back the report after authorities said there was no indication the attack was motivated by terrorism. In a statement Wednesday night, the FBI’s Buffalo division said there were no explosive materials found and the matter had been referred to local police as a traffic investigation.

Several Republican politicians, however, had suggested it was terrorism-related and used the incident to stoke fears about immigration.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said outright that “the explosion at Rainbow Bridge was a terrorist attack.” He never issued a correction after the FBI shared its conclusion, and the tweet still remained on his X (formerly Twitter) page on Friday morning.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) wrote: “We need to lock down the borders immediately. Full deportation efforts need to begin. The US does not need to be the world’s hospitality suite any longer.”

And Kari Lake, the Arizona MAGA star running for the U.S. Senate, said there might have been an attempted terror attack, and “if so, our worst fears are being realized,” accusing President Joe Biden of “inviting this kind of chaos into our country.”

“It was only a matter of time before bad people took him up on his offer,” Lake tweeted.

All three tweets had community notes added to them explaining that they were incorrect. Swalwell also shared all three with the simple addition of the FBI’s statement.

On Lake’s tweet, he wrote “SHOCKER,” adding, “Skari Fake is wrong again.”

Many other right-wing figures jumped to conclusions and used the accident to fuel their arguments about border security, including Republican 2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramswamy, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and former Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas).

The two occupants of the vehicle, believed to be a New York husband and wife, died in the crash. Investigators said the car was traveling at high speed when it struck a curb at a checkpoint, hit a guardrail and became airborne, CNN reported.

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