Several news outlets falsely reported that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had lunch with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis one day before he helped strike down Roe v. Wade.
Raw Story and the Independent published the reports, citing emails obtained by the American Oversight group.
The outlets said the emails showed Thomas, a George H.W. Bush appointee, and DeSantis, a Republican, dined on June 23, one day before Thomas and other justices struck down Roe v. Wade in their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
But the emails actually showed Thomas and DeSantis met for lunch in 2021.
Raw Story corrected its story.
“A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Clarence Thomas had lunch with Ron DeSantis one day before the controversial Dobbs decision. The lunch was scheduled for June 23, 2021, not June 23, 2022,” Raw Story says in its correction.
The headline was changed from “Clarence Thomas had lunch with Ron DeSantis one day before abortion rights struck down: emails” to “Emails reveal communications between Clarence Thomas and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.”
The Independent retracted its story.
“I am legitimately so sorry. I was not trying to mislead. I am legitimately embarrassed and humiliated. I never wanted to do anything malicious. I am so apologetic. I should have double-checked the dates,” Eric Michael Garcia, the author, wrote on Twitter.
Raw Story and the Independent did not respond to requests for comment.
A reprint of one of the articles on Yahoo was also taken down.
“I’d suggest checking dates on emails before chasing a narrative so hard you forget what year it is,” Taryn Fenske, a spokesperson for DeSantis, said.
The emails included messages from an assistant for Thomas making plans for him to dine with DeSantis, a possible 2024 contender, in Washington in June 2021.
Other emails obtained by American Oversight indicate that DeSantis and Thomas have been in regular contact.
Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Thomas, said in one of the messages that her husband “has been in contact” with DeSantis” on various things of late.”
The pair spoke together at a Florida Federalist Society
DeSantis has spoken out in support of some Supreme Court decisions, including the majority opinion penned by Thomas that struck down a New York gun law.
“From what I have seen, I think it was a great decision by Justice Thomas,” DeSantis told reporters during a press conference. “Very rarely does he do anything that is not correct. I think he’s been a fantastic justice.”