Facts Matter: Costco coupon on Facebook is bogus

"Costco is NOT giving away $75 coupons," the members-only retailer stated on its Facebook page.

The fake deal, which purported to be a celebration of the big-box store's 50th anniversary, began circulating on Facebook last week and spread as people shared it, according to the Seattle Times.

To receive the $75 coupon users were asked to answer questions such as, "Do you like shopping?" the Seattle Times said.

"While we love our fans and our members, this offer is a SCAM, and in no way affiliated with Costco," the retailer said on Facebook. Costco, based in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, operates 770 stores worldwide, the Seattle Times said.

"People want to save money," Identity Theft Resource Center spokeswoman Charity Lacey told the Times. "The scam comes looking very much like the real thing."

In a "Costco coupon scam alert," the Identity Theft Resource Center said scammers could be collecting email addresses and access to social media friends in order to sell the information.

This isn't the first scam to involve the retailer.

"They come and they go periodically," Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti told the Seattle Times. "We've all clicked on something and afterwards realized we shouldn't have."

Rand Paul wrong about the Sixth Amendment

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has claimed the U.S. Constitution gives Donald Trump the right to face the anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint against the president.

"The Sixth Amendment is pretty clear. It's part of the Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, and it says that you get to confront your accusers," Paul said in an interview earlier this month.

The Sixth Amendment does give defendants in criminal cases the right to face their accusers, along with the right to counsel, the right to call witnesses and the right to a speedy trial.

But the impeachment inquiry is not a criminal trial.

The House of Representatives decides whether there should be an impeachment trial in Senate. A two-thirds majority in the Senate is required for conviction.

"The Sixth Amendment has nothing to do with impeachment, and even in the criminal context, in this situation, the informant wouldn't likely testify," Robert Litt, general counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence under President Barack Obama, told the Washington Post.

And even in a criminal trial there is a chance the identity of an informant or a tipster could be kept confidential based on a 1957 Supreme Court ruling, Litt said.

Biden clip doesn't show him talking to screen

A video clip making the rounds on social media appears to show presidential candidate Joe Biden unaware of the audience during a Nov. 1 event in Iowa as he begins talking to a screen in front of him.

But the clip is inaccurate, according to The Associated Press.

Biden is standing on an elevated stage, the AP said. The audience is around him, seated at tables and out of the camera's view. The screen he appears to be talking to was actually across the room and past the audience.

Journalists covering the event for the AP confirmed Biden was addressing the crowd.

Social media users shared the C-SPAN footage of Biden, 76, and used the clip to comment about the former vice president's age, the AP said.

President didn't evict veteran, therapy dog

Donald Trump spent Veterans Day attending a parade in New York City<URL destination="">.

</URL>That same day, a false tweet claimed the president once tried to evict a disabled veteran in New York for owning a service dog, said.

The posting said Trump was sued after he evicted a combat veteran of Afghanistan and Kosovo from a residential complex called Trump Village.

The story is mostly accurate but it didn't involve the president.

The management at Trump Village, in New York's Coney Island, tried to evict veteran Eugene Ovsishcher in 2012 because the complex didn't allow dogs, Snopes said.

On the advice of his doctor, Ovsishcher owned a service dog, a Shih Tzu named Mickey, to help him deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development stepped in, a settlement was reached and Mickey was allowed to stay. Trump Village has since changed the rules and now allows pets.

Trump Village was built by Donald Trump's father, Frederick Christ Trump, in 1964. The Trumps sold the complex in 2003, before the Ovsishcher incident, though the property still bears the family name.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at

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