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Owner Of Twitter Account That Falsely Said Olive Garden Funds Trump Said She Was Hacked

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Andrew Kerr Investigative Reporter

The California community college professor whose Twitter account falsely said Olive Garden is financing President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign said her account was hacked.

The now-deleted tweet, posted Sunday morning on Palo Verde College English professor Dennese Lilley-Edgerton’s account, said, “It would be terrible if you shared this and Olive Garden lost business,” after falsely saying the company was financing Trump’s campaign.

The tweet appears to be the nexus of the #BoycottOliveGarden hashtag that trended nationally on Twitter Sunday.

Dennese Edgerton boycott olive garden Tweet (screenshot / Wayback Machine)

Dennese Edgerton’s boycott Olive Garden tweet is pictured. (screenshot / Wayback Machine)

Olive Garden as an entity has not made any contributions to political committees, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, and individuals that work at Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, have made contributions to a variety of political groups including the Republican National Committee and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Lilley-Edgerton, who is a frequent opinion columnist with the Palo Verde Valley Times, confirmed during a phone call with the Daily Caller News Foundation that she owns the Twitter account that made the false claim but denied she authored the tweet.

“It is my account. It was hacked. That’s my comment,” Lilley-Edgerton said Monday. “This is the first time that a tweet has gone out that I have not put out.”

“All I know is this morning when I got into my account, I was blocking a lot of people saying some really ugly things,” she said.

Lilley-Edgerton’s account issued multiple tweets Monday morning saying she’s busy “blocking a lot of MAGAs.”

But Lilley-Edgerton denied she was the one that deleted her account’s original Olive Garden tweet Monday morning, saying she can’t access her Twitter account from her workplace.

She also distanced herself from a tweet posted on her account Monday morning saying the tweet was deleted not because her account was hacked, but because it misstated facts.

“I’m going to need to get with Twitter and find out what’s going on,” Lilley-Edgerton said.

She posted multiple tweets saying her account was hacked less than two hours after speaking with the DCNF.

Olive Garden has vehemently denied the accusation that it donates to any political candidates, including but not limited to Trump. (RELATED: Home Depot Founder Responds To Boycotts In Fiery Facebook Post: ‘It Angers Me’)

A Palo Verde College spokeswoman declined to comment when asked about the tweets from Lilley-Edgerton’s account, saying its employees conduct online is not on behalf of the college.

The Palo Verde Valley Times did not return a request for comment.

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