Did Franklin Graham Say Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Has a ‘Satanic Background’?

In February 2019, an article from Business Standard News (BS News) contained the claim that evangelist Franklin Graham accused Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of coming from a “Satanic background”:

We can’t go a day without some right-winger flipping out over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).

The latest attack has come from evangelist Franklin Graham, who’s already known for his intolerant views. Graham has previously accused former President Barack Obama of carrying the “Muslim seed” from his father. However, Barack Obama Sr. was an atheist.

Graham said he feels in his heart that AOC comes from “a Satanic background.”

“Many people from where she comes practice Satanic, devil-worshipping religions that hark back to Africa,” said Graham in an interview with Charisma magazine. “It would explain why she came out of nowhere and has such a magnetic personality. She’s tapping into Satanic powers.”

Graham seems to be referring to Santeria, which is a blend of African pagan religions and Catholicism. It originated in Cuba and is practiced in many parts of the Caribbean.

As is often the case for that particular website, BS News included a recent but unrelated Right Wing Watch item about a completely different person’s semi-related comments in order to create the impression of authenticity.

However, that post involved a different person (Chris McDonald) and different commentary:

Later versions of the original continued circulating on Facebook in April 2019.

The same outlet (The Business Standard News, or BS News) published something similar in late January 2019, about a preacher purportedly accusing the Congresswoman of “summoning demons” with her dancing. As we noted in that prior fact check, The Business Standard News (BS News) has an about page, which explicitly admits (as its name hints) all its content is “satirical” in nature:

The Business Standard News is a satirical site designed to parody the 24-hour news cycle. The stories are outlandish, but reality is so strange nowadays they could be true.