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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Trump Wrong About Conor Lamb’s Vote on Pelosi

President Donald Trump wrongly claimed that a House Democrat from Pennsylvania voted for Nancy Pelosi as House speaker after promising that he would not vote for her.

In fact, Rep. Conor Lamb kept his promise. Lamb voted for Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts to be speaker.

Lamb, a Marine and former federal prosecutor, won a close March 2018 special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District — a conservative-leaning district that Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016. In November 2018, Lamb repeated his victory, winning a regular general election for a full two-year term in the newly constituted 17th district and helping the Democrats capture control of the House. 

Trump — who campaigned against Lamb in the 2018 special election, calling him “Lamb the Sham” at one rally — reengaged with Lamb over the weekend.  

First, the president misspelled the Democrat’s name — referring to him as “Connor Lamm” — in a tweet on May 25 that he later deleted. A day later, Trump sent up the same tweet with the correct spelling of Lamb’s name, but with the same false claim about the Democrat voting for Pelosi to be speaker.

Lamb responded with a wordless tweet that — correctly — noted that he had in fact kept his promise with an image of a Jan. 3, 2019, headline that simply read, “Conor Lamb upholds promise not to vote Nancy Pelosi as speaker.”

The story, which ran on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review‘s website TribLive.com, noted that Kennedy “campaigned in Western Pennsylvania for Lamb when he was running in a special election in early 2018 to replace Rep. Tim Murphy.” Kennedy had received only one vote for speaker.

Pelosi became speaker with 220 votes. Fifteen Democrats, including Lamb, didn’t vote for her.

As for the other claims in Trump’s tweet, Lamb did vote to impeach the president on both articles of impeachment.

But Trump spins the facts when he says Lamb will “kill 2A,” a reference to the Second Amendment.

Lamb does support universal background checks — as most Americans do — for all firearm sales. But the Democrat also has voiced support for the Second Amendment. In a February 2019 press release, Lamb said: “We all share the same goal to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them, while fully protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding, responsible Americans.”

The Cook Political Report rates Lamb as “likely” to win again in 2020.