A viral Facebook post falsely attributes claims of widespread voter fraud and “treasonous acts” during the 2020 election to former Rep. Trey Gowdy. But he told us the statement “wasn’t from me.” We tracked the comments to a retired general who has spread unfounded conspiracy theories.
After the elections in November, former Rep. Trey Gowdy supported examination of voting rules and procedures. Gowdy, a Fox News contributor, also said those “alleging widespread fraud” needed to provide proof for those charges.
The post, which is from February and has racked up 38,000 shares, reads: “‘We are not talking about fraudulent voting acts. What we are talking about is TREASON! When you coordinate six to ten states, using cyber warfare to change the outcome, these are TREASONOUS acts.’ – Trey Gowdy”
But the posts and the quote did not come from Gowdy.
We did track nearly identical statements in the transcript of a Nov. 29 show on the Worldview Weekend Broadcast Network, which hosts a variety of videos and stories that spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic. The comments were made by retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former military analyst for Fox News who has made baseless claims about conspiracies and widespread election fraud.
McInerney, Nov. 29: Thank you, Brannon. And what really promoted me to call you on this was listening to President Trump talk on Maria Bartiromo today, this morning and his comments that he must’ve been on, oh, almost 45 minutes with Maria. But what startled me was, he kept talking about fraudulent votes. Then I heard Rudy Giuliani talking about fraudulent votes, etc. It’s not fraudulent votes. The American people must understand we are talking about treason. And why do I say that? Well, when you coordinate six to 10 states using cyberwarfare, it changes the outcome of the election in favor of whomever you want.
These are treasonous acts. These are not just fraudulent acts, they are treasonous acts.
We’ve reported on the unfounded claims of a cyberattack and other conspiracy theories swirling around the 2020 elections before.
This isn’t the first time Gowdy’s name has been attached to a quote fueling a baseless theory. And it’s just the latest example of a viral post misleadingly using the reputation of a political leader or celebrity to advance an argument.
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