Viral Quote About Elections Misattributed to Trey Gowdy

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Fact-Checks | Election Disinformation | Voter Fraud | Trump Lost

Photo Credit: Jon Tyson

This article was republished with the implied consent from, authored by Brea Jones on May 27, 2021


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Quick Take

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.
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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.

But a viral post on Facebook, which uses a photo of Gowdy, falsely attributes claims about voter fraud in 2020 to the former South Carolina congressman, who served from 2011 until Jan. 3, 2019.

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”

We found versions of the post dating back to December. Another was posted to Instagram on May 20 and amassed nearly 5,000 likes.

But the posts and the quote did not come from Gowdy.

In an email to, Gowdy said the posts attributing the quote to him were “100 percent false.”
“Never said it, never wrote it, never thought it,” he said. “No clue where it came from. But it wasn’t from me.”

We did track nearly identical statements in the transcript of a Nov. 29 showon the Worldview Weekend Broadcast Network, which hosts a variety of videos and stories that spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 electionand the COVID-19 pandemic. The comments were made by retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a former military analyst for Fox News who has madebaseless 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.

Editor’s note: is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.


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