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Former US Rep. Gowdy didn’t praise film alleging election fraud

May 10, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Former Rep. Trey Gowdy said he attended the premiere of the film “2000 Mules” at Mar-a-Lago and that he “always believed that rampant cheating occurred” in the 2020 election.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Gowdy confirmed he did not make that statement. A conservative commentator previously tweeted the same quote.

THE FACTS: A social media post shared by thousands on Facebook and Twitter is falsely suggesting the Republican former congressman from South Carolina made the statement.

In an image shared by a Facebook page called “Trey Gowdy NOW,” an image of Gowdy is paired with the quote: “I was privileged to be at Mar-a-Lago for the premiere of 2000 Mules. I always believed that rampant cheating occurred but was skeptical that it could be proven. After watching the movie I am no longer skeptical. @DineshDSouza has them dead to rights IMHO. God bless you Dinesh.”

Some commenters thanked Gowdy for his purported take on the movie. “That assessment of the evidemce means a great deal coming from you, Mr. Gowdy,” one wrote, misspelling “evidence.”

But Gowdy confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that he did not make that statement.

“Both assertions are completely false,” Gowdy said. “Never said it. Didn’t attend. Never heard of the movie much less seen the movie. So, it’s false at every level.”

Instead, the statement was actually shared in a May 6 tweet by David Limbaugh, a conservative commentator and brother of the late Rush Limbaugh.

The referenced film, by conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, uses a flawed analysis of cellphone location data and ballot drop box surveillance footage to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 presidential election.

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This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.