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Letter from Pelosi to mayor of Portland, Oregon, was fabricated

January 11, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: In an August letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi encouraged Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler to adhere to the Democratic playbook and blame President Donald Trump in response to riots and protests taking place in the city following the death of George Floyd. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The letter was fabricated. 

THE FACTS: After rioters were photographed in Pelosi’s office during the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, a letter attributed to Pelosi about the protests in Portland months earlier began circulating on social media. 


“The good guys (the Alliance) now have Pelosi’s laptop. So now we can read Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s letter to Portland, Oregon mayor Ted Wheeler (Democrat). In this letter, demon Pelosi admits to both 1) fraud and 2) media complicity to fraud,” one Facebook post said. 

The made-up letter claims that Pelosi told Wheeler that she had seen his response to the riots in August and that he should “stick to the proven Democratic Play book.” The letter, which uses informal language and features poor grammar, also includes a fake signature. Pelosi’s office confirmed with The Associated Press that the letter was fabricated. 

The letter says: “Go on Television and Condemn TRUMP and refuse any assistance! We CANNOT give TRUMP any victory before the election!!!!!”

Posts sharing the fabricated letter have circulated widely on Facebook, Twitter and the conservative social media platform Parler. 

Tim Becker, a spokesperson for Wheeler’s office, also told the AP in an email that the letter was not real. 

In August, Portland officials declared a riot and made arrests after peaceful protests turned violent. At the time, protests were taking place nightly in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: