Photo shows Pelosi’s son-in-law reporting on Capitol riot
CLAIM: Photo shows Nancy Pelosi’s son-in-law with antifa member who breached U.S. Capitol.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: Partly false. Dutch American journalist Michiel Vos, who is married to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, was reporting on the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. While outside the Capitol, Vos was photographed with rioter Jake Angeli, a supporter of President Donald Trump who social media users falsely claimed was part of antifa after marauding through the halls of Congress.
THE FACTS: After a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, social media users claimed without credible evidence that the insurrection at the Capitol was staged or involved the work of infiltrators, rather than Trump supporters.
Numerous social media posts have falsely blamed antifa, short for “anti-fascists,” an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups.
A photo of Vos outside of the Capitol with one of the rioters behind him was featured in several false posts claiming Vos was part of an inside job: “Antifa capitol stormer allegedly with Nancy pelosi’s son in law. .Vos. Is that how they got in?” a Facebook user stated. The post had hundreds of shares.
In reality, Vos was reporting on the insurrection for the Dutch television channel RTL 4’s talk show Jinek. During the phone interview, Vos said that Pelosi, his wife and son had to take shelter inside the building, while he reported from outside the building. He said he lost contact with his family for a few hours.
The rioter captured in the photograph with Vos has been identified as Jake Angeli, who also appeared in images of rioters inside the Capitol building wearing a furry hat with horns. He is a regular at pro-Trump events and a known follower of QAnon, a baseless conspiracy theory that claims that Trump is secretly fighting deep state enemies and a cabal of child sex traffickers.
The AP has debunked false claims that Angeli is part of antifa, rather than a Trump supporter.
Vos described what it was like at the Capitol during a phone interview with the TV channel: “I’ve never experienced anything like it. I was standing in a melee when people literally climbed the walls of the Capitol -- climbed up -- like a sort of sea of people out of a sort of post-apocalyptic film…”
“I’m standing like a sort of tourist, a bad tourist, outside alone and I haven’t had any contact with them for three hours because I can’t make (phone) contact,” Vos said.
Vos could not be immediately reached for comment.
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: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536