FACT CHECK: Did Trey Gowdy Defend The Transgender Military Ban In An Interview With CNN?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook more than 92,000 times claims that, when asked about the transgender military ban by a CNN reporter, former Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said, “Nobody has the right to serve in the military.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Gowdy ever made this statement. It likely got linked to him after a Gowdy fan page posted it on social media.

Fact Check: 

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter July 26, 2017, that the country would no longer “accept or allow” transgender individuals to serve in the military. The modified policy, which took effect in April of this year, bars people seeking treatment for gender dysphoria from enlisting and requires military personnel to serve as their biological gender, with a few exceptions. It is being challenged in court, according to NBC News.

The Facebook post, which has been shared more than 92,000 times, alleges that Gowdy gave a statement defending the transgender military ban in an interview with a CNN reporter. It is accompanied by a photo of Gowdy. (RELATED: Will Sonic The Hedgehog Be Transgender In An Upcoming Movie?)

“The Military has one job: Winning War. Anything else is a distraction and a liability,” reads part of Gowdy’s alleged statement. “Did someone just scream? That isn’t Fair? War is VERY unfair, there are no exceptions made for being special or challenged or socially wonderful. YOU must change yourself to meet Military standards and not the other way around.”

There is, however, no evidence Gowdy ever said or wrote the statement attributed to him in the Facebook post. A search of CNN’s website and Grabien, a video clip editing service, didn’t turn up any instances of Gowdy making this statement about the transgender military ban. No credible online sources link him to it either.

“Never wrote a word of it,” said Gowdy in a phone interview with the Daily Caller. “Not one single solitary word came from me. I never addressed the topic.”

The statement, debunked by TruthOrFiction.com in 2017, likely got attributed to Gowdy after the Trey Gowdy News and Support Facebook page shared it in July 2017, even though the account disclaims that it has no affiliation with Gowdy. Prior to the statement being linked to Gowdy, variations appeared in online discussion forums without attribution.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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