FACT CHECK: Did Nancy Pelosi Say, ‘It Is Dangerous To Let The Voters Decide Trump’s Fate’?
An image shared on Facebook more than 8,800 times claims House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “It is dangerous to let the voters decide Trump’s fate.”
“America should be freaking out over this comment!!!” reads the caption. “Ahh! So this is the reason for the fake impeachment inquiry!”
There’s no record of Pelosi ever saying the quote. It is actually a Fox News correspondent’s characterization of a memo Pelosi sent to Democrats mid November.
The House voted Dec. 18 to impeach Trump on two counts – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The impeachment vote came months after a whistleblower complaint alleged that Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
The Facebook post, which features a black-and-white photo of Pelosi, attributes a quote about impeachment to the House speaker. It has been shared more than 8,800 times.
“It is dangerous to let the voters decide Trump’s fate,” the Facebook post credits Pelosi with saying. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims That Fox News Isn’t Covering The Mueller Hearings)
However, there’s no record of Pelosi ever saying the quote attributed to her in the Facebook post. It does not appear in ProPublica’s collection of her public statements released during the 116th Congress. A search of her social media accounts didn’t turn up any instances either.
Mike Emanuel, the chief congressional correspondent for Fox News, actually said the words during a live segment. He was referencing a Nov. 18 open letter to Democrats in which Pelosi discussed impeachment.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi circulated a memo to Democrats tonight telling them it would be dangerous to let voters decide President Trump’s fate when it comes to the Ukraine investigation,” said Emanuel.
President Donald Trump tweeted the quote shortly after Emanuel’s segment.
Nancy Pelosi just stated that “it is dangerous to let the voters decide Trump’s fate.” @FoxNews In other words, she thinks I’m going to win and doesn’t want to take a chance on letting the voters decide. Like Al Green, she wants to change our voting system. Wow, she’s CRAZY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2019
“Nancy Pelosi just stated that ‘it is dangerous to let the voters decide Trump’s fate.’ @FoxNews In other words, she thinks I’m going to win and doesn’t want to take a chance on letting the voters decide,” reads his tweet. “Like Al Green, she wants to change our voting system. Wow, she’s CRAZY!”
Emanuel was not directly quoting Pelosi but rather offering his interpretation of the contents of Pelosi’s memo. Trump and some Facebook users appear to have mistaken Emanuel’s characterization of the memo as a direct quote.
Here’s what Pelosi actually wrote in her Nov. 18 memo:
“The weak response to these hearing has been, ‘Let the election decide.’ That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections.”
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, told FactCheck.org that Emanuel’s paraphrasing distorted Pelosi’s actual words and meaning.