FACT CHECK: Did Nancy Pelosi Send This Letter To Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a letter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler that tells him to “stick to the proven Democratic Play book.”



Verdict: False

There is no evidence the letter is authentic. Spokespeople for both Pelosi and Wheeler have said that it is not real.

Fact Check:

Facebook users are sharing a letter, purportedly sent by Pelosi to Wheeler in August, that addresses riots and protests that occurred in Portland, Oregon. The letter has circulated following the U.S. Capitol being stormed on Jan. 6 by pro-Trump rioters, some of whom were photographed in Pelosi’s office.

In the letter, Pelosi allegedly urges Wheeler to “stick to the proven Democratic Play book” in response to riots in his city before listing five points of action. The five points include “deny there is a problem,” “refer to everything as peaceful and calm” and “blame Trump.” (RELATED: Did Nancy Pelosi Send This Tweet About Her Home Being Vandalized?)

Portland experienced months of protests and riots following the May 25 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in Minneapolis police custody, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. Wheeler faced criticism from both President Donald Trump and Black Lives Matter activists for his handling of the unrest in the city, according to NBC News.

There is no evidence the letter is authentic. While it includes an official-looking letterhead and a signature, it features informal language and multiple grammatical errors that make it immediately suspect. The language also does not appear to resemble that used in publicly available letters on the speaker’s official government website.

“The letter is not real,” confirmed Timothy Becker, a spokesperson for Wheeler, in an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation. The DCNF reached out to Pelosi’s office but did not hear back by the time of publication. Pelosi’s office told The Associated Press that the letter was not authentic.

Journalists such as Brendan Keefe, a chief investigative reporter for the news station 11Alive, and Mikael Thalen reported that the letter shows signs of digital fabrication. Both said that the signature and seal of a real letter on eBay had been digitally added to the fake letter.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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