Let­ter from Pelosi to Ore­gon mayor is fake

Sum­mer fab­ri­ca­tion cites ‘Demo­cratic Play book’

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A fake let­ter cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia pur­ports to show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urg­ing Port­land, Ore­gon, Mayor Ted Wheeler to “stick to the proven Demo­cratic Play book” when re­spond­ing to protests.

The let­ter urges Wheeler to fol­low sev­eral steps, in­clud­ing deny­ing there is a prob­lem, show­ing sup­port on cam­era for any­one break­ing the law, blam­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump if order can­not be re­stored and con­demn­ing the pres­i­dent.

The let­ter, com­plete with Wheeler’s of­fi­cial mail­ing ad­dress and Pelosi’s sig­na­ture and seal, con­cludes, “We CAN­NOT give TRUMP any vic­tory be­fore the elec­tion!”

The let­ter is dated Aug. 27, the day Pelosi ad­vised Joe Bi­den not to de­bate Trump dur­ing the 2020 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

“Ge­or­gia At­tor­ney Lin Wood also has this doc­u­ment posted,” Trump Train News Me­dia told its fol­low­ers Sun­day in a Face­book post, which it later re­moved. “Read doc­u­ment care­fully and no­tice who it’s from.”

Some of the con­ser­va­tive me­dia group’s fol­low­ers ex­pressed be­lief that the doc­u­ment was au­then­tic; others ques­tioned whether it was al­tered.

When USA TO­DAY con­tacted Trump Train News Me­dia for com­ment, the page did not re­spond and deleted the post.

The let­ter is still vis­i­ble in a Red­dit thread called r/Par­lerWatch.

An­other Face­book user posted the let­ter’s text Sun­day. That user didn’t re­spond to USA TO­DAY’s re­quest for com­ment.

Drew Ham­mill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, told USA TO­DAY via email that the let­ter is fake.

Ti­mothy Becker, a spokesper­son for Wheeler’s of­fice, con­firmed in an email to USA TO­DAY that the mayor never re­ceived the let­ter.

Port­land po­lit­i­cal con­flict

This fab­ri­cated let­ter comes af­ter months of fer­vent protest in Port­land, which many con­ser­va­tives blame on rad­i­cal lib­eral ac­tors. Port­land’s an­tiracism protests cen­tered around po­lice bru­tal­ity af­ter the death of Ge­orge Floyd on May 25 at the hands of Min­neapo­lis po­lice and the shoot­ings of Bre­onna Tay­lor and Ja­cob Blake.

Pro­test­ers, coun­ter­protesters and po­lice clashed.

Trump sent fed­eral of­fi­cers

On June 26, Trump signed an ex­ec­u­tive order to send fed­eral of­fi­cers to Port­land to pre­vent dam­age to gov­ern­ment prop­erty and mon­u­ments. Home­land Se­cu­rity agents soon fol­lowed. When vi­o­lence broke out be­tween pro­test­ers and the grow­ing law en­force­ment pres­ence, Wheeler said he did not in­vite fed­eral of­fi­cers to aid the Port­land Po­lice Bu­reau.

“Over the past week, Pres­i­dent Trump has used our city as a stag­ing ground to fur­ther his po­lit­i­cal agenda, ig­nit­ing his base to cause fur­ther di­vi­sive­ness,” Wheeler said July 17 at a news con­fer­ence. “Mr. Pres­i­dent, fed­eral agen­cies should never be used as your own per­sonal army.”

The next day, Pelosi con­demned the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s use of force and “vi­o­lent tac­tics used against pro­tes­tors in Port­land” in a joint state­ment with Rep. Earl Blu­me­nauer, D-Ore.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion and state of­fi­cials ne­go­ti­ated fed­eral of­fi­cers’ exit from Port­land in late July.

Ac­cu­sa­tions that left-wing rad­i­cals were to blame for the tur­moil gained trac­tion af­ter a self-de­scribed an­tifa sup­porter shot and killed a con­ser­va­tive coun­ter­protester in Au­gust. Mem­bers of a fed­eral task force fa­tally shot the shooter a few days later.

In re­sponse to the protests and shoot­ing, Trump called Wheeler a “fool for a Mayor” and “weak and pa­thetic” in sev­eral tweets Aug. 30 that urged Port­land lead­ers to call in the Na­tional

Guard to quell protests.

“I’m go­ing to do the work that I need to do here in my lo­cal com­mu­nity with my lo­cal of­fi­cials to take ac­count­abil­ity for what’s hap­pen­ing on our streets, and I’d ap­pre­ci­ate that ei­ther the pres­i­dent sup­port us or he stay the hell out of the way,” Wheeler re­sponded.

Port­land pro­test­ers and sev­eral civil rights groups called on Wheeler to re­sign, ar­gu­ing he did not do enough to pre­vent vi­o­lence.

Our rat­ing: False

A let­ter pur­port­ing to show Pelosi en­cour­ag­ing Wheeler to fol­low the “Demo­cratic Play book” and blame Trump for protests was fab­ri­cated. Pelosi’s and Wheeler’s of­fices con­firmed that the House speaker didn’t send the let­ter and Port­land’s mayor didn’t re­ceive it.

 ?? NOAH BERGER/AP ?? Po­lice use chem­i­cal ir­ri­tants and crowd con­trol mu­ni­tions to dis­perse pro­test­ers in Port­land, Ore., on Sept. 5. Some­times vi­o­lent nightly demon­stra­tions fol­lowed the death of Ge­orge Floyd in the cus­tody of Min­neapo­lis po­lice.
NOAH BERGER/AP Po­lice use chem­i­cal ir­ri­tants and crowd con­trol mu­ni­tions to dis­perse pro­test­ers in Port­land, Ore., on Sept. 5. Some­times vi­o­lent nightly demon­stra­tions fol­lowed the death of Ge­orge Floyd in the cus­tody of Min­neapo­lis po­lice.

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