USA TODAY US Edition
Letter from Pelosi to Oregon mayor is fake
Summer fabrication cites ‘Democratic Play book’
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.