Fact Check: The Marine Corps Did NOT Rebuke Nancy Pelosi, Did NOT Tell Her: 'WE DON'T WORK FOR YOU!'

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: The Marine Corps Did NOT Rebuke Nancy Pelosi, Did NOT Tell Her: 'WE DON'T WORK FOR YOU!' Fake Quotes

Did the Marine Corps rebuke the Speaker of the U.S. House, telling her "We don't work for you," in response to a request for troops to protect the Capitol during the Inauguration? No, that's not true: Both the Marine Corps and the House Speaker's office say it never happened.

The claim originated as an article published by Real Raw News on January 13, 2021 titled "Marine Corps. Rebukes Pelosi: "WE DON'T WORK FOR YOU!" - Real Raw News" (archived here) which opened:

General David H. Berger, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps., refused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request to use the Corps. to safeguard Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration from Trump supporters and insurrectionists. A Pentagon source speaking under promise of anonymity told Real Raw News that Pelosicontacted Gen. Berger late Monday night, and she beseeched him [...]

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Marine Corps. Rebukes Pelosi: "WE DON'T WORK FOR YOU!" - Real Raw News

General David H. Berger, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps., refused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request to use the Corps. to safeguard Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration from Trump supporters and insurrectionists. A Pentagon source speaking under promise of anonymity told Real Raw News that Pelosicontacted Gen. Berger late Monday night, and she beseeched him [...]

There is no truth to the Real Raw News item. General David H. Berger is the real Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. However, he did not have the conversation with Pelosi reported by Real Raw News.

Drew Hammill, a spokesperson for Speaker Pelosi, told Lead Stories via email, "Not true. No such request was made."

Capt. Casey Littesy, Communication Strategy and Operations Officer for the Headquarters Marine Corps told Lead Stories via email the article is "unequivocally false and inaccurate."

On January 12, 2021 General Berger and the Joint Chiefs released a statement condemning the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol by insurgents and affirming that Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.

jcs-message-to-the-joint-force-jan-12-21.pdf

The Joint Task Force - National Capital Region, JTF-NCR, told Lead Stories via email on January 16,2021, "The Marines are assigned to ceremonial units who are supporting the 59th presidential inauguration. These support roles include the U.S. Marine Corps Band, The Joint Color Guard and various other joint ceremonial elements."

There were no other credible reports on any national news outlets of Berger rebuking Pelosi.

The article claimed an anonymous Pentagon source said Pelosi contacted Gen. Berger, and "beseeched him to commit 5,000 troops to help ensure a peaceful transition of power and to prevent a repeat of the Jan 6 siege of the Capitol."

He allegedly replied:

If you want us to help combat his supporters, I suggest you get him on the phone and tell him that. If he orders me to, I will. Otherwise, I suggest you listen really hard to the words escaping your cracked, poisonous lips; they're tantamount to treason. We don't work for you."

Real Raw News is the same outlet that was debunked by Lead Stories for publishing a story that claimed Delta Force raided a "Biden compound" in Ukraine and recovered gold bullion, drugs and weapons. That story, which recycled elements of an earlier hoax story, also claimed anonymous sources provided the false information. Lead Stories' fact check of that report is here: "Fact Check: Delta Force Did NOT Raid Biden Compound in Ukraine -- Recycled 2017 Hoax Story,"

Lead Stories reached out to the United States Secret Service for comment about the latest hoax and will update this report, as appropriate, when they respond.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes realrawnews.com as:

An anonymously run website that has published baseless and debunked conspiracies about COVID-19 and U.S. politics.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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