Fact Check: Trey Gowdy Quote About Rigging Election and Martial Law Is NOT Real

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fact Check: Trey Gowdy Quote About Rigging Election and Martial Law Is NOT Real False Quote

Did former politician Trey Gowdy say "If you're okay with rigging an election, I'm ok with martial law to stop you" as several social media posts are claiming? No, that's not true: there is no record of Gowdy ever saying these words, they do not appear on his social media accounts or in news reports about Gowdy. Gowdy denied to Lead Stories the quote was his.

An example of a post making the claim can be found here (archived here), published on January 13, 2021. It read:

"IF YOU'RE OKAY WITH RIGGING AN ELECTION TO WIN, I'M OK WITH MARTIAL LAW TO STOP YOU." - Trey Gowdy

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Jan 14 12:28:52 2021 UTC)

Lead Stories conducted a search of Gowdy's social media accounts but could not locate the quote anywhere. A search via Google News also yielded no result.

Contacted by Lead Stories via email Gowdy categorically denied the quote was his:

Never said it.

100 percent false.

It is unclear what the origin of the quote was. The oldest example Lead Stories was able to locate was December 19, 2020, in another Facebook post but it is possible older variants exist.

This fact check is available at IFCN's 2020 US Elections #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.


  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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