On Memorial Day, President Donald Trump attacked a Democratic congressman who is a Marine veteran, Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb, as an “American fraud.”
But Trump’s own next sentence was entirely false.
Trump claimed that Lamb – whose first and last name he misspelled as “Connor Lamm” – is a “puppet” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Trump continued: “He said he would NOT vote for her for Speaker, and did.”
Facts First: Lamb, elected in a special election in March 2018 and then again in the general election in November 2018, kept his promise not to vote for Pelosi as speaker. Lamb voted for Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts.
Lamb was one of 15 Democrats not to vote for Pelosi in the January 2019 speaker election. Pelosi won with 220 votes.
“Conor Lamb upholds promise not to vote Nancy Pelosi as speaker,” read the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review headline at the time. “As promised, Rep. Conor Lamb doesn’t vote for Nancy Pelosi for House speaker,” read the headline on the website of Pittsburgh’s WTAE Channel 4.
Lamb told WTAE at the time: “I promised during the campaign that I was going to support new leadership, and that’s what most people that I talked to supported also, so what I did today was fulfill that promise, and I really do think we need new leadership on both sides of the aisle.”
Trump delivered the false accusation against Lamb on Monday while endorsing Lamb’s Republican opponent in Pennsylvania’s 17th District, Sean Parnell, an Army veteran who served in combat in Afghanistan. (Trump deleted the tweet on Tuesday morning – and posted a new tweet in which he corrected the spelling of Lamb’s name but repeated the false accusation and the endorsement.)
In response, Lamb tweeted a photo of the Tribune-Review article about how he had kept his promise not to vote for Pelosi. Tweeting an image that showed Parnell had reposted Trump’s tweet, Lamb wrote, “These people have been lying about my record since the day I became a candidate. It hasn’t stopped, and it won’t stop, until we beat them at the ballot box in November.”
Lamb declined to comment further.
Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, served as a Judge Advocate officer in the Marine Corps from 2009 to 2013, getting honorably discharged as a captain. He subsequently served in the Marine reserve, completing his service this year.
Monday was not the first time Trump has made an egregious false claim about Lamb. In 2018, Trump falsely claimed Lamb had said he loves Trump’s tax cuts – which Lamb had campaigned against. In 2019, Trump falsely claimed Lamb called Trump “excellent” and said Trump was “doing a good job.”