Fact-checkers debunk alleged X post from Pelosi calling for arrest of young conservative

 December 13, 2023

It appeared last week as though former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had called on social media for the arrest of a young conservative commentator, but there is now no evidence of any such post, according to Reuters.

A screenshot of an alleged X post from Pelosi had been circulating over the past week on various social media platforms and seemingly showed the ex-Speaker demanding the arrest of 17-year-old political media figure Brilyn Hollyhand.

However, Pelosi's office denied ever making such a post, there was no evidence of any such post on her social media accounts, and the purported post in the widely-shared screenshot lacked the typical markers of a legitimate X post.

Screenshot of post appears to display call for arrest

In an archived version of the screenshotted alleged X post from Rep. Pelosi as it appeared on Instagram, the purported post said, "[Brilyn Hollyhand] has called for me to be arrested for orchestrating January 6."

It added, "Brilyn should be arrested for spreading fake news. Do not follow or support him."

According to his own website, Hollyhand is a 17-year-old conservative commentator who founded a conservative news site at age 11, The Truth Gazette, and currently serves as that outlet's editor-in-chief.

The young political strategist also hosts his own talk show, has appeared as a commentator for a variety of different news networks, and is active in encouraging young people like himself to get involved in the Republican Party.

No evidence post was ever real

It is unclear when or even if Hollyhand actually called for former Speaker Pelosi to be arrested for her alleged role in "orchestrating" the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021, as the purported post claimed, much less whether she in turn similarly called for the young activist and commentator to face arrest for "spreading fake news."

In the end, USA Today fact-checked the supposed post from Pelosi and determined that it was likely not real and had been "altered" or "fabricated" in its entirety.

No such post appears on Pelosi's X account, nor does a search of the X platform for the terms "Brilyn Hollyhand" and "arrested" and "January 6" turn up any results at all.

The outlet also observed that while the screenshot bore a resemblance to a normal post on X, it lacked any timestamp or "virality data" such as the number of likes and shares by other users.

Pelosi's office dismissed alleged post as "absolute hogwash"

It is perhaps possible that former Speaker Pelosi posted and then deleted the call for the arrest of the young conservative commentator and newsman, though that seems highly unlikely.

Furthermore, a spokesman for the prominent California Democrat was unmistakeable in his adamance that his boss had never made any such post when Pelosi's office was contacted with a request for comment by USA Today.

"Absolute hogwash," communications director Aaron Bennett said of the alleged X post. "This message was never tweeted from the speaker's account."

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