Reports are circulating on the internet that U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., believes that Stephen Paddock wasn’t the lone gunman behind the deadly Sunday, Oct. 1, shooting in Las Vegas.
Those reports are wrong.
But that hasn’t stopped scores of so-called news sites from reporting the lie.
In a post entitled “Trey Gowdy dropped a disturbing bombshell about the Las Vegas shooter,” a site called Great American Daily reported, “The South Carolina Congressman remarked that it didn’t make sense that one person could carry out this massacre and not set off any alarm bells with their conduct leading up to the tragedy.”
Another post by the site Liberty Writers starts with the headline,”What Trey Gowdy said about multiple people involved in Las Vegas shooting is rocking America.”
Meanwhile, Christian News Alerts reports, “The mysterious events behind the massacre have many scratching their heads with suspicion, including Congressman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chair of the House Oversight Committee. Gowdy questioned the current narrative, saying ‘It is difficult to believe that a single person could have done this without detection.’” The headline of the story: “Trey Gowdy smells something fishy about Vegas shooting.”
And then there’s a report from Big League Politics.
And Conservative 101.
And Truth Feed.
And US Herald.
And The Gateway Pundit.
While it’s difficult to tell exactly which site was the first to post this bit of fake news, the most prominent one is easy to determine: Breitbart.
On Oct. 2, the Steve Bannon-helmed Breitbart pushed a report with the headline, “Gowdy on Vegas Shooting: ‘Difficult to believe that a single person could have done this without detection.'”
The implication here, and one that is shared by the many Breitbart readers who posted comments below the report, is that Paddock had at least one, if not more, willing accomplices.
However, both the source video for Gowdy’s statements embedded in the Breitbart post and quotes from the interview reveal that Gowdy wasn’t talking about multiple shooters at all. In fact, he made no claims doubting the official narrative of events thus far.
As it turns out, Gowdy merely noted that someone in Paddock’s life was probably aware that he was behaving suspiciously, something we’ve all seen time and time again after such tragedies have occurred.
In the interview, Gowdy said, “It’s an incredible level of premeditation that you don’t ordinarily see. And it is difficult to believe that a single person could have done this without detection.
“And so, I hope that what comes out of this is people – you know, lots of crime is prevented because a non-law enforcement officer says something. The weapons and whether or not it was altered to become fully automatic and the premeditation of picking a certain hotel room.
“I think we’re going to find someone along the way was suspicious, and they should have turned that suspicion into a phone call to law enforcement. It’s an incredible amount of premeditation to not go detected.”
When asked for comment about the erroneous reports, the Gowdy team said they “have a practice of not commenting on fake news.”