GOP Rep. Ronny Jackson’s false “pedophilia” attack on Katie Porter’s comments fact-checked

Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, falsely accused Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., of saying that “pedophilia isn’t a crime” when Porter actually said that LGBTQ people have been wrongly branded on social media as “groomers” and “pedophiles.”

Porter was speaking with Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, about the group’s latest report, which analyzed “the 500 most viewed, most influential tweets that identified LGBTQ people as so-called ‘groomers.'” 

The ‘groomer’ narrative is an age-old lie to position LGBTQ+ people as a threat to kids,” Porter said. “And what it does is deny them access to public spaces, it stokes fear, and can even stoke violence.” 

She went on to ask why Twitter allows posts calling LGBTQ+ people “groomers” according to its own hateful content policy to which Robinson responded that while Twitter and Facebook have community guidelines in place, the platforms also need to hold users accountable to those guidelines.

The Human Rights Campaign’s report revealed that anti-LGBTQ+ content was largely driven by a small group of extremist politicians and their allies. 

Just ten people drove 66% of impressions for the 500 most viewed hateful “grooming” tweets — including Gov. Ron DeSantis’s press secretary Christina Pushaw, extremist members of Congress like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and pro-Trump activists like “Libs of TikTok” founder Chaya Raichik.

The report found that posts from the 10 people alone reached more than 48 million views, and the top 500 most influential “grooming” tweets altogether were seen 72 million times.

“Rep Katie Porter (D) says pedophilia isn’t a crime – it’s an identity,” the account falsely tweeted alongside a video, which omitted Porter’s full comments. [A context box appeared below the false tweet with Twitter’s Community Notes identifying that the clip had been taken out of context and misrepresented what Porter actually said]. Jackson further amplified the falsehood and tweeted: “Katie Porter just said that pedophilia isn’t a crime, she said it’s an ‘identity.’ THIS IS THE EMBODIMENT OF EVIL! The sad thing is that this woman isn’t the only VILE person pushing for pedophilia normalization. This is what progressives believe!”