"Trey Gowdy is the new director of the FBI!" on Friday, June 23rd, 2017 in a headline

Pants on Fire!

Website puts fake headline on old post supporting Trey Gowdy as FBI director

The headline on a recycled post that supported making U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the new head of the FBI falsely said he had actually become the new director. (AP photo)

An online post that declared U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., was appointed head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation appeared to be another instance of a fake headline placed atop an old story only advocating for the move.

"Just in today: Trey Gowdy is the new director of the FBI!" read the headline on a June 23, 2017, post on Facebook users flagged the post as possibly being fake, as part of the social media site’s efforts to fight fake news.

The post touts that Gowdy, the new head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had been noted as a potential replacement for ousted FBI Director James Comey. But it didn’t mention anything about that being a done deal, as the headline said.

Indeed, there was talk in May that Gowdy was a potential candidate to replace Comey, but Gowdy took himself out of the running on May 15. He tweeted that he "would not be the right person" to take the job.

The post is an uncredited copy of a March 29 post from, which initially carried the headline, "Petition: Appoint Trey Gowdy as director of the FBI."

That original post went on for longer than the version, and asked readers to share the post on Facebook to show support for Gowdy. also copied the post, crediting the site and adding an online petition form.

There’s no indication why the post about Gowdy, who has been the target of fake news before, was resurrected on June 23. did not reply when we sent them an email via their online submission form.

On June 7, President Donald Trump nominated Christopher Wray to head the FBI. Wray must be confirmed by the Senate.

Fake news websites often put fake headlines on out-of-context news or opinion posts that aren’t bogus, leading to serious confusion for readers. This is just such an example.

Gowdy isn’t in charge of the FBI. We rate this headline Pants On Fire!



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