May 20, 2020 / 3:11 PM / 11 days ago

False claim: California Governor Newsom went to Montana during Stay at Home order

Users on social media are making the claim that California Governor Gavin Newsom visited a ranch in Montana amidst the state’s Stay at Home order. This is false.

California governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference as he signs SB 113, which will enable the transfer of $331million in state funds to the National Mortgage Special Deposit Fund in San Diego, California, U.S. October 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Mike Blake

The claim has been shared over 5,590 times on Facebook as of May 19, 2020. Different iterations of the claim are visible here , here , here , here .

One claim reads: “Apparently Gavin Newsom is spending his time at his wife’s ranch in Stevensville, Montana. He’s clearly not the captain who goes down with his ship! So we’re all stuck here locked inside of corrupt CA while he is enjoying the freedom of a Montana ranch. I hate CA’s governor!”

A spokesperson for the Office of the Governor of California confirmed to Reuters this is untrue.

Montana local media channel KURL-8 reported that the Governors’ office stated Newsom “is in California where he has been since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.” ( here )

Reuters found no credible evidence supporting the claim that Newsom recently traveled to Montana. Some iterations of the claim say the information comes from a close “friend” or “family member” ( here ).

The claim refers to the Bitterroot Springs Ranch, located in Stevensville, Montana. It is true that the property is owned by Ken and Judy Siebel, parents of Jennifer Siebel Newsom, First Partner of California ( here ).

The ranch has been mentioned in media coverage several times, including being the site where Newsom and Siebel’s wedding took place in 2008 here , here ).

Some iterations of the claim says Newsom was seen “shopping around town” and “shopping for hats” in Montana ( here , here , here , here ). Sacramento County local media outlet KCRA 3 reported calling several hat shops in Darby, Montana, “who said they did not see Newsom over the weekend” ( here ).

On Monday 19, 2020 Governor Newsom held a press conference at a local restaurant in Napa Valley ( here ), where he announced new measures to ease the state’s lockdown and that will allow some California counties to reopen faster ( here ).

VERDICT

False. Governor Newsom did not go to a ranch in Montana during California’s Stay at Home order

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts  here .

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