Trump’s Unambiguous, Not up for Interpretation Lies

I originally began this list because I was losing track of all the times Trump said something that was blatantly false. Of course he does a lot more than lie blatantly; he strongly suggests something is true that isn’t (or vice versa), or lies in a way that is somewhat more ambiguous and difficult to prove.

Regardless, in making this list I quickly realized that a single person just isn’t capable of cataloging all of the president’s false claims, even if we ignore the more ambiguous ones. So just consider this a snapshot, and a work in progress until hopefully 2020 (2024 if Trump’s opposition continues to be determined to make the same mistakes it did in 2016).

The List

Trump claimed multiple times in 2017 that the “murder rate in our country is the highest it has been in 47 years.” That was a lie. The homicide rate was in fact near a multi-decade low.

The president made the claim that his “94% Approval Rating in the Republican Party, [was] an all time high. Ronald Reagan was 87%.” In fact George W. Bush had an approval rating around 99% among Republicans for a long while after the 9/11 attacks.

President Trump said only 6-18 people died in Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and said that Democrats faked the higher numbers. That was false. Most professional studies consider even 3,000 a low number. A Harvard study determined 4,645 excess deaths from September 20 through December 31, 2017. George Washington University determined in excess of 2,975 deaths in the 6 months following Maria. The toll included direct and indirect deaths caused by the hurricane, such as “disruption in transportation, access to food, water, medications, power and other essentials.”

The president claimed he had the largest crowd turnout for an inauguration, but he didn’t.

Trump claims he had the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan. This is false. Trump had 306 electoral college votes in 2016, while Barack Obama won by 332 votes in 2012. Later Trump backtracked and said he only meant by a Republican, which is still false since George H.W. Bush won with 426 votes in 1988.

The president said millions of illegal immigrants voted, enough that if taken into account, he won the popular vote. There is no evidence for this.

He claimed that “To protect America’s security I withdrew the United States from the horrible Iran nuclear deal, a horrible stupid deal. We gave Iran $150 billion.” We didn’t give Iran that money; the money already belonged to them, we simply unfroze their money.

  • In an interview with Piers Morgan airing Sunday on Britain’s ITV News Trump said, “There is a cooling and there is a heating and I mean, look – it used to not be climate change – it used to be global warming,” but “That wasn’t working too well, because it was getting too cold all over the place.” Completely false. Global temperature has been consistently and unambiguously increasing for over 100 years; this has been recorded by the Japan Meteorological Agency, The UK Meteorological Office, Goddard Institute for Space Studies, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and more. Scientists have not flip-flopped on this claim as Mr. Trump suggests. Peterson, Connolley & Fleck in the Sept. 2008 issue of the American Meteorological Society documented that from 1965 through 1979, only 7 peer-reviewed papers predicted cooling, 20 were neutral, and 44 papers supported and predicted warming. Moreover, “climate change” has been used at least since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change formed in 1988 (hence the name), and they’ve been predicting warming that whole period since their first report. So in sum, warming has in fact been consistent, and no, scientists haven’t flip-flopped on this position, and the didn’t flip-flop on the terms “climate change” versus “global warming.”
  • In the same Pierce Morgan interview the president claimed “The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records, so okay, they’re at a record level.” That is false; no peer-reviewed studies predicted the ice caps were going to be gone by now. Moreover, current polar ice melt is at a net loss.

Trump was recorded by The Sun on tape where he called Meghan Markle “nasty,” then he tweeted that he didn’t say that, that it’s all just fake news.

On Feb. 28 Jake Tapper asked then candidate Donald Trump about the endorsement of him by former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke. Trump responded, “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know… I don’t know any — honestly, I don’t know David Duke. I don’t believe I have ever met him. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him. And I just don’t know anything about him.” Trump in fact knew exactly who David Duke Was. Indeed, Trump chose not to run in 2000 as a Reform Party candidate in protest of David Duke’s involvement in the party. Trump said back then, “Well, you’ve got David Duke just joined — a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party.

President Trump claimed that the Mueller report exonerated him. That was a lie; the report specifically said it does not exonerate him. The report explicitly said “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

The president tweeted April 2 2019: “Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA…” Both of those things are false. In fact, as of 6/25/2019 the government’s own website shows that Puerto Rico has only received $42.3 billion; of that, only $20.5 is obligated (meaning the government is only required to spend that amount), and only $13.2 has actually been spent. Additionally, contrary to the President’s claim, that is not the largest amount given out after a hurricane; Congress provided roughly $120 billion for Hurricane Katrina, a much larger sum.

Trump said “So we’re taking in many billions of dollars. There’s been absolutely no inflation. And frankly, it hasn’t cost our consumer anything; it costs China.” In fact, the Trump Administration has had to pay soybean, pork, cotton, and other farmers $9.6 billion as of early August to keep them from collapsing from the precipitous drop of Chinese consumption of those products. The US has brought only $8 billion in tarrif revenue from Chinese imports.

The president has said “We’re building the wall faster and better than ever.” In fact no barriers currently exist where they weren’t already, and virtually no amount of wall has been built.

About Elizabeth Warren he said “She said she was Indian, and I said that I have more Indian blood than she does, and I have none, I’m sorry. And we drove her crazy. And we drove her That’s a good thing, not a bad thing, and she went out, and she had a blood test done, and it came out 1,024th.” She doesn’t have a lot, but a DNA test did indeed prove she had more than “none.”

Trump said about Mexican immigrants that “Many of these people are not good people. They’re convicted of lots of bad crimes and they want open borders where they just flow into our country.” In fact Mexican immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native born Americans. A 2018 study by criminologist Michael Light found that the States with larger shares of undocumented immigrants tended to have lower crime rates than states with smaller ones.

The president claimed that “The cages for kids were built by the Obama Administration in 2014. He had the policy of child separation. I ended it even as I realized that more families would then come to the Border! @CNN.” This is false; the Zero Tolerance policy created by the Trump administration is directly what led to the ballooning of “children in cages.” Very occasional separation may have occurred during the Obama administration, but nothing even approaching Trump’s scale.

The president said “We cannot let China do what they’ve done to us over the last 25 years. They’ve taken hundreds of billions of dollars out of our country every single year, hundreds of billions, with a B, not millions, billions.” China was not taking money from us; we wanted to purchase products, and they were willing to sell those products. Consentual exchange was occurring, not theft. End of story.

Trump claimed that his tax cuts were the “The biggest tax cuts in history.” In fact Ronald Reagan’s tax cut in 1981, at 2.89 percent of GDP, was much bigger than Trump’s, which was only 0.9 of GDP.

About human traffickers Donald Trump said “They’re not going through our points, they’re not going through areas where we have security, where we have guards where we have gates where we have all sorts of equipment. No, they ride through the desert and they make a left, where you don’t have the wall.” In fact, Data collected by the International Organization on Migration found that 79 percent of international trafficking journeys “go through official border points, such as airports and land border control points.” This was after analyzing 10 years of info on more than 90,000 victims.

Trump claimed that “We’re using the Mexican immigration laws, because that’s Mexico. And those laws say you can actually tell a person, “I’m sorry. You can’t come in. Get out.” Or they can take them back to a point of origin.” This completely wrong, because U.S. law treats unauthorized entry as a criminal offense, while it’s only a civil violation in Mexico.

He said that the “Squad” members of Congress that Trump criticized with racist statements “are anti-Israel, pro Al-Qaeda…” This is self-evidently wrong. None of them have made pro Al-Qaeda statements, and believing both Israel and Palestine to share guilt of bad blood isn’t being anti-Israel.

Notable mention

Sometimes President Trump, in classical blame-avoidance form, strongly implies a false thing is true but doesn’t actually explicitly state it. This was the case with his position on birtherism. He repeatedly suggested the Barack Obama “may not” be born in America, said that “an ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud,” and suggested “maybe” his birth certificate prove he’s a Muslim.

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