Poor fact-checkers. The lies coming out of the White House just won’t stop. The Washington Post uses Pinocchios to score just how bad a lie is. They may soon run out of the friendly icons. Politifact may need more Truth-o-meters, especially the Pants-on-fire version.
Things have become so bad that WaPo recently started keeping a running list of Trump’s false claims. Follow it here. It’s updated weekly
In the first 35 days of Trump’s presidency, the Washington Post has counted 140 false or misleading claims. As of Feb. 23, there have been no days without a false or misleading claim.
Almost a fourth of these claims come from Twitter postings, Another fourth from off-the-cuff remarks. Nearly a fifth come from prepared remarks. That’s a real sign that the deception is intended.
Alternative facts are not facts. Words matter.
The truth matters.
Here are some of the headlines relating to just a few of these false claims, including links to the source and a snippet from the news report. Stay tuned, there will be more.
White House press secretary attacks media for accurately reporting inauguration crowds – CNN, 01/21/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 2]
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer said, contradicting all available data. Aerial photos have indicated that former president Barack Obama’s first inauguration attracted a much larger crowd. Nielsen ratings show that Obama also had a bigger television audience. Spicer said, without any evidence, that some photos were “intentionally framed” to downplay Trump’s crowd.
Kellyanne Conway says Donald Trump’s team has ‘alternative facts.’ Which pretty much says it all. – Washington Post, 01/21/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 2]
Don’t be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You’re saying it’s a falsehood, and they’re giving — our press secretary, Sean Spicer, gave alternative facts to that. But the point really is — At this point, a visibly exasperated Todd cut in. “Wait a minute. Alternative facts!? Alternative facts!? Four of the five facts he uttered … were just not true. Alternative facts are not facts; they’re falsehoods.”
Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers – New York Times, 01/23/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 4]
President Trump used his first official meeting with congressional leaders on Monday to falsely claim that millions of unauthorized immigrants had robbed him of a popular vote majority, a return to his obsession with the election’s results even as he seeks support for his legislative agenda.
Recidivism Watch: Spicer uses repeatedly debunked citations for Trump’s voter fraud claims – Washington Post, 01/23/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 4]
Spicer cited repeatedly debunked research to support Trump’s claim that millions of people voted illegally during the 2016 presidential election. These studies do not support Trump’s Four-Pinocchio claims of “millions” of people voting illegally — as we’ve covered here, here, here, here and here.
Kellyanne Conway Admits ‘Bowling Green Massacre’ Error – New York Times, 02/03/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 15]
Kellyanne Conway, the adviser to President Trump who coined the phrase “alternative facts,” is facing another round of criticism and fact-checking after she falsely spoke of a “Bowling Green massacre” by Iraqi refugees. She acknowledged and corrected her statement Friday morning on Twitter.
Trump declares ‘any negative polls are fake news’ – Washington Post, 02/06/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 18]
This is Trump signaling to his supporters that they are to dismiss any bad news about him. Never mind the methodology of a given poll or how Trump is actually doing as president; if something is negative, it has to be wrong. This is at once a completely Trump worldview and also one that would get any student taking Statistics 101 a failing grade.
President Trump is now speculating that the media is covering up terrorist attacks – Washington Post, 02/06/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 18]
Speaking to the U.S. Central Command on Monday, President Trump went off his prepared remarks to make a truly stunning claim: The media was intentionally covering up reports of terrorist attacks.
President Trump says 109 people were affected by travel ban. It’s at least 60,000 – Politifact, 02/06/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 18]
“I think it was very smooth,” Trump said in part of the interview that aired Feb. 5. “We had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully.”
In Meeting With Sheriffs, Trump Repeats False Murder Rate Statistic – NPR, 02/07/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 19]
At a roundtable meeting with county sheriffs on Tuesday morning, President Trump repeated a false statistic about the U.S. murder rate that he repeatedly deployed on the campaign trail. On multiple occasions Trump has suggested the murder rate is at a historic high, a claim that has been repeatedly debunked. In fact, the murder rate is currently at less than half its peak.
Trump cites voter fraud in NH without providing evidence – Washington Post, 02/11/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 23]
President Donald Trump has revived groundless claims of voter fraud, arguing in a lunch meeting with senators that he and former Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte would have won in New Hampshire if not for voters bused in from out of state.
Trump Says Refugees Are Flooding U.S. in Misleading Allusion – New York Times, 02/11/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 23]
President Trump said on Saturday that judicial decisions that halted his executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries had allowed a flood of refugees to pour into the country.
“Our legal system is broken!” Mr. Trump wrote in a Twitter posting a day after he said that he was considering a wholesale rewriting of the executive order to circumvent legal hurdles quickly but had not ruled out appealing the major defeat he suffered in a federal appeals court on Thursday. “SO DANGEROUS!” the president added.
Trump statement: News media less trusted than Congress – Politifact, 02/16/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 28]
Trump compared the media with Congress. “You have a lower approval rate than Congress, I think that’s right, I don’t know,” Trump said. “I think they have lower — I heard lower than Congress.”
‘Last Night in Sweden’? Trump’s Remark Baffles a Nation – New York Times, 02/19/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 31]
Swedes reacted with confusion, anger and ridicule on Sunday to a vague remark by President Trump that suggested that something terrible had occurred in their country.
During a campaign-style rally on Saturday in Florida, Mr. Trump issued a sharp if discursive attack on refugee policies in Europe, ticking off a list of places that have been hit by terrorists. … Sweden, who would believe this?” Not the Swedes.
Trump just said he can’t ‘find a country where we actually do well.’ We just did. – Washington Post, 02/23/17 [Trump Presidency, Day 35]
At a meeting Thursday with the country’s top manufacturing executives, President Trump made a puzzling statement about trade. “We don’t have any good deals. In fact, I am trying to find a country where we actually have a surplus — surplus of trade. Everything is a deficit,” he said. “I actually said to my people: Find a country where we actually do well. So far, we haven’t found that country.” Data from his own federal agencies tell a much different story.