Thursday, May 3, 2018

Trump caught in tangled web of lies

The news is chock-full of Trump’s falsehoods. I treat you to three topics.

President Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post previews the speech. Here are the opening and closing paragraphs.

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee:

I have received a lot of honors — like, a lot. I was on the cover of Time more than anybody else. I went to the best schools. I was elected president on my first try. It was the biggest electoral college landslide since Reagan. But people tell me this is a big honor — the biggest, maybe. And I think this is very good for you, because your ratings are going through the roof right now. This crowd is much bigger than Obama’s was.

Your Majesties and Highnesses, people who worked for me once said “do not congratulate!” — but I fired most of them. So come on, get up and applaud. You are so lucky that I gave you that privilege.

You can fill in the blanks on your own from Milbank’s post.

Lest you think this to be total fiction, be advised:

"President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize.” — South Korean President Moon Jae-in

“No-bel! No-bel! No-bel!” — Audience at Trump’s Michigan rally Saturday (Apr 28)

If, God forbid, Trump is selected for the Nobel prize, you know you can expect that his speech will contain more false claims than Swiss cheese has holes. Here’s the evidence.

President Trump has made 3,001 false or misleading claims so far.

Glenn Kesler and team at the Post do the fact-checking.

In the 466 days since he took the oath of office, President Trump has made 3,001 false or misleading claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president.

That’s an average of nearly 6.5 claims a day.

When we first started this project for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. Slowly, the average number of claims has been creeping up.

Indeed, since we last updated this tally two months ago, the president has averaged about 9 claims a day.

Trump has a proclivity to repeat, over and over, many of his false or misleading statements. We’ve counted at least 113 claims that the president has repeated at least three times, some with breathtaking frequency.

For example, only days ago, on April 28, Trump racked up 44 claims, many of which came from the president’s 80-minute speech in Michigan. (April 28 is tied in third place with Dec. 8, 2017 for most number of claims in a single day.) In his speech, Trump touched on many of his main themes, such as immigration and jobs, adding in a liberal dose of his favorite false facts. Among them:

You can take your pick here. Below are a few of my faves.

He falsely said that major newspapers and television networks make up nonexistent sources. That is grounds for firing in the news business. Sources can certainly be wrong, but they exist.

He falsely claimed that Democrats colluded with the Russians, and the whole probe started with “a document that was paid for by the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and Hillary Clinton.” But the DNC was a victim of Russian activities, as its emails were hacked and then released via WikiLeaks. The House Intelligence Committee has confirmed that the FBI’s counterintelligence probe began with a tip from the Australian government, which notified U.S. authorities about a drunken conversation between a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, and an Australian diplomat in May. Papadopoulos claimed the Russians had “political dirt” on Clinton. The information in the dossier funded by Democrats came to the attention of the FBI later.

He falsely claimed that fired deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe “took $700,000 for his wife’s campaign.” McCabe’s wife ran for Virginia Senate, receiving about $700,000 from then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and the state Democratic Party. But campaign records show that every cent raised for the campaign was spent. McCabe also did not participate in his wife’s campaign.

UPDATE: Trump’s claim was part of a personal feud with the FBI generally (Comey firing) and McCabe in particular. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Fired Days Before Scheduled Retirement. It appears from this tweet that Trump intended to do financial harm to McCabe.

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!
1:30 PM - Dec 23, 2017

Given his habitual lying, it should not be surprising that Trump cannot keep track of what he says from one moment to the next. Neither, apparently, can his legal team.

Giuliani Says Trump Repaid Cohen for Stormy Daniels Hush Money.

President Trump reimbursed Michael D. Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer, for a $130,000 payment that Mr. Cohen has said he made to keep a pornographic film actress from going public before the 2016 election with her story about an affair with Mr. Trump, according to Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of the president’s lawyers.

That statement, which Mr. Giuliani made Wednesday night on Fox News, contradicted the president, who has said he had no knowledge about any payment to the actress, Stephanie Clifford, to keep quiet before the election.

Asked specifically last month by reporters aboard Air Force One whether he knew about the payment, Mr. Trump said, “No,” and referred questions to Mr. Cohen. He was then asked, “Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?”

“No,” Mr. Trump responded. “I don’t know.”

See what I mean? Apparently to Trump “no” means “yes.”

In an interview with The New York Times shortly after his Fox News appearance, Mr. Giuliani, the former New York mayor and longtime Trump confidant who recently joined the president’s legal team, said that he had documentation showing that Mr. Trump had personally made the payment. Mr. Giuliani indicated that the goal was to conclusively demonstrate that there was no campaign finance violation involved.

I guess letting Trump’s dishonesty hang out there serves the purpose of dodging the campaign finance charge.

Wait for it. Will Trump go along and leap under Rudy’s bus? Of course.

Trump Says Payment to Stormy Daniels Did Not Violate Campaign Laws.

President Trump on Thursday directly contradicted his earlier statements that he knew of no payment to Stormy Daniels, the pornographic film actress who says she had an affair with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump said he paid a monthly retainer to his former lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, and suggested that the payment by Mr. Cohen to the actress could not be considered a campaign contribution.

“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!” – Sir Walter Scott.

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