Donald Trump Fails Pinocchio Test On Military Sexual Assault, Vladimir Putin, And Russia Meddling With Elections 2016

Christine Beswick

Donald Trump appeared with Hillary Clinton at a Commander in Chief forum with NBC‘s Matt Lauer this past Wednesday, talking national security. While he made multiple statements that have caused much controversy, comments he made regarding military sexual assault, to a group of military veterans, have come under criticism by Hillary Clinton, Senator Lindsay Graham, and a retired chief prosecutor for the Air Force who referred to Trump’s comments as victim blaming reports the New York Times.

Even worse, his comments weren’t just deemed as sexist and inappropriate, the Washington Post Friday Fact Checker has found, Trump’s claims about military sexual assault just aren’t true. They aren’t the only claims Trump has made this week that fail the Pinocchio test.

Donald Trump has made multiple statements this week about compliments from Russian President Vladimir Putin that also, just aren’t true. He has also made statements doubting that Russia is involved with meddling with Elections 2016, suggesting it was the Democrats that put forth that theory. The BBC notes, it was actually Donald Trump that first launched that theory.

But it was Donald Trump’s seemingly sexist statements about sexual assault in the military that have come under fire the most this week. NBC’s Matt Lauer asked Donald Trump about a tweet he made in 2013 about the very topic reports the New York Times.

The Washington Post reported that when Lauer asked Donald Trump if that meant that taking women out of the military would solve the pervasive problem of military sexual assault, Trump’s response was the following.

“Well it is, it is a correct tweet. There are many people that think that’s absolutely correct. Well it’s happening right? And by the way, since then, it’s gotten worse.”

Donald Trump did not say who the “many people” were that felt that tweet was correct. Since that interview, many people have come forward to say that tweet is not correct. Hillary Clinton has rebuked the statement publicly.

Senator Lindsay Graham has also said it’s not true and that, “We couldn’t run the military without women” reports the New York Times. Retired Col. Don Christensen of the Air Force, and president of the Protect Our Defenders group, has said not only is it not true, it’s “more than victim blaming and it misunderstands the historical role of women in the military.”

Donald Trump noted in the forum that he was referring to a 2012 Pentagon report that he claimed backs up those claims, reports the Washington Post. The Washington Post says that he misinterpreted the statistics in that report.

In that 2012 Pentagon report on sexual assault in the military, it was reported that 26,000 active duty service members had reported “unwanted sexual contact.” The 2012 report found that 53 percent of those were male on male encounters.

A 2015 report released by the Pentagon has found that the total numbers of sexual assault have dropped by 27 percent, with 18,900 active duty service members reporting unwanted sexual contact in 2014. The 2015 Pentagon report says that 10,600 of those 18,900 reports were male victims.

The Washington Post also notes that 70 percent of the victims reporting 2014 assaults were male, and that males had a greater risk of being assaulted than women by another male. Male on male sexual assault is a problem in the military and usually stems from hazing or humiliation acts notes the Washington Post.

Thus it seems that taking women out of the military would not solve this problem. The Washington Post gave Donald Trump three Pinocchios for misconstruing those facts.

But they weren’t the only facts that Donald Trump appeared to have misconstrued this week. He has been repeatedly connected with Russia again this week, with multiple people saying he has not gotten those facts straight either. Hillary Clinton noted that on her Instagram this week, as well as her upset over Trump’s false claims about military sexual assault.

As the Inquisitr previously noted, during the same Commander in Chief forum with NBC, Donald Trump defended his high praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin to a group of military veterans. He noted Putin’s 82 percent approval rating, and said, “When he calls me brilliant, I’ll take the compliment. Ok?”

But, Donald Trump is incorrect in this fact as well, notes the Washington Post in a May report. Vladimir Putin has never called Donald Trump brilliant, nor did he ever refer to Donald Trump as a genius. The Washington Post has given Donald Trump 4 Pinocchios for that tale.

What Donald Trump has said that Putin said about him was this, according to the Washington Post.

“I think he [Russian President Vladimir Putin] said some really nice things. He called me a genius. He said Trump’s a genius. Okay. So, you know, that’s nice.”

But what Vladimir Putin actually said about Donald Trump was, ‘yarkii’. There seems to be an issue with translation, that Donald Trump has twisted to his advantage notes the Washington Post.

It was a December news conference where Vladimir Putin was stopped by an ABC News reporter and asked about his reflections on Donald Trump. Putin responded with the word “yarkii” which Trump immediately translated to mean “brilliant.”

The Washington Post noted in May of this year how multiple outlets translated Putin’s comments. Andrew Roth translated the word to mean “lively,” the New York Times translated the word to mean “flamboyant,” and the Guardian has noted that the word “yarkii” to mean “brilliant,” but not in the context of genius, and more in the context of lively, colorful, and flamboyant.

There is no record of Vladimir Putin ever calling Donald Trump a genius. But this is not what upsets Americans the most. That Donald Trump would compliment Putin at all, or brag about a compliment from him, is the biggest issue. ABC News has asked Trump repeatedly about this, noting that Putin is known to “kill journalists” that don’t agree with him. Watch this clip here where Trump defends his compliments to Putin and responds to the “kills journalists” claims by saying, “America kills people too.”

Moreover, the Trump camp was caught in yet another Russian controversy this week when Donald Trump did an interview with Larry King, an interview that later appeared on Russian Television network known as RT. Talking Points Memo or, TPM reports that Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has since said that Larry King tricked the Trump camp with that interview, saying the Trump camp was unaware they were going to end up on RT.

Larry King has referred to that claim as being “stretched a little” reports CNN Money. Larry King has also disputed Kellyanne Conway’s claims that Trump thought he was doing a podcast only for King. CNN Money reports that he told Erin Burnett this.

“I don’t know what Trump knew. He couldn’t have known it was a podcast because he just did my podcast.”

TPM reports that the production company for Larry King has issued a statement on the confusion. OraTV is the company that produces PoliticKING with Larry King. It is part-owned by Larry King and they have emailed a statement to TPM on the matter.

“PoliticKING with Larry King and Larry King Now are produced and owned entirely by Ora Media, LLC., who are solely responsible for its editorial direction. RT America is one of several dozen companies who license these and other Ora programs for distribution around the world. A visit to www.Ora.tv will provide several examples of our content. Larry King is a part owner in and employee of Ora Media, LLC. and neither he nor his producers are employed by RT America. Mr. Trump was always booked on ‘PoliticKING with Larry King’ for Ora TV.”

Larry King also told CNN‘s Erin Burnett that Trump ended the phone interview abruptly as soon as the topic questions landed on Mexican immigrants. Deadline reports that the phone went dead, and Larry King said the following.

“Don, are you there? I don’t know what happened there. We did not lose the connection, so something happened.”

King also told CNN that, not only did Trump later apologize for the abrupt ending, but even said he would schedule another interview at a later date.

Trump and King are long time friends, and Larry King has even come out to say during the campaign that Donald Trump is not a racist. He’s had Donald Trump on his show multiple times, and even had Donald and Melania Trump on his show shortly after they were married.

During Donald Trump’s interview with Larry King this week, that was broadcasted on Russian Television, Donald Trump also spoke freely about Russia and expressed doubts that Russia was meddling with Elections 2016 reports BBC News. When asked by King if Trump felt that Russia was meddling with the elections, Trump said it was “unlikely.”

He also said that it was the Democrats that were “putting that out.” BBC News reported this week the reminder that it was actually Donald Trump who encouraged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails to find the deleted emails. Watch Larry King talk to Erin Burnett about his interview with Donald Trump this week.

BBC News also reported that Hillary Clinton’s response to Trump’s Russian comments this week was this.

“What would Ronald Reagan say about a Republican nominee who attacks American generals and heaps praise on Russia’s president?”

[Photo by Evan Vucci/AP Images]