FactCheck.org, the non-profit and non-partisan website that describes itself as the “‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics,” has conferred a title that is a first in its 12 year history: the King of Whoppers. And this dubious honor goes to none other than businessman, entertainer, and current GOP front runner Donald Trump.
In fact, the group claims, when it comes to falsehoods, they have never seen Trump’s match — even in a career field known for its rather cloudy view on truth and truth-telling. And Donald Trump doesn’t just “stand out” for the overwhelming number of his falsehoods, but for his “brazen refusal” to admit his own errors, even in the face of overwhelming factual evidence, as well.
Of course, Trump is certainly not the only politician who has been caught telling a whopper or making deceptive claims. But, the fact checkers claim, Trump “topped them all when he claimed to have seen nonexistent television coverage of ‘thousands and thousands’ of Muslims in New Jersey cheering the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11 — and then topped himself by demanding that fact-checkers apologize for exposing his claim as fantasy.”
And that’s only one example of Trump’s blatant falsehoods. In fact, Trump’s false claim about Muslims celebrating in the wake of the terror attacks on 9/11 is just “part of a pattern of inflammatory claims with little or no basis in fact,” the website claims, and then gathered up some of his more inflammatory falsehoods, with the disclaimer that the list was, by no means, “exhaustive.”
- Trump boasted that he “predicted Osama bin Laden.” This is false. The book Trump is referencing in his claim was published in 2000 and mentioned bin Laden once, but predicted nothing about bin Laden’s plans.
- Trump claimed that Obama is “thinking about signing an executive order where he wants to take your guns away.” Also false. Obama wanted to require large-volume private gun dealers to conduct background checks, but never said anything about confiscating firearms from those who own them.
- Trump also claimed that he “heard” the Obama administration plans to accept 200,000 Syrian refugees. He then later upped even that incredibly inflated number again to 250,000 refugees in another speech. He was wildly inaccurate in both counts. The number of refugees being accepted into the U.S. is about 10,000.
- In one of his stranger claims, Trump said he got to know Putin “very well” while the two were on CBS’ 60 Minutes. This never happened. Although Putin and Trump did appear on the same show, the two men were interviewed separately, in different countries, thousands of miles apart.
- Trump has repeatedly claimed his campaign is “100 percent” self-funded. This is false. More than 50 percent of his campaign’s funds have come from outside contributors.
- Trump has also claimed that his tax plan is revenue neutral, but that is far from the truth. Even the pro-business Tax Foundation estimated the Trump plan would “reduce revenues to the Treasury by more than $10 trillion over 10 years” — and that was calculated with the assumption that his plan would stimulate economic growth.
- Using an anecdote that has been proven wrong by the scientific community repeatedly, Trump nonetheless told the story of a 2-year-old whom, he claimed, got autism a week after receiving a vaccine. But, as shown repeatedly, there’s no evidence of such a link. The study that originally claimed to have made the link between vaccines and subsequent autism was an “elaborate fraud” and was retracted by the journal that published it. The author who published it was also removed of his license to practice medicine in Britain.
- Trump said Mexico doesn’t have a birthright citizenship policy. This is false.
- Trump claimed credit for getting Ford Motor Co. to move a plant from Mexico to Ohio. The company says otherwise; it made the decision to move the plant years before Trump even announced his run for president.
- Trump has flatly denied that he ever called female adversaries “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” but he has, in fact, used all of those terms.
- In June, Trump claimed “there are no jobs” to be had. However, official statistics were showing 5.4 million job openings, which was actually most job openings in 15 years.
And so Trump now, because of these whoppers and many others, holds the dubious distinction of being the King of Whoppers amid a field of politicians — no small feat in itself. What do you think? Is Trump’s blatant and often startling departure from the truth simply par for the course for politicians, or is he truly the King of the Whoppers?
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