August 3, 2017
Did The President Create Fake News? Phone Calls Praising Trump Never Happened

In Donald Trump's 1987 book, The Art of The Deal, he asserts that "a little hyperbole never hurts," but can such aggrandizement withstand the constant, meticulous scrutiny now that the property mogul is the president of the United States?

Trump's philosophy is that "people want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular," and, in his view, it's "an innocent form of exaggeration."

But as the Commander-in-Chief of one of the most powerful nations in the world, bending of the truth could have dire consequences.

Nevertheless, President Trump recently elaborated on the praise he had received via telephone on two separate occasions from high profile people. One call was allegedly from the head of the Boy Scouts of America, the other from the president of Mexico.

But there's a catch: those telephone conversations never took place.

"I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful," President Trump alleged during a Wall Street Journal article that was leaked in advance by POLITICO.

Yet, on Wednesday, the chief of the Boy Scouts, Michael Surbaugh apologized to members of the organization who may have been "offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the [National Scout Jamboree].''

Furthermore, the Boy Scouts confirmed that none of its leaders had made any calls to the president following the speech at the national gathering.

The Boy Scouts are denying a claim by President Donald Trump that the head of the youth organization called the president to praise his politically aggressive speech
President Donald Trump waves to the crowd after speaking at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree. [Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]

Then, on Monday, Trump reportedly told members of his cabinet that Mexican President Peña Nieto had called him to offer his congratulations on supposed advancements with Trump's illegal immigration policies.

"They said their southern border -- very few people are coming because they know they're not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment," Trump said at the cabinet meeting.

However, on Wednesday Mexico's foreign relations secretary denied the American president's account in a statement issued on behalf of Mr. Nieto.

According to Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso, the only discussion about immigration that has taken place between Nieto and Trump was during the G20 summit when the Mexican leader told the U.S. president that the rate of Mexicans being deported from the U.S. had fallen by 31 percent.

According to Jorge Chabat, a professor at Mexico City's CIDE research center, President Peña Nieto cannot afford to entertain Trump's assertions that he had called the White House.

"It would be political suicide for Peña to give the impression that he supports a policy that is so unpopular in Mexico. It's very important that he dissociate himself from any appearance that he's in favor of the wall, or supporting Trump's policies against immigrants in the U.S."
Mexico denied assertions by U.S. President Donald Trump that his Mexican counterpart praised the U.S. administration's border policies
President Donald Trump meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. [Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, confirmed during a media briefing that the telephone calls in question did not, in fact, take place. Although, Sanders was quick to add that Trump's statements were not complete fabrications.

According to Sanders, "multiple members of the Boy Scouts leadership" had lauded Trump's impassioned political speech at the Jamboree last week.

Sanders also confirmed the comments made by the Mexican foreign secretary that Trump and Nieto had met at the G20 summit to discuss immigration policies.

"I wouldn't say it was a lie -- that's a pretty bold accusation," Sanders said.

"The conversations took place, they just simply didn't take place over a phone call, they happened in person."
Michael D'Antonio, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author who wrote The Truth About Trump, a biography of the real-estate tycoon, says of the president that "he's been lying his whole life, almost reflexively."

The author adds that, "When he was a kid, he lied about whether he hit a home run or not, and when he was a young man, he lied about how tall Trump Tower is -- how many floors it is and the actual floors in feet -- and he lied about which beautiful women were interested in him."

But now, according to D'Antonio, for the first time in his life every word Trump utters is being painstakingly fact-checked because he is the president of the United States.

[Featured Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]