President Donald Trump spent Christmas at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida where he decided to honor the New York Times with an impromptu 30-minute interview. The fact that president Trump decided to give an interview with the New York Times is a surprise in itself. President Trump has, after all, attacked the New York Times on numerous occasions, calling it “fake news,” and a “failing” media organization. Unsurprisingly, many other media organizations have been poring over the transcript of President Trump’s words, and they conclude that the interview is packed with “false, misleading, or dubious claims” by Donald Trump.
The Chicago Tribune claims that President Trump made 24 fake claims during his 30-minute interview, in effect one false or misleading comment every 75 seconds. Unsurprisingly, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign featured highly in Trump’s interview. Equally unsurprisingly, Trump took the opportunity to deny any collusion with the Russians.
Trump claimed that “it’s been proven that there is no collusion.” The current position of the Mueller investigation gives a lie to President Trump’s protestations of innocence. As the Tribune points out, it is known that the Trump campaign had over 30 contacts with Russia, including 19 face-to-face meetings, during President Trump’s election campaign. To date, four members of Trump’s team have been indicted on charges relating to Mueller’s Russia investigation.
It’s fair to say that President Trump is not a fan of CNN, and it must be said that the reverse is also true. They pick out no fewer than 47 of Trump’s comments, calling them “outrageous.”
Of course, it isn’t just as a result of the New York Times interview that has media organizations looking for falsehoods in statements made by President Trump, his Twitter feed is a constant source of headlines. As reported by CNN, yesterday Trump used Twitter to claim that his approval rating equaled President Obama’s at the same stage of their respective presidencies.
It would be unfair to call President Trump’s claim a lie, but it does perhaps reflect his love for alternative facts. It would be a surprise if a poll conducted by a pro-Trump, right-wing media organization hadn’t shown a higher approval rating for the president. A Gallup poll shows Trump’s approval rating at around the 38 percent mark. President Obama’s, at the same point in his presidency, was around 51 percent. The same poll indicates that almost 60 percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Trump is doing.
Politifact picks up on President Trump’s visit to a fire station in West Palm Beach last Wednesday. The president claimed that the Trump administration had “signed more legislation than anybody. We broke the record of Harry Truman.” Whilst President Trump did sign a lot of legislation during his first 100 days, he has since slipped to the last place in terms of legislation signed during a president’s rookie year.
As revealed by GovTrack Insider, Trump has signed 94 bills into law, eight fewer than the next lowest post-war president, George W. Bush., President Kennedy tops the list with almost 700 bills signed in his first year.
President Trump’s use of Twitter to say that the U.S. “could use a little bit of that good old global warming” to combat a cold snap on the east coast, has provided plenty of coverage for the media. As reported by ABC News, the president’s tweet has led experts to question whether Trump has even a rudimentary knowledge of climate change. Mark Muro, who leads research on energy and climate policy at the Metropolitan Policy Program, said that Trump has less understanding than a seventh-grader.
“Most seventh-graders know that local, day-to-day weather changes say very little about long-term climate trends; but apparently Trump does not know the difference.”
Whatever your personal view on President Donald Trump, most would admit that U.S. politics won’t be dull whilst Trump is around.