President Donald Trump has on a number of occasions claimed that he was named Michigan’s “Man of the Year” — an award that, as it appears, Trump simply invented himself.
As Newsweek reported, Trump brought up the fake honor at a rally on Thursday, claiming that he doesn’t understand exactly how he was given an award that doesn’t actually exist and has apparently never existed. In a story about how he was speaking up on behalf of the U.S. auto industry years before he decided to run for president, Trump brought up the fake award.
“I used to complain and you know I just –– I’d go [to Michigan] and I’d say, ‘They’re stealing your car business,'” Trump said.
“I go for years. In fact, five or six years before I even thought about running, for whatever reason they named me man of the year in Michigan. I said, how come? I didn’t even understand it myself, but I was named man of the year. I wasn’t even political. That was years before I did this, but I was always complaining that our car business is being stolen.”
Newsweek did a deep dive of Michigan news archives in a hunt for the award but found nothing. HuffPost narrowed down the timeline of the fake award even further, noting that Trump had bragged about it during a campaign stop on November 3, 2016. At that rally, Trump claimed that he was given the award “five years ago,” which would have put the honor at around 2011. But the Michigan newspaper chain MLive.com trawled through its own archives and found no evidence of Donald Trump ever being named “Man of the Year” in 2011 or any other year.
The claim attracted some viral interest, with many of Trump’s critics taking to Twitter to mock the president for apparently inventing an award for himself.
Fact-checking most politicians requires weighing their claims against the known facts. Fact-checking Trump often requires a futile search for any facts at all. https://t.co/Wz53xagv1t
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 16, 2019
This would not be the first time that Donald Trump invented an honor for himself, either. As The Washington Post noted, Trump’s private golf courses had put up a framed cover of Time magazine with his face on the cover declaring that he was named “Person of the Year” — but it turned out the magazine cover was a fake and Trump had never been given the honor. Trump had also bragged that he turned down an interview with Time after being told that he would “probably” be named Person of the Year in 2017, prompting the magazine to shoot him down and say that no one told him he would be given the honor.