After Campaign Aide Said Donald Trump Never Lies, W.H. Officials Admit Trump Made Up Story About China Call

Donald Trump appears at a G-20 Summitt.
Kazuhiro Nogi / Pool / Getty Images

Just hours after a campaign aide for Donald Trump went on cable television to defend the president and claim that he has never lied to the American people, other top White House officials have reportedly admitted that the president made up a story about getting a phone call from China looking to negotiate amid the ongoing trade war.

Trump campaign official Kayleigh McEnany made waves on Wednesday when she appeared in a CNN interview and continued the president’s attacks against the “fake news media.” As Talking Points Memo noted, McEnany claimed during the contentious interview with Chris Cuomo that Donald Trump has never lied to America.

“No, I don’t think this President has lied,” McEnany said, insisting that it is the media that is lying.

Just hours after the Wednesday night appearance for Kayleigh McEnany and the claim that Donald Trump has never lied to Americans, a Thursday report from CNN cited White House aides who admitted that Trump was not being truthful when he claimed earlier in the week that he had gotten a phone call from China. The claim, which comes amid the president’s deepening trade war with China, was immediately refuted by the Chinese government, which said that no one had given Trump a call.

The unnamed White House aides admitted that Donald Trump had never actually received a phone call.

“Instead, two officials said Trump was eager to project optimism that might boost markets, and conflated comments from China’s vice premier with direct communication from the Chinese,” the report noted.

Despite the insistence from Donald Trump’s campaign that he has never lied to Americans, watchdogs say that the president has frequently told false statements. The Washington Post keeps track of these statements, with the most recent total at more than 12,000 through his first two-and-a-half years in office.

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Some of Donald Trump’s false statements have received considerable attention, including many that have been easily disproven. These often take the form of embellished stories, including one of Trump’s favorite claims that normally stoic and strong men have been reduced to tears in his presence because of actions the president has taken.

As The Washington Post reported, Trump used this story when describing farmers who stood with him as he signed an executive order, claiming that it brought them to tears. But video from the event showed that no such thing happened, with only dry eyes around Trump as he signed the order.