On the first night of what is scheduled to be a two-week vacation in Florida, Donald Trump addressed a conference of conservative students in West Palm Beach, where he made a strange claim that he has made on numerous previous occasions. According to CNN correspondent Kristen Holmes, reporting via Twitter, Trump told the students that 10 years ago, he received an award in the state of Michigan as “Man of the Year.”
Trump has been making basically the same claim since at least 2016, but according to The Detroit News, “no one in Michigan seems to know what he is talking about.”
No such award exists in Michigan. But according to the Detroit News report, former Michigan Rep. Dave Trott speculated that the false claim may have been at least inspired by a 2013 event at which Trump delivered a speech.
The event was a local Republican Party “Lincoln Day” dinner. Somehow, in Trump’s mind, the speech at that dinner became a “Man of the Year” award, Trott said, though no record exists that he was given any kind of award at the dinner.
“I was the organizer and chair of that,” Trott told the Detroit News. “We weren’t handing out Man of the Year awards and never have.”
MSNBC host Chris Hayes has compiled a montage of Trump’s repeated claim that he was named “Michigan Man of the Year,” which can be viewed in the video below.
According to a CNN fact-check of his “Man of the Year” story, the first known instance of Trump making the claim came in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign, as he made what turned out to be a successful last-minute push to win Michigan and its 16 electoral votes.
Just two days before the election, Trump told a Michigan audience that he had been “fighting for the car industry for years. I was honored five years ago. Man of the Year in Michigan.”
But when CNN fact checkers researched the claim, they found no evidence that Trump had ever received a “Man of the Year” award in Michigan. The Michigan Chamber of Commerce does not give out a “Man of the Year” award. The Detroit News compiles an annual “Michiganians of the Year” list, but Trump, CNN found, has never appeared on it. In fact, Trump has never resided in Michigan.
Trump was born in the New York City borough of Queens, and was a lifelong New York resident, until late October when he announced that he would change his official place of residence — not to Michigan, but to Florida.