Sunday, 17 December 2017

Here are the 10 most ridiculous lies Trump told in 2017

President Donald Trump is lying at a rate that is literally unprecedented — in fact, a recent Washington Post analysis has found that, since this past October, Trump has been making an average of nine false claims per day.
Keeping track of Trump’s falsehoods is a mentally exhausting task — and ranking them in order of their ridiculousness is all but impossible.
Nonetheless, we’ve picked out 10 particularly noteworthy Trump whoppers that demonstrate his dangerously unstable grasp on reality. Check them out below.
1.) Trump forces Sean Spicer to lie about his inauguration crowd size. On the day after his inauguration, Trump was infuriated by news broadcasts that revealed his inauguration crowd was significantly smaller than the one that greeted former President Barack Obama in 2009.

Despite photos that clearly showed Obama drew a larger crowd, then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer dutifully scolded reporters and told them that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period.”
2.) Trump says Hillary Clinton only won the popular vote because she received “illegal” votes in the 2016 presidential election. Trump gets particularly annoyed when people point out that Clinton received 3 million more total votes than he did in 2016.
In fact, Clinton’s larger vote totals so enrage Trump that he has regularly claimed that her victory in the popular vote was solely due to “illegal” voters that were for some reason not strategically placed in key swing states, but were instead in deep blue states like California and New York.
Despite his bold claims, however, Trump has yet to produce any evidence that such fraud really occurred, and his main source for the voter fraud story is a conspiracy theorist who refuses to divulge any evidence to back up his claims.
3.) Trump accuses former President Obama of illegally wiretapping Trump Tower. Trump tweeted out that Obama had “tapped” his phones at Trump Tower — and then promptly refused to release any evidence to back up his claims.
Despite having no evidence to work with, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to claim that Obama might have colluded with British intelligence agency GCHQ to spy on Trump, although he was forced to issue a formal apology to the British government afterward, and vowed not to make the accusation again.
Subsequent investigations by Congressional Republicans found that no such wiretaps on Trump Tower were ever ordered, despite Trump’s insistence to the contrary.
4.) Trump completely fabricates phone calls with the President of Mexico and the Boy Scouts. During a Wall Street Journal interview over the summer, Trump claimed that the “head of the Boy Scouts” had called him to praise his speech at the annual Scout Jamboree — despite the fact that it was the most controversial and divisive speech a president had ever given at the Jamboree.
That same week, Trump claimed Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had called him and offered him praise for supposedly cracking down on border crossings.
Both the Boy Scouts and Mexico denied that any such calls ever happened, and the White House was eventually forced to concede that these calls never occurred.
5.) Trump lies about what he told a grieving military widow about her late husband. In a phone call with Myeshia Johnson, the widow of slain U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson, Trump told her that her late husband “knew what he signed up for.”
When Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), who is a longtime friend of the Johnson family and who was listening in with them on the president’s call, called out Trump for his insensitive remarks, Trump accused her of completely fabricating the entire ordeal.
However, Myeshia Johnson herself subsequently backed up Wilson’s account, as did other family members who were on the call. Despite this, Trump kept insisting that the whole scandal was a hoax.
6.) Trump falsely claims that former President Barack Obama never called the families of fallen soldiers. In defending his phone call with Myeshia Johnson, Trump said that he deserved credit for even talking with her in the first place because “if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls” to the families of soldiers who died in combat.
This provoked an angry response from Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former deputy chief of staff under Obama and who called out Trump for telling a “f*cking lie” about her his predecessor in the Oval Office. For good measure, she also called Trump a “deranged animal.”
7.) Trump spreads a phony story about an American general allegedly intimidating Muslims by shooting them with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood. In the wake of a terrorist attack in Barcelona this past summer, Trump sent out a tweet relaying a story about Gen. John Pershing using pig blood-tipped bullets to put down Muslim uprisings in the Philippines in the early 20th century.
However, as a History News Network article points out, there is no evidence that Pershing actually used any pigs’ blood on bullets used to execute anyone. The false story was based on a 1927 newspaper article that claimed Pershing sprinkled some pigs’ blood onto living prisoners in the Philippines as a way to frighten them — before he ultimately decided to let them go free.
“In fact, Pershing was more inclined toward peace talks with the [Muslims] rather than violence,” History News Network wrote last year.  “The General met with [them] and read from the Koran with them. Pershing wanted to build bridges. An illustration shows the General in peace talks in the jungles of the Philippines.”
Despite this, Trump has never retracted this claim.
8.) Trump repeatedly says he doesn’t watch cable news even as he live-tweets cable news shows. Trump reportedly watches at least four hours of television per day, although the president regularly lashes out at reports of his excessive television watching.
That said, Trump’s own behavior shows that he’s lying about not watching TV, as he frequently live-tweets cable news segments he’s watching on his TiVO. Among other things, Trump has live-tweeted “Fox & Friends” to lash out at Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) after the program blamed him for a terrorist attack in New York; has quoted “Fox & Friends” verbatim to attack Rachel Maddow; has hurled insults at “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski shortly after she criticized him on air, including one time accusing her of trying to crash one of his parties while “bleeding badly from a face lift; and has raged against a report that he watches too much television within minutes of it airing on CNN.
9.) Trump invents an interaction he had with Sen. Bob Corker. After Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) publicly slammed Trump’s fitness for the office of the presidency, Trump shot back with a claim that Corker had “begged” him for an endorsement, which the president alleges he refused to give.
Corker’s office, however, said that the situation was actually the opposite — in reality, Trump was the one who originally called Corker and asked him to reconsider retiring to make it more likely that the Republican Party would hold on to his Senate seat.
“The president has great difficulty with the truth,” Corker told CNN weeks later. “I think the debasement of our nation is what he’ll be remembered most for.”
10.) Trump dismisses the entire Russia investigation as a “hoax.” This particular lie earned Trump the not-so-coveted PolitiFact “Lie of the Year” award.
Trump has repeatedly downplayed Russia’s role in interfering with the 2016 presidential election — and even went so far as to suggest he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s suggestion that he had nothing to do with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee or Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails.
Trump has also called the Russia investigation a “hoax” and “a made-up story” and “an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”
This is despite the fact that all American intelligence agencies have concluded Russia interfered in the election specifically to get Trump elected; that all major social media companies have acknowledged that their platforms were manipulated by Russian intelligence agents; and that two of his former campaign aides — including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — have already pled guilty to lying to the FBI about their contacts with Russian officials.
In describing Trump’s refusal to acknowledge Russia’s role in interfering in the election, PolitiFact writes that, “it’s not so much that Trump trades in falsehoods — it’s more that he tries to create a different version of reality simply by asserting it.”

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