The following article by Greg Sargent was posted on the Washington Post website January 26, 2017:
Donald Trump sat down for an interview with ABC News that aired last night, in what was his first major one-on-one with a network as president. Let’s tally up the lies and distortions, one by one:
1) Trump repeated his false claim that there was rampant voter fraud in the election, and when pressed on the fact that his claim has repeatedly been debunked, Trump said: “No it hasn’t. Take a look at the Pew reports.”
The Pew report that Trump is citing did not show what Trump claims it did. The author of that report has repeatedly stated this in numerous interviews.
2) When ABC pressed Trump on the fact that the author of the Pew report undermined his claims, Trump claimed, somewhat unintelligibly, that this author was “groveling.”
This is not even remotely true. In fact, the author told The Post’s fact-checking team last night that he stood by his claim that the report did not say what Trump says it did.
3) Trump said this about all of the people who he falsely claims voted illegally in the election:
“Those were Hillary votes. And if you look at it they all voted for Hillary. They all voted for Hillary. They didn’t vote for me. I don’t believe I got one. Okay, these are people that voted for Hillary Clinton. And if they didn’t vote, it would’ve been different in the popular.”
There is no way Trump could possibly know this even if those illegal voters existed, which they don’t.
4) Trump said this about his glorious victory:
“I had a tremendous victory, one of the great victories ever. In terms of counties I think the most ever or just about the most ever. When you look at a map it’s all red. Red meaning us, Republicans.”
The context here was the size of Trump’s victory, but there is no reasonable metric by which his margin was either tremendous or one of the greatest ever. Trump lost the popular vote by nearly three million, and the size of his electoral college win was down toward the bottom in historical terms.
5) Trump said this about the size of the audience for his inaugural speech:
“When I looked at the numbers that happened to come in from all of the various sources, we had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches.”
6) Trump said this about immigration:
“We have to stop people from just pouring into our country.”
This is not exactly a lie, since “pouring in” is not a precise statement, but it leaves an enormously misleading impression. People are not by any reasonable metric “pouring into our country.” The number of undocumented immigrants in this country has been stable for years. As for Trump’s suggestion that we have failed to “stop” this alleged “pouring in,” experts have said that the flow of illegal immigration has fallen in recent years, and that border security matters less than economic and demographic trends in determining that flow in any case.
7) Pressed by ABC on the fact that Obamacare repeal could mean at least 18 million people lose insurance, Trump said:
“Nobody ever deducts all the people that have already lost their health insurance that liked it. You had millions of people that liked their health insurance and their health care and their doctor and where they went. You had millions of people that now aren’t insured anymore.”
This is not quite a lie, but it is a flagrant distortion. First there’s the claim that, in measuring the impact of Obamacare, “nobody ever deducts” all of those who supposedly “lost” their insurance. This is silly. One of the most widely cited metrics for measuring the law’s impact comes from Gallup, which measures the uninsured rate. Gallup has found that since Obamacare went into effect, that rate has fallen by more than six percentage points. Thus, it’s also a distortion to suggest that the law has left millions uninsured.
As I keep telling you, we need to accept the possibility that we’re looking at something new and different here. Just as happened during the campaign, Trump and his team are serving up a level of dishonesty straight out of the White House that, both in volume and in egregiousness, is creating unprecedented new challenges for the news media. And it’s not clear we’re up to it.
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