Trump held a press conference today and it was filled with his usual inability to come to grips with facts and reality. He told some whoppers, to include:
- Falsely claiming that Wikileaks did not release classified information. As he had done on Twitter, Trump viciously attacked the leaks that have plagued the White House. When presented with his quotes that he “loved” Wikileaks Trump claimed that was different because “they’re not giving classified information.” That’s not true. The Wikileaks release of material from Chelsea Manning (Bradley Manning when in the Army) contained reams of classified material.
- Trump’s disavowal of business relations with Russia were disingenuous. Trump flatly stated: “I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you, I have no deals there, I have no anything . . . I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.” The extent of Trump’s business dealings in Russia are not known because he has been so non-transparent on the issue, and he may not actually own property there. However, his business dealings are also not the nullity he attempts to suggest they are. In 2008 his son, Donald Trump Jr., reportedly bragged about the empire’s business dealings with Russia saying “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” Trump hosted the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia, through a deal he closed with Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov, a man Trump made millions from when he sold him a Florida mansion and who Trump knows well enough to have appeared in a dance video for Agalarov’s son (delivering his trademark line “you’re fired” at the end of the video).
- Trump falsely stated that he had the largest electoral college margin of victory since Ronald Reagan. This is my personal favorite from the press conference because of its sheer audacity on something not important and then his efforts to weasel out of it on national TV after he was caught. During his preliminary comments Trump attacked the “fake news” against him strongly reminding the press about how they were wrong regarding his chances of being elected:
“I put it out before the American people, got 306 electoral college votes. I wasn’t supposed to get 222. They said there’s no way to get 222, 230’s impossible. 270 which you need, that was laughable. We got 306 because people came out and voted like they’ve never seen before so that’s the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan. In other words, the media’s trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges that we made and they’re not happy about it for whatever reason.”
The mistake of this lie is that unraveled too quickly for him as he was challenged by a reporter who apparently Googled up the actual figures while waiting his turn. You can watch the hilarious exchange below:
A transcription of this exchange is worthwhile just because of the clear record of Trump’s unsuccessfully trying to weasel out of it.
Reporter: You said today that you had the biggest electoral margin since Ronald Reagan with 306 electoral votes. In fact, President Obama got 365.
Trump: [this is the weaseling part] Well, I’m talking about Republicans.
Reporter: George H.W. Bush 426 when he won as President. So why should Americans trust —
Well damn, the dishonest weaseling fallback falls apart too. So what to do now? We continue . . .
Trump: Well no, I was told . . . I was given that information. I don’t know, I was just given that information. We had a very, very, big margin . . .
Reporter: I guess my question is why should American trust you when you accuse the information they receive as being fake when your providing information that is —
Trump: Well, I don’t know, I was given that information. I was given — I actually, I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory, do you agree with that?
Reporter: You’re the President.
Caught flat out in a lie, he tried to weasel out of it by saying he was talking about something very different from what he said. When even that reformation was quickly proven also a lie he blamed whoever gave him the information before settling back to “I won by a lot.” Keep in mind, his original false claim was in the context of attacking the media for fake news.
The one clear thing is that there is no lie too small or too stupid for this President.