At the State of the Union address before Congress last week, President Donald Trump told a huge lie. Well, of course he actually told many lies.
At last count, Trump had told 8,459 lies since taking office in January 2017. One stuck out that night though for its boldness and because it was a lie Trump has told before. That lie became even more relevant when Trump announced his upcoming visit to El Paso, TX Monday night for one of his vitriolic rallies.
That got me thinking though, wondering where this lie ranks among the biggest whoppers President Trump has told since he took office?
So here are my Top-20 All-Time Trump Lies, in chronological order.
20. HILLARY CLINTON ONLY WON THE POPULAR VOTE BECAUSE OF WIDESPREAD FRAUD – January 25, 2017 – link
ABC News Correspondent David Muir asked Trump about a claim Trump had made to Congressman days earlier that Hillary Clinton did not actually win the popular vote due to fraud.
Muir: “But three to five million illegal votes?”
Trump: “Well, we’re going to find out. But it could very well be that much. You have people that are registered who are dead, who are illegals, who are in two states. You have people registered in two states. They’re registered in a New York and a New Jersey. They vote twice. There are millions of votes, in my opinion.”
There is no evidence that ANY fraudulent or illegal ballots were cast. Trump’s own commission appointed to root-out voter fraud came up empty. Trump’s own attorneys also noted in a legal filing, “All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.”
19. MORE PEOPLE WATCHED TRUMP’S INAUGURATION THAN ANY PREVIOUS INAUGURATION – January 26, 2017 – link
“The overall audience was, I think, the biggest ever to watch an inauguration address, which was a great thing.”
President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 drew 1.8 million attendees. Trump estimated 1.5 million for his inauguration while the White House initially reported 720,000 before Trump more than double that. Obama’s inauguration was viewed on television by 37.8 million people, far more than the 30.6 million who viewed Trump’s. President Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural in 1981 holds the record with 41.8 million. White House spokesman Sean Spicer tried to justify Trump’s claim by including the 17 million streams of the video from the inauguration, but that falls short of Obama’s 21 million.
18. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER MICHAEL FLYNN “DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG” – February 16,2017 – link
“When I looked at the information, I said, I don’t think he did anything wrong. If anything, he did something right.”
Of course, Flynn HAD done something wrong and it is possible Trump knew about it when he made that defense. Trump had been informed as early as January 26th that Flynn had lied to Vice President Michael Pence about Flynn’s dealing with the Russians.
Flynn also lied about the same conversation to the FBI, a crime he plead guilty to.
17. SWEDEN ROCKED BY TERRORIST ATTACKS – February 18, 2017 – link
“You look at Germany. You know, I took a lot of heat over Sweden. And then the next day, they have this massive riot, now nobody talks about it.”
Donald Trump loves using the word ‘nobody’ when he thinks he is making a great point. “Nobody knows” or “Nobody talks” or “Not a lot of people know this, but…”
The problem is he often follows that with a lie, or worse, with something EVERYONE knows. Absolutely nothing happened in Sweden that was noteworthy that evening. Trump was working hard at a defense of his travel ban, and attacking Muslims, and maybe he thought Tucker Carlson’s audience would prefer rhetoric to reality?
16. BARACK OBAMA WIRETAPPED TRUMP’S OFFICES IN TRUMP TOWER – March 4, 2017
Despite President Trump’s tweetstorm about his offices being bugged, and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway’s claim that camera can be inserted into microwave ovens, there is no evidence to backup Trump’s claims.
The day after Trump’s tweets, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated, “there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign.” The Justice Department and the FBI subsequently added they possessed “no records related to wiretaps as described.”
No matter the outcome of Counsel Mueller’s probe, the Russia investigation is real and warranted. The FBI investigation began before Trump won the 2016 election, which precludes the possibility the investigation was reaction to the upset of Hillary Clinton. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulous, campaign manager Paul Manafort, and attorney Michael Cohen have all plead guilty or been convicted of crimes related to the Russia investigation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation due to communications with Russians. Donald Trump Jr. and presidential adviser Jared Kushner have faced scrutiny over a Trump Tower meeting with Russians in June 2016.
14. AMERICANS PAY THE HIGHEST TAXES IN THE WORLD – August 10, 2017 – link
“We pay more tax than anybody in the world. We’re going to reduce taxes.”
Here is a chart showing tax rates for industrialized nations.
13. THE PROTESTERS IN CHARLOTTESVILLE LACKED PROPER PERMITS – August 15, 2017 – link
“There were people in that rally — and I looked the night before — if you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people — neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest, and very legally protest — because I don’t know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn’t have a permit.”
As mentioned previously, Donald Trump LOVES when he can tell people something “he does not know if you know” because he believes it reinforces the notion he holds that he is more intelligent than most people he converses with.
This was the same press conference where Trump issued his “fine people” defense.
“Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group — excuse me, excuse me.”
There were two protests/counter-protests that weekend. The first took place on Friday, on the campus of the University of Virginia. The second took place on Saturday in a park. The Friday protest required no permits and both the protesters and counter-protesters had permits for the park.
12. TRUMP SIGNED THE TAX CUT BILL EVEN THOUGH IT WILL COST HIM DEARLY – November 29, 2017 – link
“Tax reform is going to cost me a fortune — this thing, believe me, believe me, this is not good for me.”
Well, since Trump has steadfastly refused to release his tax returns (since he promised he would, another lie), the American public really has no way of knowing the full impact on or benefit to President Trump from the 2017 tax changes. An NBC News report at the time (using the publicly available 2005 Trump tax return) determined the president stood to benefit $20 million annually. If Trump’s wealth actually matches his boasts, he and his family stand to save more than $1 billion over time.
11. LIKE HIS HANDS, TRUMP’S TAX CUTS ARE THE BIGGEST – January 30, 2018 – link
“Just as I promised the American People from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history.”
The tax bill Trump and Republicans passed in December 2017 is not the biggest tax cut in American history. It is EIGHTH largest.
10. TRUMP GETS ALL THE CREDIT FOR THE GREAT ECONOMY – July 27, 2018 – link
“We’ve accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions.”
Sorry, but unlike when President Barack Obama assumed office, the economy did not need a turnaround when he left. The economy had been growing for more than 90 consecutive months. Donald Trump juiced the economy short-term with his tax cuts, dampened it with his tariffs and government shutdown, and has put the economy in a more precarious position.
Trump frequently takes credit for the accomplishments of others, particularly President Obama, but you can read the facts on the economic success of the Obama presidency here.
9. TRUMP ACHIEVED MORE IN FIRST TWO YEARS THAN ANY OTHER ADMINISTRATION. – September 25, 2018 – link
“My administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country. So true.”
When Trump uttered those remarks at the United Nations, the audience of dignitaries LAUGHED OUT LOUD.
The administration of Barack Obama, like Trump’s a circumstance where one party controlled the White House, House, and Senate passed significantly more legislation in its first two years than Trump’s did. Trump and Republicans would pass criminal justice reform before Trump’s second year was up, but he still falls short. Trump also frequently claims credit for works in progress which may never come to completion. Trump is exiting the United States from the Paris climate accords, but giving notice is not the same as having left. Same with the Iran nuclear deal. And the Russian missile treaty. And NAFTA. And North Korea still has nukes. You get the idea.
8. THE “RADICAL SOCIALISTS” KNOWN AS DEMOCRATS WILL RUIN AMERICA AND TURN IT INTO VENEZUELA – October 10, 2018 – link
“The truth is that the centrist Democratic Party is dead. The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela. If Democrats win control of Congress this November, we will come dangerously closer to socialism in America. Government-run health care is just the beginning.”
Democrats are not advocating Socialism any more than they are open borders, but Trump knows hyperbole pays better than facts. The truth is, with things like Medicare (which Democrats want to expand), there are already plenty of socialist programs that benefit Americans yet somehow we have managed to remain the world’s most prosperous capitalist society. A blog post a while back listed 75 ways socialism has improved America. Too many to list here, but the full story available here.
7. THE REPUBLICAN HEALTHCARE PLAN IS THE SAME AS DEMOCRATS’ – October 18, 2018
The Trump administration’s Justice Department argued in a lawsuit on behalf of Republican-led states that the Affordable Care Act’s protections for pre-existing conditions are illegal and WON. The Supreme Court will next consider the case. If the Supreme Court upholds the federal court ruling, the coverage for pre-existing conditions ENDS. Republicans voted 54 times to repeal Obamacare. 54 TIMES.
6. TRUMP MERELY CONTINUED THE FAMILY SEPARATION POLICY OBAMA INSTITUTED – November 1, 2018 – link
“Remember this: President Obama separated children from families.”
The Obama administration never had a policy of separating parents and children.
5. RUSSIA INVESTIGATION IS A WITCH HUNT AND TRUMP COULD END IT IF HE CHOSE – November 7, 2018 – link
“I could. I could fire everybody right now. But I don’t want to stop it, because politically, I don’t like stopping it. It’s a disgrace. It should have never been started because there was no crime.”
Different than Trump’s prior claims of “Fake news” or denying there was an investigation, Trump actually admits the investigation but denied the rationale. Trump has claimed nearly 200 different times that the investigation was baseless and/or politically motivated. He has used the term “witch hunt”more than 100 times. To date, 33 people or organizations have been charged with crimes and three Trump associates have been convicted.
4. TRUMP RESTORED AMERICAN MANUFACTURING (STEEL, CARS) LIKE HE PROMISED – November 29, 2018
All one need do is look at the Foxconn mess in Wisconsin to know that promises from businesses to invest ARE NOT JOBS.
Steel production is up and some factories have restarted dormant kilns, but there are no newly-opened steel plants. Auto jobs have waned as plant closures have occurred with more announced. And it may very well be Trump’s steel tariffs propping up the American steel industry at the cost of automobile manufacturers.
3. TARIFFS ARE A GOOD THING FOR AMERICA AND AMERICA HAS A NEW SUPERHERO – December 4, 2018
Donald Trump’s alter-ego, Tariff Man, wants to reassure Americans that tariffs are a good thing. Like the old ladies on the GEICO commercial, someone needs to tell President Trump, “That’s not how ANY of this works.”
Tariffs are a fees charged by the United States government when a product is imported into the United States. The idea is to make imported goods cost more than domestic goods, thus boosting domestic production AND raising revenue for the Treasury. Except when there is NO domestic production or that production is insufficient to meet demand. Then, the foreign manufacturer passes along the tariffs to the American consumers and it gets paid much like a tax.
2. EL PASO AS A MICROCOSM FOR ALL THE JUSTIFICATIONS FOR THE BORDER WALL – February 5, 2019 – link
“The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities. Simply put, walls work, and walls save lives.”
This was the huge lie I referred to from the State of the Union.
El Paso never had one of the highest rates of violent crime in the United States. There is a fence and not a wall. Most importantly, like so many other things Trump tries to take credit for, all the hard work was done by, and the credit belongs to, his predecessors. The biggest drop in crime happened after 1993, when President Bill Clinton flooded the area with new Border Patrol agents. George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Bush and Obama built the wall between August 2008 and July 2009. Trump has done nothing.
The full story of the border between El Paso, TX and Juarez, Mexico can be read here.
1. WE ARE BUILDING THE WALL AND MEXICO IS PAYING FOR IT – June 16, 2015 to present – link
“We’re building the wall as we speak.”
“And all of the trade deals we’re making with Mexico — and, by the way, Mexico is paying for the wall because the trade deal.”
This final entry is difficult to place in chronological order as it was one of the first claims Donald Trump made upon declaring his candidacy for president in 2015 and he has repeated the claims as recently as January 2019.
Trump built his entire campaign on the border wall, but contrary to his claims, he has not built a single INCH of new wall.
The United States government and its agencies have been repairing and/or replacing existing sections of border fencing, but there is no new construction planned before 2020 at the earliest. And with Democrats in control of the House and opposed to any new wall construction, even that seems unlikely. And if anything IS eventually build, it will be an improved version of the existing fencing using steel slats, but NOT the beautiful concrete wall Trump promised.
Of course, when someone lies like Trump does, it is impossible to include all the falsehoods.
Among the “Honorable Mentions” which probably should have been included are:
* The Migrant Caravans and the notion that Middle Eastern terrorists are hiding among the asylum seekers.
* The Stormy Daniels payoff.
Any others you are asking yourself, “How did he miss this one?”