Low Public Trust Could Hurt Vaccine Distribution In Minority Communities
After two centuries, it is impressive that Americans still are inclined to believe what a president tells them, especially at a moment of crisis, Beschloss said. When a president breaks that bond of trust with the American people, it makes it harder for future presidents to have the kind of moral authority that enables them to protect us.
NBC News has fact-checked Trump for more than four years. Based on thousands of hours of reporting and hundreds of reported fact checks, four issues stand above the rest as the falsehoods that define the Trump presidency.
Deregulatory Task Forces Operating In Secret
Trump ordered deregulatory teams to review regulations to repeal, operating behind closed doors with secret membership.
Weeks after taking office, President Trump ordered federal agencies to create task forces to review federal regulations and recommend rules that the administration should push to repeal, replace, or modify. 162 According to a joint investigation by The New York Times and ProPublica, the task forces were being conducted in large part out of public view and often by political appointees with deep industry ties and potential conflicts. 163
Most government agencies declined to disclose any information about the deregulation teams to inquiring journalists. 164 Instead, to examine who exactly was on these task forces, the journalists used public information requests and interviews to determine as much as it could, and were able to do so for the membership of a limited number of teams. They discovered numerous conflicts of interest. 165 As part of the investigation, they identified 85 known current and former team members, including 34 with potential conflicts. At least two of the appointees may be positioned to profit if certain regulations are undone and at least four were registered to lobby the agencies they now work for. 166
Merrick Garland Stars In Joe Biden’s ‘the Godfather Part Iv’
No doubt youve heard a Democrat or two declare that President Trump is a threat to our democracy. Joe Biden used his campaign launch to up the ante, saying that the 2020 election is a battle for the soul of America and warning that if Trump gets a second term, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.
Ho hum. The suggestion that the president is the personification of evil and is destroying all that makes America exceptional has become so routine that its easy to ignore it. In fact, its an extraordinary charge, even for our nasty, turbulent times.
More remarkable, the charge and related talking points continue to thrive on the left despite the lack of facts to support them. Indeed, special counsel Robert Mueller shredded the heart of the wildest accusations that Trump conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election.
So the collusion charge was a Big Lie, but its a lie that wont die. A trip down memory lane shows how we got to this perilous place.
The third and final presidential debate, on Oct. 19, 2016, was notable primarily because Trump refused to say he would accept the election results, arguing they might be rigged against him.
I will look at it at the time, Trump said. I will keep you in suspense.
America has free and fair elections, she continued. Somebody wins and somebody loses. So what he said tonight is part of his whole effort to blame somebody else for his campaign.
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Why Does Trump Lie
He has nothing but contempt for the institutions that exist to keep presidents in check.
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Contributing Opinion Writer
The lies and obfuscations pile up. No, it wasnt tear gas used to clear Lafayette Park for President Trumps Bible-waving photo-op last Monday night, Attorney General William Barr said on CBSs Face the Nation on Sunday. Rather it was pepper balls, he said. Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. Its not chemical. Wrong, according to The Washington Post pepper balls are very much a chemical irritant. The paper awarded the nations top law enforcement officer four Pinocchios for his claim.
The president himself keeps at it, too. On the morning of June 4, he tweeted: Mueller should have never been appointed, although he did prove that I must be the most honest man in America!
All right, some still say Yes, Mr. Trump is worse than normal, but they all lie. Whats the big deal, really?
Heres the big deal. Mr. Trumps lies are different. Not just in quantity, but also in quality. He lies for a different purpose than every other president yes, even, I would argue, Richard Nixon, the biggest presidential prevaricator until Mr. Trump came along.
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Erikson added that with Trump’s departure, the public might see Republican senators revert back to the truth, noting Republican Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell is “already done with Trump” in reportedly telling senators to vote their conscience in the upcoming impeachment trial on an article which stems from the election lie.
“If they don’t stand up for the truth, then they’re overestimating the power of this base that still wants them to falsely believe the election was stolen,” Erikson warned.
The most recent Gallup poll on Trump’s favorability found that he is leaving office with his lowest approval rating of his four years in office at 34%. Trump is the only president not to reach 50% approval rating during his time in office, since Gallup started polling the number in 1938.
But despite no evidence to support the view, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, one out of every three Americans — and two in every three Republicans — believes that there was widespread voter fraud in the presidential election, indicating damage on the country’s democratic institutions needing repairs far beyond the Capitol’s shattered glass.
TRUMP: The coronavirus pandemic is under control.
TRUTH: The US exceeded the White House’s 2020 death estimate by 100K lives.
One of the most dangerous lies of Trump’s involved the most serious threat to his presidency: his downplaying of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Trump Personally Interviewed Us Attorney Candidates
Breaking with well-established tradition of independence, President Trump is inviting a conflict of interest by personally interviewing potential U.S. Attorney nominees.
Flouting the American principle that no person is above the law, President Trump personally interviewed multiple candidates for U.S. Attorney positions who, if confirmed, would have jurisdiction over him and his businesses. 172 These positionsthe top federal prosecutors in each jurisdictionreport to the attorney general and are among the most powerful law enforcement officers in the country.
Ordinarily, presidents are much less involved in the hiring of U.S. Attorneys. It has been longstanding practice that candidates for these positions are vetted by the Department of Justice in consultation with home-state senators, even if those selected are ultimately nominated by the White House. 173 Particularly in the wake of President Trumps demands for loyalty pledges from law enforcement appointees including fired FBI Director James Comey, his close involvement in the selection process risks the appearance of corruption and favoritism. Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, explained that it is neither normal nor advisable for Trump to personally interview candidates for U.S. Attorney positions, especially the one in Manhattan. 174
Trumps Obstruction Of Justice
Obstruction doesnt have to be a crime in order to be wrongful.
President Trump obstructed the investigation into Russian intervention in the 2016 presidential election, regardless of whether or not he violated criminal laws. How do we know this? The President told us so.
On January 6, 2017, the nations four top intelligence and investigative agencies issued a joint report concluding with high confidence that Russian operatives had tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election on the orders of President Putin. 11 The Washington Post had reported a month earlier that it was the assessment of the intelligence community that Russias goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected, according to a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation for U.S. Senators. Thats the consensus view. 12
On May 9, 2017, President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was heading the Justice Departments Russia investigation. This occurred after Trump had asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to Trump, and after Trump had asked Comey to drop the FBI investigation into Michael Flynn, the presidents first national security advisor. Comey refused both requests. 13
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Support For Radical And Violent Political Action Against The State
As polarization increases in the United States, so does acceptance of political violence . This is nothing new. Partisan political violence is tightly woven into US history from the American Revolution through the Civil War and Jim Crow eras , and the 2020 election may have caused many Republicans to justify using violence to prevent Joe Biden from being elected . Building on this work, we explore whether the perpetuation of the lie potentially mobilized support for violent political action.
Figure 4 Support for Radical and Violent Political Action by Partisanship
Notes: Letters mark significant political events: D = Election Day, Nov. 3 M = race called by news networks, Nov. 7 L = Trump invites Michigan legislators to White House, Nov. 24 B = Barr says no evidence of fraud, Dec. 2 E = Electoral College certifies Biden, Dec. 15 C = Capitol insurrection, Jan. 7 I = Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. Line segments represent 95% confidence intervals. All data drawn from Election Legitimacy Tracking Survey .
Table 2 Effects of 2020 Election Events on Support for Radical and Violent Political Action
Note: The table shows coefficient estimates from regressions of RIS on event indicators. Standard errors shown in parentheses. All data drawn from Election Legitimacy Tracking Survey .
Figure 5 Support for Radical and Violent Political Action by Partisanship
Hillary Clinton Rips Trump Redacted Mueller Report
Hypocrisy alert! She became the person she warned us against.
Then and now, Dems count on the media to amplify their message, and all the usual suspects echoed Clinton after the debate. Smug ones predicted that Trumps rigging remark would give her a landslide victory.
A degrading spectacle, the New York Times editorial page thundered, calling Trumps refusal to pledge acceptance of the results further proof that this would-be Berlusconi doesnt seem to even realize how the American constitutional system operates.
New York magazine later reported the Obama White House was so alarmed that it devised a secret plan to deal with the fallout if Trump rejected the results.
The obvious assumption behind the outrage was that Clinton would win, and it would be Trump who would try to delegitimize the results.
Yet two and a half years later, Clinton is still casting doubt on the election. Just last week, she did it again, and continues to accuse the president of betraying America.
Our election was corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated, she wrote in the Washington Post. Invoking Watergate, she said the Mueller report documents a serious crime against the American people and demanded that Trump be punished, lest he redouble his efforts to advance Putins agenda.
So his suspicions about the election were well founded. It was rigged against him.
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Letter To The Editor: I Finally Figured Out Why Democrats Hate Trump
I finally figured out why Democrats hate Trump
I kept wondering just why Democrats and liberal media hated President Donald Trump so much. Even before his inauguration, they wanted to impeach him. Then I realized that to them, he cheated to steal the election.
Look at all they did to get Hillary Clinton in office. She basically bought the Democratic National Committee because it was broke. She got them to give her all the super delegates and cheated Bernie Sanders out of the nomination. The media whitewashed her record and never reported anything negative about her. At one of the debates, Donna Brazile, the DNC chairwoman, gave Clinton the questions she would be asked so she could be ready.
Still, Trump won. So, he must have cheated, right? No, Trump believed in the people and the people believe in him. He won and America won.
For over three years, the Democratic House of Representatives has tried everything it can to get rid of Trump. The lies and half-truths have been numerous. To them, he is guilty they just need a reason.
Enough is enough. It is time to stop this bull and for all of Congress go to work for America. Trump will continue to succeed for America because he loves America, not the power.
Therein lays the difference between Trump and the Democrats. They love the power, not America.
America is the greatest nation on Earth lets keep it that way.
Michael P. Ayo,
Trump Lies False And Misleading Claims Untruths
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. Senator Pat Moynihan
President Donald Trump is a nonstop, habitual and compulsive liar.
Trump makes false and misleading claims and states untruths on an almost daily basis. A New York Times study found that President Trump made demonstrably false statements on at least 20 of his first 40 days as President, and said something untrue, in public, every day for the first 40 days of his presidency. 1 The Times study stated, There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths. Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. No other president of either party has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant. 2
President Trump jump-started his career in politics with a patent lie, falsely claiming that President Obama was not a U.S.-born citizen of the United States. Trump perpetuated this racist lie for years, knowing that he had nothing to back up his claim.
As president, Trump made 2,140 false or misleading claims in his first 365 days in office, an average of 5.9 false claims a day, according to a Washington Post study. 3
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Trump Misuses Taxpayer Money For His Personal Gain
Trump channels taxpayer funds to his companies and his own benefit.
President Trump, in a stark break from his predecessors, has maintained ownership of his worldwide business enterprises and profits from them. This has resulted in massive conflicts of interest and in Trump being able to channel taxpayer money to his own benefit.
Trumps habit of paying himself with other peoples money is not new. During his presidential campaign, Trumps campaign paid Trumps companies $12.8 million. 84 That means nearly 10 percent of Trumps campaign expenses went to benefit Trump. 85
This practice continued in 2017. President Trump spent almost one-third of his first year in office at various Trump properties including around 40 days each at his golf course in Bedminster, NJ and his Florida resort at Mar-a-Lago, which he has referred to as a Winter White House. 86 When he does this, the federal government pays Trumps businesses for various costs.
Presidents have historically divested their business interests to prevent exactly this kind of problem, no matter how unlikely it was to occur. Thus, President Jimmy Carter put his peanut farm and warehouse into a blind trust in order to prevent potential conflicts of interest.
Maintaining ownership of his business enterprises and ignoring the conflicts of interest inherent in this decision have resulted in President Trump misusing his public office for personal gain at the expense of taxpayers and campaign contributors.
The Lessons Of Escaping Cults Could Come In Handy
Others in the group nod in agreement, as the group leader, Diane Benscoter, offers empathy and then advice. As a former cult member, Benscoter says she understands the defense mechanisms that kick in when anyone tries to tell you youve been duped.
After decades of helping people get out of cults, shes now making something of a second career helping families apply those same strategies to everyone from hard-core QAnon conspiracy theorists to more mainstream MAGA enthusiasts who believe the election was rigged.
She gently cautions Shannon that trying to prove her mom wrong will most likely backfire and cause her to dig her heels in further. Instead, Benscoter says, just keep her close, and watch for little cracks of doubt that might signal an opportunity to plant another seed.
But you need to tread lightly, Benscoter repeatedly warns, when trying to reach someone whos so all-in on the falsehood about the election.
As time goes by, what happens is it becomes not just your political view it is your identity, she explains. When family members confront a fervent believer and try to persuade them that what they believe is not true, Benscoter tells the group to remember that whats being threatened is their very identity.
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How Forbes Exposed Trumps Lies About The Size Of His Penthouse
Donald Trump at Trump Tower in 2015.
Jamel Toppin/The Forbes Collection
Its September 21, 2015 and Donald Trump is wheeling around his Trump Tower penthouse like a realtor at a showing. 35-foot ceilings! he exclaims in the living room. We have a fireplace, he points out in the two-story dining room. Cant even get em anymore. He shows me the window where he claims he watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center. He directs me to a knockout view of Central Park. But more important to Trump than any one feature is the apartments size: 33,000 square feetthe entire top three floors of the skyscraper. Hes mentioned it at least 10 times over the past two hours as part of a stretching from his 26th-floor office to the Trump Tower gym and, finally, his gilded palace in the sky, which he says is much bigger and much more valuable than were estimating for our Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.
The records were clear: Donald Trump owned a 10,996-square-foot padmore than 6 times the size of the median U.S. home, but nowhere near what Trump claimedso I wrote a story, published in May 2017: Donald Trump Has Been Lying About The Size Of His Penthouse.
Heres the original Forbes story, now cited in the civil lawsuit against Trump, on how Trump faked the size of his penthouse, republished in full: