Why Is The New York Times Lying About Trump
The liberal paper of record should be careful about what really constitutes lying and truth.
Even amidst a cacophony of nearly nonstop media fusillades against President Trump, the New York Times charge has stood out. After months of stories presenting Donald Trump as a sexual predator, business fraudster, puppet of Vladimir Putin, tax dodger, walking emolument disaster and whatever else it can dream up, the New York Times called Trump a liar in a prominent headlineproclaiming Meeting with Top Lawmakers, Trump Repeats an Election Lie.
Of course President Trump doesnt know how many people voted illegally, but, in a country where millions of undocumented immigrants are commonly accorded drivers licenses, access to public benefits and other accoutrements of civic normalcy, and after President Obama gave a pre-election interview to Hispanic media in which he seemed, in lawyerly fashion, to minimize the legal consequences of voting illegally, all while urging higher turnout, its difficult to believe the number is nugatory.
A year after the invasion, after no weapons of mass destruction had turned up, the Timesacknowledged in an editors note that its coverage was not as rigorous as it should have been. It explained that editors at several levels who should have been challenging reporters and pressing for more skepticism failed to do so. In short, the Times had printed a great deal of what might fairly be called fake news.
Trumps Failure To Release Tax Returns
An affront to the standard of transparency observed by every modern president.
Every president since Harry Truman has released his federal income tax returns to the public, with the exception of Gerald Ford, who produced detailed summaries of his income taxes. 143 The practice is beneficial for both the president and the public at large: public tax returns can shield the president from charges of self-dealing and provide the voters with useful information about their leaders. This custom was broken by Donald Trump. His failure to follow his predecessors example is based on broken promises and lies.
Before running for president, Trump offered assurances that he would follow the footsteps of all candidates and presidents. If I decide to run for office, Ill produce my tax returns, absolutely, he said in a 2014 interview. I would love to do that. 144 His attitude had evidently changed by the time he became a candidate. After a full campaign and a year in officea year in which Congress passed a tax cut for high income earners and corporations President Trump has yet to release anything. Some information about his taxes has emerged nevertheless. His 1995 return was shared with the New York Times, revealing the declaration of a $916 million loss, a deduction so large that it could have wiped out his entire federal income tax liability for as long as 18 years. 145 And in March 2017, a copy of his 2005 return was obtained by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. 146
Trumps Failure To Fill Government Vacancies
President Trump has purposefully left hundreds of vacancies in the federal government unfilled, rendering his transition the slowest in decades.
The Trump administration has failed to fill an unprecedented number of critical positions throughout the federal government. This is especially true in the State Department, where former Secretary of State Madeline Albright has called the absence of senior officials a national emergency. 51 Another former career federal official, R. Nicholas Burns of the State Department, said that theres no question this is the slowest transition in decades. It is a very, very big mistake. 52 Leaving key government decision-making offices vacant leads to dysfunction and wasted government resources as policies await direction.
Like most recent presidents, President Trump had more than 4,000 positions to fill when he took officeincluding more than 1,200 that require the Senates advice and consent. 53 The Washington Post, in collaboration with the Partnership for Public Service, has been tracking 633 of what they consider key executive branch nominations. 54 As of January 18, 2018, President Trump had yet to nominate anyone for 245 of those positions. 55
As of January 2018one year into the Trump administrationTrump had by far the fewest number of Senate-confirmed nominees in place compared to Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton, and George H.W. Bush at the same point in their presidencies. 59
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Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing and changing us.
Donald Trump is a liar.
Before he became president, Trump lied about everything from his personal wealth to his TV ratings to the number of floors in his condo towers. Once in the White House, he started out lying about the size of his inauguration crowd, and super-sized his lies from there.
So now that Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus, who are we going to trust for information about the state of his health?
For the very near-term, we are triangulating: There are the official pronouncements from Trump and his White House circle, and there are reports from outlets with good access to Trumps orbits. We can combine the two and add in what we know about Covid-19 and get a decent idea of what might actually be happening, for the moment.
Earlier Friday morning, NBC, the New York Times and other outlets reported that Trump was experiencing mild symptoms from the disease shortly after that, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said the same thing, on the record. After Meadows spoke, Trumps wife Melania tweeted that she had the same symptoms.
But that status where were able to share a common reality, shaped by a combination of official pronouncements melded with independent reporting wont last long, if at all.
And some of it is because Trump himself has conditioned us not to believe a single thing that he, or anyone in his orbit, says.
Inaugural Fund Fails To Publicly Account For $107 Million Haul
Starting with his inauguration, President Trump has courted wealthy special interests while hiding their influence on him and his administration.
President Trumps courtship of big dollar donors and his stewardship of their contributions to his inauguration sent a powerful message about his true priorities.
As president-elect, Trump signaled his administration would be open for business by imposing no limits on individual contributions and a $1 million cap on corporate donations to his inaugural fund. 178 He granted special access to himself and key administration decision-makers to the funds most generous donors. 179
The Trump inaugural fund collected about $107 million, more than twice as much as President Obama raised for his second inaugural in 2013 and about double what Obama raised for his first inaugural in 2009. 180 At least 47 Trump donors gave at least $1 million, and in return got tickets to a leadership luncheon with members of the new presidents Cabinet and congressional leaders those big donors also were invited to dine with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, and received tickets to a ladies luncheon to meet the ladies of thefirst families. 181
Neither the president nor the committee have responded to the letter or disclosed the expenditures.
Trump Attacks On The Rule Of Law
A government of laws and not of men. John Adams, 1780
President Trump treats as nonexistent the rule of law, a foundational tenet of our constitutional system of government. His repeated attempts to influence the administration of justice to serve his personal or partisan goals reflect his apparent view that we are a government of men and not of laws, in direct opposition to core principles that have always governed us.
Trumps repeated assaults on the Justice Department and the FBI are designed to pressure those agencies to make investigative and prosecutorial decisions based on his political desires, often against his political adversaries. President Trump saw the role of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey as protecting him. He told Sessions it was his fault they were in the current situation after the Special Counsel probe was launched. 103 He fired Comey after failing to get a requested commitment of loyalty from him, with the clear implication it was Comeys job to serve Trumps interests, not the obligations of his office. 104
According to the The New York Times, Mr. Trump has made clear that he sees the attorney general and the F.B.I. director as his personal agents rather than independent figures, lashing out at both for not protecting him from the Russia investigation. 105
Theres A High Bar To Accusing Someone Of Committing A Lie And We Dont Do It Lightly
A lie isnt just a false statement. Its a false statement whose speaker knows its false. In these instances, the president or his administration have clear reason to know otherwise. Reporters are understandably cautious about using the word some never do, because it requires speculating on what someone is thinking. The cases we call “lies” are ones where we think it’s fair to make that call: Trump is saying something that contradicts clear and widely published information that we have reason to think he’s seen. This list also includes bullshit: speech that is in its academic definition “unconnected to a concern with the truth.”
Good Lies And Bad Lies
The problem, of course, is that a great many presidential lies cannot be so easily linked to important purposes.
President Bill Clintons lies about his sexual activities were either simply self-serving or told to preserve his presidency.
Similarly, President Richard Nixons insistence that he knew nothing about the Watergate break-in was most likely a lie. John Dean, Nixons legal counsel, confirmed years later that the president knew about, and approved of, the plan to rob the Democratic National Committee headquarters. This scandal eventually ended Nixons presidency.
In both cases, these presidents faced a significant threat to their presidencies – and chose deception to save not the nation, but their own power.
Compiling The Truth: A Resource To Refute Trumps Stolen Election Lies
Former President Trumps lies that he won the 2020 election in a sacred landslide, and that the election was stolen from him, continues to be a cancer in our body politic detrimental to our democracy in both the short-term and the long-term.
Trumps Stop the Steal narrative is being used as a justification to roll back access to voting across the nation. And because this false narrative has been repeated so often by Trump and amplified by national news media friendly to him and by his supporters on social media, significant numbers of Trump voters still believe it.
It has also led to attempts by partisan actors to revisit certified state election results as the Republican majority in the Arizona Senate is doing now after it hired an unqualified firm to do a non-professional “review” of the ballots in Arizona’s largest county Similar partisan efforts are being proposed in other states, paid for by political funds.
“…I find myself absolutely gobsmacked that todays party is shaping itself around the Big Lie that Democrat Joe Biden did not win the 2020 election,” wrote historian Heather Cox-Richardson in the of her blog. “This is a lie. There is no doubt that this is a lie. Trump or his surrogates filed and lost at least 63 lawsuits over the 2020 election, most of which were dropped for lack of evidence.”
The Ongoing Battle Over Trumps Claims Highlights Their Continued Relevance
COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE 2020 ELECTION RESULTS
Xenophobes The Economically Disadvantaged
Another segment of hard-core supporters feel strongly that America is under attack by foreigners, including Central Americans crossing the southern border. They also falsely believe the Chinese sent COVID-19 to kill Americans.
Sixty years ago, these supporters would have been in the my country right or wrong camp supporting American involvement in the Vietnam War. They believe they are supporting traditional American values, free enterprise, hard work and white society against destructive change.
For these supporters, Trump promised the wall along the southern border to keep out rapists, talks often about the Chinese virus and says kind things about counter-protesters, even excusing the actions of the young man, Kyle Rittenhouse, accused of killing two people at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Wisconsin.
A sizeable segment of Trump supporters, and the ones who often get the most attention, are the economically abandoned. When Trump was elected, some in the media were quick to dismiss his supporters as lacking education, and therefore unable to grasp that Trump lied, embellished the truth and stoked bigotry.
Thats unfair on several levels.
For one, as corporations move their manufacturing offshore and the U.S. economy relies more on high-tech jobs, the less educated have lost their jobs, whether in the coal mines of West Virginia or the industrial areas of the Midwest.