Saturday, June 16, 2018

Lie Of The Day (June 15, 2018)

This is a whopper:

These, however, are lies:

“I think that the report yesterday, maybe more importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me. There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. And if you read the report, you’ll see that.”

"Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. … I feel a little badly about it. They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago?
“You know, Paul Manafort worked for me for a very short period of time. He worked for Ronald Reagan. He worked for Bob Dole. He worked for John McCain, or his firm did. He worked for many other Republicans. He worked for me, what, for 49 days or something? A very short period of time.”

“I feel badly for General Flynn. He’s lost his house. He’s lost his life. And some people say he lied, and some people say he didn’t lie. I mean, really, it turned out maybe he didn’t lie. So how can you do that?”

“I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.”

“Barack Obama, I think you will admit this, he said the biggest problem that the United States has, and by far the most dangerous problem … is North Korea. Now, that was shortly before I entered office. I have solved that problem. Now, we’re getting it memorialized and all, but that problem is largely solved, and part of the reason is we signed, number one, a very good document. But you know what? More importantly than the document — more importantly than the document, I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un.”

As the Washington Post’s Fact Checker helpfully tells us, this is “only a partial list.” Further, Salvatore Rizzo explains why each of these is inaccurate, and it is clear that in at least four cases, the falsehood was not simply a matter of judgement and Trump would have known the statement is inaccurate.

The report covers only a period prior to the election. Therefore, it could not have "exonerated" Donald Trump, nor will anyone who reads it imagine that it does so.

Admittedly, the President may have been (though probably not) unaware that Michael Flynn worked 144 days, not 49 days, for his campaign, though he likely realized it covered a substantial period of time. However, he surely knows that it has not “turned out” that “maybe he didn’t lie.” Trump himself has stated “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.

The President understands, further, that his Administration’s policy of separating children from parents charged with violation of immigration law as they present themselves as refugees to border authorities is a new one. He probably is aware also of the 4/18 memorandum, revealed Friday evening by MSNBC’s Ari Melber and, signed by Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions, in which (Melber explains)

The Trump Administration shifts from a long-standing set of policies that prioritized enforcement against immigrants deemed more dangerous and offered more protection for folks who are not considering (sic) dangerous as well as for children and families. This new policy orders a “zero tolerance policy for” all offenses and states the “zero tolerance policy supersedes the other existing policies I mentioned”- meaning the more family-oriented policies of past administrations in both parties are now out.

President Trump knows, moreover, that his agreement to agree with Kim Jong Un has not “largely solved” the problem of North Korea. The most significant plank reads “the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” That does not mandate complete denuclearization (which is interpreted differently by Seoul than by Washington, anyway) not does it mandate even working toward it- rather a commitment to work toward it. 

Unfortunately, WaPo refers to the partial list as “false and misleading claims” rather than “lies.” Worse, it refers to the statements as “whoppers”- which tens of millions of Americans, some of them voters, find quite tasty.

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