Ahead of Monday night’s debate, four major newspapers — the New York Times (which published two articles), the L.A. Times, the Washington Post, and Politico — have analyzed Donald Trump’s statements over the course of a week to determine their truthfulness. The results are as you might expect.
The New York Times denounced Donald Trump in an editorial today as a man “who dwells in bigotry, bluster and false promises.”
The paper takes apart his “freewheeling campaign marked by bursts of false and outrageous allegations, personal insults, xenophobic nationalism, unapologetic sexism and positions that shift according to his audience and his whims.”
They call him out as a fraud who won’t release his taxes because of what they would reveal: “the public record already indicates that in at least some years he made full use of available loopholes and paid no taxes.”
Some other things:
His self-dealing: “He notably tapped $258,000 in donors’ money from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits involving his for-profit businesses”
“Voters cannot judge whether he has any idea what he’s talking about” with regard to foreign policy.
His xenophobia: “Whatever his gyrations, Mr. Trump always does make clear where his heart lies — with the anti-immigrant, nativist and racist signals that he scurrilously employed to build his base.”
The birther nonsense.
And lying: “Since his campaign began, NBC News has tabulated that Mr. Trump has made 117 distinct policy shifts on 20 major issues, including three contradictory views on abortion in one eight-hour stretch. As reporters try to pin down his contradictions, Mr. Trump has mocked them at his rallies. He said he would “loosen” libel laws to make it easier to sue news organizations that displease him.”
His “fanciful notions” about the nation’s debt, “imported from Mr. Trump’s debt-steeped real estate world, would undermine faith in the government and the stability of global financial markets.”
His threats to destabilize the world by abolishing NATO and his ass-kissing of Putin: “Even worse was Mr. Trump’s urging Russia to meddle in the presidential campaign by hacking the email of former Secretary of State Clinton. Voters should consider what sort of deals Mr. Putin might obtain if Mr. Trump, his admirer, wins the White House.”
Finally: “The list goes on: He would scuttle the financial reforms and consumer protections born of the Great Recession. He would upend the Obama administration’s progress on the environment, vowing to “cancel the Paris climate agreement” on global warming. He would return to the use of waterboarding, a torture method, in violation of international treaty law. He has blithely called for reconsideration of Japan’s commitment not to develop nuclear weapons. He favors a national campaign of “stop and frisk” policing, which has been ruled unconstitutional. He has blessed the National Rifle Association’s ambition to arm citizens to engage in what he imagines would be defensive “shootouts” with gunmen. He has so coarsened our politics that he remains a contender for the presidency despite musing about his opponent as a gunshot target.”
And that’s not even everything.
The paper also posted a laundry list of 31 major lies told by Donald Trump in just a single week, called A Week of Whoppers. “This total excludes dozens more: Untruths that appeared to be mere hyperbole or humor, or delivered purely for effect, or what could generously be called rounding errors. Mr. Trump’s campaign, which dismissed this compilation as “silly,” offered responses on every point, but in none of the following instances did the responses support his assertions.”
The L.A. Times served up its own article, Scope of Trump’s falsehoods unprecedented for a modern presidential candidate.
Never in modern presidential politics has a major candidate made false statements as routinely as Trump has. Over and over, independent researchers have examined what the Republican nominee says and concluded it was not the truth — but “pants on fire” (PolitiFact) or “four Pinocchios” (Washington Post Fact Checker).
Trump’s candidacy was premised on upending a dishonest establishment that has rigged American political and economic life, so many of his loyalists are willing to overlook his lies, as long as he rankles the powerful, said Republican strategist Rob Stutzman.
“It gives him not only license, but incentive to spin fantasy, because no one expects him to tell the truth,” said Stutzman, who worked against Trump during the primaries. “They believe they’re getting lied to constantly, so if their hero tells lies in order to strike back, they don’t care.”
The Washington Post, in another article about Trump’s lies, called his an “alternative universe.”
An examination by The Washington Post of one week of Trump’s speeches, tweets and interviews shows a candidate who not only continues to rely heavily on thinly sourced or entirely unsubstantiated claims but also uses them to paint a strikingly bleak portrait of an impoverished America, overrun by illegal immigrants, criminals and terrorists — all designed to set up his theme that he is specially suited to “make America great again.”
And Politico did its own piece, fact-checking The Donald for a week as well, in an article called Donald Trump’s Week of Misrepresentations, Exaggerations and Half-Truths.
According to POLITICO’s five-day analysis, Trump averaged about one falsehood every three minutes and 15 seconds over nearly five hours of remarks.
In raw numbers, that’s 87 erroneous statements in five days.
Trump’s misrepresentations range from false pronouncements (he again wrongly said he opposed the war in Iraq before it began) to the petty (he insisted Clinton had copied him by holding rallies with her plane in the background and insinuated she was “sleeping” when she held no public events).
He contradicted his own policy on providing health care to the poor, overstated the ad-spending discrepancy between his campaign and Clinton’s and exaggerated the size of his primary victories and polling leads.
The bigger question: Do Trump’s supporters care?