One of the most stunning parts of the White House’s debacle over Donald Trump’s recent call to a Gold Star family was how it caught both the president and the chief of staff in outright lies.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told a story to discredit a congresswoman that turned out to be completely fabricated, as video from the event later showed.
Trump, who was mad that Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) said he insulted a fallen soldier’s widow during a condolence call by telling her that her husband “knew what he signed up for.” Trump tweeted that Wilson was lying ― and he had the goods to back up his claim.
Trump did not have any proof. Even the White House later admitted that there was no recording of the call. And both the mother and widow of Sgt. La David Johnson eventually said Wilson was accurate in her recounting of what happened.
This situation played out pretty typically for Trump: He makes a claim, he says he has proof and but then he never produces the aforementioned proof.
This situation goes beyond simply saying something untrue. Trump also does that all the time ― such as saying that “thousands” of people in New Jersey, primarily Muslim Americans, were cheering as the World Trade Center towers fell on Sept. 11, or that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton because millions of undocumented immigrants cast ballots.
Below are some examples when Trump has not only made a wild claim, but also has promised to provide evidence ― which never came through:
Birther Conspiracy: “I have people that actually have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” Trump said in 2011, stating that he sent investigators to Hawaii to look into whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
Conversations With James Comey: In May, Trump tried to scare James Comey, upset that the then-FBI director would not stop the Russia investigation and pledge his loyalty to him. He hinted that he may have recordings of their conversations.
Trump later admitted he had no such tapes.
Russian Election Interference: Trump was long skeptical of the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and in December, he hinted that he had secret information that could disprove its analysis: “I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation ... You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.” Nothing ever came of that promise.
Allegations Of Assault: At least a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. He has denied all of their allegations, even insulting their physical appearance and saying he didn’t find them attractive enough to assault. Last year, Trump also said he would provide evidence to show his innocence: “We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time — very soon.” Trump has never produced anything, and the White House continues to say the women are lying.
Iraq War Opposition: During the campaign, Trump repeatedly claimed that he had opposed the Iraq invasion. He even said that if journalists simply searched old news articles, they’d find public statements to back him up. “If you look at 2003, there are articles. If you look at 2004, there are articles,” he said in February 2016. No one has been able to find public statements from Trump before the invasion saying he opposed it.
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