On The Debate Stage, Trump Lies About His Iraq War Support

At the first Presidential debates, Donald Trump lost his temper and flew into a sharp defense of a question from moderator Lester Holt that he supported the Iraq War. Trump was defiant, calling it “main-stream media nonsense,” and that “the record shows that I am right!”

Trump gave his own timeline of events, saying he did an interview with Howard Stern in 2002 an when asked about the Iraq War he said “very lightly, I don’t know, who knows… essentially.”

Except that is not at all what Trump said. When asked by Stern about the war, Trump’s exact quote was, “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.

Trump then said he did an interview with Fox New’s Neil Cavuto after the war began where they talked about the economy, but Trump willfully neglected to mention that called the Iraq War a success when he said the invasion “looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint, and I think this is really nothing compared to what you’re going to see after the war is over.”

After more blustering Trump told the media to call Sean Hannity because they had private conversations where Trump opposed the war and Hannity didn’t. So the media did and Sean Hannity, the informal advisor and public supporter to Trump, said this was true.

However when asked for actual evidence, Hannity said it was no longer available because they switched syndication and stations.

Reality

Taking someone at their word alone is not strong evidence. It wouldn’t even be admissible in a court of law, they would have it dismissed as hearsay.

What is evidence is the audio recordings that exist of Donald Trump supporting the Iraq War before and after the beginning of the invasion.

We can lay out the timeline of events, and we can see that Trump is indeed lying when he said he was always against the Iraq War.

Media

Trump Jr. Compares Syrian Refugees to Poisoned Skittles

Donald Trump’s eldest son has caused uproar on social media by comparing Syrian refugees to the fruit-flavoured sweets Skittles.

Trying to suggest the US should not accept any refugees, Donald Trump Jr posted an image that asked:

“If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?”

“That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

He added: “This image says it all. Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first.”

The food analogy has been used before to imply that, if a few people in a group are bad, it would be dangerous to take a single one in.

The language in Donald Jr’s tweet was used in a post by conservative radio host Joe Walsh in August. Joe Walsh was a former single-term Congressman most remembered for being kicked off the air for using racial epitaphs to describe African Americans and for trying to incite violence against President Barack Obama.

But following the tweet by the Republican presidential candidate’s son, the company that owns Skittles, Wrigley, stepped in.

“Skittles are candy. Refugees are people,” said Denise Young, vice-president of corporate affairs for Wrigley America.

“We don’t feel it is an appropriate analogy,” she added. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”

Meanwhile the photographer who took the picture of the Skittles said the picture was used without his permission and revealed that he was himself a former refugee.

(h/t BBC)

Reality

In the US, each year, you are far more likely to die due to choking on candy than due to a terrorist attack by a refugee. According to the US National Safety Council and Cato Institute you have a:

  • 1 in 3,408 chance of choking to death on food
  • 1 in 3,640,000,000 chance of being killed by a refugee in a terror attack

The fact is, the refugee resettlement program is the single most difficult way to enter the United States. So refusing refugees was truly about preventing some “Trojan horse” terrorist, it is such a highly ineffective policy that should put into question the very qualifications of this candidate.

Instead this follows a pattern of white supremacist from Donald Trump Jr. and his father and keeping brown people with different beliefs from them out of the country. Some examples include:

  • On March 3rd, Donald Trump Jr. appeared on a radio show and took questions from a known white supremacist.
  • On July 5th, Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet by one of the worst and most active member of the “alt-right” neo-Nazi movement on Twitter.
  • On August, 29th, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a post from known white supremacist Kevin MacDonald.
  • On September, 10th, Donald Trump Jr. shared a meme with him next to a white nationalist symbol.
  • On September, 15th, Donald Trump Jr. casually made a holocaust joke on a radio show.

Trump Says Black Communities Worst Off Ever, Forgets Slavery

Donald Trump has faced criticism after declaring that African Americans are in the worst shape “ever, ever, ever”, in a town named after a slaveholder.

The Republican nominee’s latest outreach to black voters, at a North Carolina rally, drew a swift backlash.

Many on social media questioned whether Mr Trump had considered the US history of slavery and segregation.

It follows a report that his charity used funds to settle lawsuits for which he was personally liable.

At Tuesday’s campaign event in Kenansville, the White House hopeful said: “We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before.

“Ever, ever, ever.”

He continued: “You take a look at the inner cities, you get no education, you get no jobs, you get shot walking down the street.

“They’re worse, I mean honestly, places like Afghanistan are safer than some of our inner cities.

“And I say to the African-American communities, and I think it’s resonating, because you see what’s happening with my poll numbers with African Americans. They’re going, like, high.”

The businessman-turned-politician is continuing his outreach to African-American voters by meeting a group of pastors Wednesday in Cleveland, Ohio.

The BBC’s Anthony Zurcher says Mr Trump’s recent overtures to the black community may be aimed primarily at assuring moderate white voters of his racial sensitivity.

According to recent polls, he still faces an uphill climb in winning over even a modest level of black support.

Aside from a blip in one unconventional tracking poll, Mr Trump’s black support continues to be mired in low single digits.

This is roughly equal to the levels earned by the Republicans who ran against Barack Obama, the first black US president.

Last month, Mr Trump also raised eyebrows when he asked black voters: “What do you have to lose?”

He told a nearly all-white audience in Michigan that African Americans “are living in poverty” and their “schools are no good”.

Mr Trump said his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, “would rather provide a job to a refugee” than to unemployed black youths.

(h/t BBC)

Reality

One need not be a scholar to be familiar with generations of slavery, discrimination, state-sanctioned bigotry, red-lining, lynchings, segregation, and Jim Crow laws.

But as NPR points out, the data shows Trump is wrong. For example:

  • The black unemployment rate is more than 8 percent – that’s more than three points higher than the national average. But it’s halved from the recent post-recession high of 16.6 percent.
  • Plus, black employment rates have always been higher than the national average.
  • Eighty-six percent of African Americans are high school completers.
  • African Americans with a bachelor’s degree or more has more than tripled (from 6.6 percent to 22.2 percent 40 years ago) and roughly one-third of 18-24-year-olds are enrolled in college.
  • Because of the Obamacare that Trump is vowing to begin repealing on his first day in office, the number of uninsured African-Americans dropped by nearly 10 points over the last three years.
  • While there was a slight uptick in some cities since last year, crime is at an all-time low.

Media

Donald Trump Jr. Tweets Straight-Up White Nationalist Propaganda

Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday morning decided to re-up a column from an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant British activist blaring that “Western woman will be sacrificed at the alter of mass migration.”

After tweeting an anti-immigrant message featuring a white supremacist meme on Monday night, the eldest son of the GOP nominee tweeted:

Europe’s Rape Epidemic: Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Altar Of Mass Migration https://t.co/BkguApQqvQ via @BreitbartNews

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 20, 2016

He linked to a 2015 post from Anne-Marie Waters, a British activist and member of the fervently anti-immigration UK Independence Party, which she penned for Breitbart’s London offshoot.

In the post, Waters recounts being sexually harassed and intimidated by “Middle Eastern-looking men” across Europe to set the stage for her takedown of “suicidal” immigration polices that she says allow Muslim men to rape white women.

“In England, it’s been rape after rape – tens of thousands of young British girls are brutalised, tortured, beaten and raped by organised gangs comprised almost exclusively of Muslims,” she wrote.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration polices “opened the door to the rape of German women,” Waters wrote. She went on to claim rape, sexual assault and “forced prostitution” are “rampant within the refugee camps in Germany.”

(h/t Talking Points Memo)

Reality

With the exception of an incident in Germany on New Years Eve in 2015, where there was a reported 5 rapes and 1,200 sexual assaults by “Arab or North African appearance,” and sexual assaults at a camp in Greece, there are no widespread reports to back up Waters’ claim.

Donald Trump Brags That He “Called It” Without Evidence on Chelsea Explosion

Donald Trump appeared to pat himself on the back Monday morning for “calling” the explosions in New York and New Jersey over the weekend, telling Fox News he “should be a newscaster” because he “called it before the news.”

Trump is referring to his rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Saturday night, in which he told a crowd that a “bomb went off” in New York before any media reports or public statements from officials had confirmed the cause of the explosions that injured 29 people.

“Just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York, and nobody knows exactly what’s going on, but boy, we are living in a time,” he said Saturday.

Trump claimed “everybody” has said that he was right but “called it too soon.” “OK, give me a break,” he continued. “But Hillary Clinton used the word ‘bombs’ shortly thereafter and nobody said anything about it. And somebody said some of them edit that word out. They took it out. Hey, folks, it’s a rigged system, and I’ve been saying it for a long time. And the news is as dishonest as anybody there is.”

In his Colorado speech, Trump gave no other information about the attacks, instead immediately moving on to tell the crowd about how well he was doing in the polls.

This is not the first time Trump has patted himself on the back after an attack or incident that led to deaths.

After the mass shooting in Orlando earlier this year, Trump says he “called it” and touted his proposal to ban Muslim immigrants to the United States — despite the fact that the Orlando shooter was an American citizen.

When NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin was shot and killed on the streets of Chicago, Trump tweeted that her death was “just what [he had] been saying” about how African-Americans couldn’t walk down the street without being shot — his ploy to attract black voters to his campaign.

(h/t Mic)

Reality

First off, Trump and his campaign is lying. While Hillary Clinton did mention the attacks as “bombings,” it was a full 2 hours after NYPD determined an IED was the source of the explosion. She also quantified her remarks by saying, “Well, I think it’s important to know the facts about any incident like this. That’s why it’s critical to support the first responders, the investigators who are looking into it, trying to determine what did happen,” which is a world apart from Trump’s fear-based statement minutes after the incident saying, “It was a bomb! There will be more! Elect me and I’ll keep you safe!”

Here is the timeline of events:

  1. Around 8:30 PM EST, law enforcement was responding to an explosion in Chelsea that occurred, but the earliest reports did not specify a cause.
  2. At 9:00 PM EST, Trump was scheduled to begin his speech in Colorado, Springs but reports say it started earlier. In his opening remarks he said that a “bomb went off.”
  3. At 9:26 PM EST, while Trump was giving his 30-minute speech, NYPD confirmed that it was an explosive device.
  4. At 11:40 PM EST, hours after it was public knowledge that a bomb had gone off, Hillary Clinton called the attacks in New York and New Jersey “bombings.”

In times of uncertainty we look toward our leaders for guidance. When a leader rushes to judgement without all of the available evidence, especially when it comes to our security, the consequences are fears get stoked.

Media

Christie Falsely Claims Trump Hadn’t Talked ‘Birther’ for Years

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday Donald Trump’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace was “done,” arguing falsely that Trump hasn’t talked about it for years and had put to rest any remaining questions Friday.

“The birther issue is a done issue. I’ve said it’s a done issue for a long time, and Donald Trump has said it’s a done issue now,” Christie, a top Trump supporter and the chairman of his transition team, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

Though Trump had been asked whether he now believes Obama was born in the United States as recently as 2016 and hadn’t affirmed that position, Christie refuted Tapper’s questioning saying: “It’s just not true that he kept it up for five years.”

Tapper: “Sure he did.”

Christie: “It’s simply not true.”

Tapper: “It is true.”

Christie: “No, Jake. It wasn’t like he was talking about it on a regular basis … And when the issue was raised, he made very clear the other day what his position is.”

But of course, Trump for years elevated false claims that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, raising it repeatedly in interviews and on Twitter. In 2011, Obama released a copy of his birth certificate to put to rest what many considered fringe conspiracy theories aimed at undermining his legitimacy as president.

Trump had been asked whether he now believes Obama was born in the United States as recently as last week and hadn’t affirmed that position, until Friday.

Christie also said it was “an issue that Mrs. Clinton also injected” into the 2008 Democratic primary against Obama, which is false.

Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, stuck to a similar line in an interview with ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week.”

“This is not what the American people are talking about. Donald Trump put this issue to an end yesterday in Washington, D.C.,” Pence said.

He also declared birtherism “over” and denied Trump has any responsibility it. “Throughout this campaign, he hasn’t been talking about it,” Pence said.

Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, blamed Trump for “an incredibly painful five-year chapter.”

“When Donald Trump says the first African-American president is not a citizen, that is so painful to so many people who still have deep feelings about that dark chapter in American life,” Kaine told Tapper later on “State of the Union.”

“And he either believed what he said for five years, which showed that he’s either incredibly gullible or conspiratorial, or he didn’t believe it, in which case he was just trying to prey upon people’s darkest emotion,” he said.

And Kaine deflected questions about whether Hillary Clinton’s friend Sidney Blumenthal pushed birtherism quietly on the 2008 campaign trail.

“Sidney Blumenthal has categorically denied that, but Sidney’s not running for president. Let’s talk about Donald Trump,” Kaine said.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway deflected questions about Trump’s history of birtherism Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Host John Dickerson asked: “Donald Trump advocated something for five years that was a lie. Why did he do that?”

Conway said: “Well, you’re going to have to ask him. But, again, I think that this is a sideshow now that the media seem obsessed with, John, respectfully. And, again, he put everything out on the table on Friday. Those are his words. He does things on his terms, on his time line.”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

The Wall Street Journal, of all places, compiled a list of every birther statement by Donald Trump proving that he did indeed keep up the false birther conspiracy theory for five years, even after President Obama released his long form birth certificate. However they missed a few so we added some to their list.

February 2011: In a speech at a conservative conference, Mr. Trump said: “Our current president came out of nowhere. Came out of nowhere. In fact, I’ll go a step further: the people that went to school with him, they never saw him, they don’t know who he is. It’s crazy.” [Politifact]

March 2011: Mr. Trump went on “The View” when he was first considering a run for the presidency and was asked if he believed Mr. Obama was born in the U.S. He responded: “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate? And you know what? I wish he would… Nobody from those early years remembers him… There’s something on that birth certificate he doesn’t like.” [Mediaite]

April 7, 2011: Mr. Trump said: “Right now, I have some real doubts…His grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya and she was there and witnessed the birth. He doesn’t have a birth certificate or he hasn’t shown it.” [“Today”]

April 19, 2011: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate or he hasn’t provided it. He’s given a certificate of live birth. It’s a much different instrument.”  Mr. Trump also said he sent investigators to Hawaii, though he gave no evidence of that.  [“ABC News”]

April 27, 2011: The White House publishes the long form of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.

May 1, 2011: Mr. Obama opened the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with a “birth video” — taken from the start of the Disney movie”The Lion King.” He quickly turned to jokes at Mr. Trump’s expense. “Donald Trump is here tonight!  Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald.  And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter –- like, did we fake the moon landing?  What really happened in Roswell?  And where are Biggie and Tupac?” [Transcript]

May 29, 2012: Mr. Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “a lot of people don’t agree with that birth certificate. A lot of people do not think it’s authentic.” [Video/Transcript, CNN’s “The Situation Room”]

July 10, 2012: 

Aug. 22, 2012:

Aug. 29, 2012:

Oct. 11, 2012:

Oct. 24, 2012: Mr. Trump offered to pay $5 million to Mr. Obama’s charity of choice if the president releases his college and passport records. [YouTube video]

Oct. 31, 2012:

August 2013: Mr. Trump is asked about his “birther” comments. “I think that resonated with a lot of people.” Did he still question if Mr. Obama was born in the U.S.? “I have no idea. I don’t know. Was there a birth certificate? You tell me. … Nobody knows.” [ABC’s “This Week”]

Dec. 12, 2013: 

Feb. 27, 2015: At the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Trump questioned whether Mr. Obama’s long-form birth certificate that’s posted on the White House’s website is real. He also said Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain also wanted to see his birth certificate but the White House only posted one in response to Mr. Trump. [Video (24:37)]

July 2015: When asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper if he accepts that Mr. Obama was born in the U.S., Mr. Trump said, “I really don’t know. I don’t know why he wouldn’t release his records, but you know, honestly, I don’t want to get into it.”[CNN]

September 2015: On “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Mr. Colbert asked Mr. Trump, “Barack Obama, born in the United States?” Mr. Trump said: “I don’t talk about it any more.” [Video, “The Late Show”]

Sept. 17, 2015: At a town-hall event, Mr. Trump didn’t denounce a comment from an attendee who said Mr. Obama isn’t an American. The man said,”We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.” Mr. Trump interrupted, saying, “We need this question.” [Video (16:40)]

Jan. 26, 2016: In an interview, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer discusses whether Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate, is a natural-born citizen. Mr. Blitzer  said: “Your critics are saying you’re doing to Ted Cruz what you tried to do to President Obama, where he was born, his birth certificate…” Mr. Trump said: “Who knows about Obama, who cares right now.”  [Video, CNN’s “The Situation Room”]

Sept. 15, 2016: In an interview published by the Washington Post, Mr. Trump declined to say whether he believed the president was born in Hawaii. “I’ll answer that question at the right time,” he said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.” Later in the day, the Trump campaign put out a statement, referring back to 2011: “Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.”  [WSJ]

Sept. 16, 2016:  Mr. Trump briefly addresses the issue at an event at his new hotel in Washington. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.” In his remarks, he also falsely blamed Hillary Clinton for the birther controversy. [WSJ]

 

 

 

Trump Drops ‘Birther’ Theory, but Floats a New False One: Clinton Started It

Donald Trump finally admitted Friday that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States,” reversing himself on the issue that propelled him into national politics five years ago.

Trump sought to end his longstanding attempt to discredit the nation’s first African-American president with just a few sentences tacked on at the end as he unveiled his new hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

But the issue isn’t likely to die down any time soon — especially as Trump continues to falsely blame Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for starting the “birtherism” controversy. Clinton said earlier Friday that Trump’s acknowledgment of Obama’s birthplace doesn’t go far enough and that he must also apologize.

“For five years, he has led the birther movement to delegitimize our first black president,” Clinton said at an event in Washington. “His campaign was founded on this outrageous lie.”

Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

Trump offered no apologies for his leading role in the birther movement and didn’t explain what drove him to change his mind. The President dismissed Trump’s criticism Friday, joking with reporters at the White House and saying, “I was pretty confident about where I was born.”

Speaking at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the controversy head on.

“There were those who questioned and continue to question for the past eight years up through this very day whether my husband was even born in this country,” she said. “Well, during his time in office, I think Barack has answered those questions with the example he set by going high when they low.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, called Trump a “disgusting fraud.”

Birtherism controversy

The birtherism controversy exploded the previous night when Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post that he still wasn’t prepared to acknowledge Obama’s birthplace. Within a few hours, the campaign released a statement — attributed to his spokesman — that said Trump now believes Obama was born in the United States.

Trump finally said the words out loud Friday morning.

“President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period,” Trump said, ignoring reporters’ questions despite earlier indications he would hold a press conference. “Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”

The developments over the past day were steeped in political motivations. With 53 days before the presidential election, Trump is moving into a margin of error race with Clinton and trying to broaden his appeal while maintaining his grip on the GOP base. Trump has tried to improve his dismal standing among minority voters and moderate Republicans in recent weeks, many of whom see birtherism as racially motivated and an insult to Obama.

He is also aiming to take the issue of Obama’s birthplace and legitimacy off the table by the time of the crucial debate with Clinton September 26.

Trump has declined other opportunities during the past two weeks to refute his original birtherism.

When local Philadelphia TV station WPVI asked Trump on September 2 about his past statements, Trump replied: “I don’t talk about it anymore. I told you, I don’t talk about it anymore.”

He repeated the same line when asked about it during a gaggle with reporters aboard his plane last week.

And in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly last week, Trump again said, “I don’t bother talking about it.”

Trump’s extraordinary attempt to prove Obama was not a natural-born US citizen and was therefore not qualified to be president started on the conservative fringe but gathered momentum and became a major issue. The White House initially tried to ignore the birtherism movement as the work of conspiracy theorists, but Trump’s huge media profile propelled the issue through conservative media and it eventually gained traction.

The saga only ended in a surreal and extraordinary moment in American politics when the sitting President went to the White House briefing room in April 2011 and produced his long-form birth certificate.

‘Sideshows and carnival barkers’

“We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers,” Obama said at the time, in a clear reference to Trump.

In his statement Thursday night, Trump spokesman Jason Miller said, “Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised.”

He was referring to a controversy from the 2008 Democratic primary fight between Obama and Clinton. In a March 2008 interview with “60 Minutes,” Clinton said she took then-Sen. Obama’s word that he was not a Muslim, but when pressed if she believed he was, she replied, “No. No, there is nothing to base that on — as far as I know.”

Clinton, however, was not questioning Obama’s birthplace.

Clinton slammed Trump’s comments to the Post while speaking at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute event in Washington Thursday, saying he needs to stop his “ugliness” and “bigotry.”

“He was asked one more time: Where was President Obama born? And he still wouldn’t say Hawaii. He still wouldn’t say America. This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry?” she said. “This is the best he can do. This is who he is. And so we need to decide who we are.”

Clinton’s campaign later tweeted, “President Obama’s successor cannot and will not be the man who led the racist birther movement. Period.”

The ‘birther’ controversy

Trump’s embrace of the birther controversy seemed outlandish when it began. In retrospect, it looks like a template for the fact-challenged approach he has adopted in his presidential campaign.

After Obama’s news conference, the real-estate developer claimed credit for getting the President to produce evidence of his birthplace.

“Today I’m very proud of myself because I’ve accomplished something that nobody else was able to accomplish,” Trump said in New Hampshire, after Obama’s news conference.

In subsequent years, Obama poked fun at the birtherism controversy and used it to ridicule Trump, most memorably in a savage takedown at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in 2011.

“Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald,” Obama said.

“And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

The first idea that Barack Obama was not a naturally born citizen can actually be traced back to 2004 with the loony racist ravings of Judah Benjamin and Andy Martin. But the origins of the birther conspiracy theory for the 2008 presidential cycle did indeed start with supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is no evidence that it came from Clinton directly. Most of the noise from the idiot birther conspiracy theorists came after Jun 13, 2008, days after Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008.

While it is true there was some hand from Clinton supporters who were not associated with her campaign, the idea that she started it or was “all in” as Trump previously claimed, is pure fiction.

Trump’s Son: Tax Returns ‘Detract’ from Political Message

Donald Trump’s son has a new reason to explain why his father won’t release his tax returns: They’ll steal from his political message.

“Because he’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from (his father’s) main message,” Donald Trump, Jr. told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in a piece published Wednesday.

That’s a dramatic shift from the Republican nominee’s longtime explanation that an ongoing audit is preventing him from releasing his tax returns. (There are no laws barring Trump from disclosing his tax returns while he is being audited).

The comment reflects the political potency of Trump’s tax returns. There are growing questions about what’s in the documents, including details of investments in foreign countries. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was the GOP’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, said Thursday that presidential candidates should release their tax returns.

“I released mine,” Ryan said. “I think we should release our returns. I’ll leave it to him when to do it.”

Former Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican, sought to connect Trump Jr.’s comments with the campaign’s longtime audit explanation. In a Thursday interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” Kingston said releasing the tax returns could influence the IRS audit process.

“If you put it on the table, you’re going to have 300 million Americans second-guessing what is this, what is that?” Kingston said. “That actually, I think, would influence the IRS because they would say, ‘Oh, wait, somebody out in Idaho said this. Somebody in Chicago said that. Somebody in New York said this.’ Then they’re off chasing things.”

Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday that putting out the returns would lead to misinterpretations.

“With a $10 billion business, if Donald Trump dumped his taxes out today, there would be all kinds of misinterpretations of that and maybe some real interpretations of that between now and November. That would be the only discussion we’d have,” King, a Trump supporter, said on “New Day.” “So I’d say the window is closed on that but I wish he had done so last March or April.”

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has released nearly four decades of tax returns.

(h/t CNN)

Reality

Trump had a contradictory position 4 years ago when he demanded Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.

As for the “audit” excuse, the fact remains that this rationale has never made any sense: an IRS audit doesn’t preclude someone from sharing their returns.

Since Watergate, every presidential candidate, Democrat or Republican, has released his or her tax returns. It’s not required by law, but there’s a tradition of disclosure that Americans have come to count on during the presidential vetting process: candidates for the nation’s highest office are expected to release information related to their personal health and their tax filings.

Indeed even Richard Nixon, during his presidency, released his tax materials in the midst of an IRS audit. Trump could, if he wanted to, release these returns whenever he feels like it. For reasons he won’t explain, the GOP candidate just doesn’t want to.

It’s as if the campaign has decided to wave a big, unmistakable sign that reads, “We have something to hide.”

Trump Claims Clinton Coined Term ‘Alt-Right’, This is Not True

Trump and alt-right mascot Pepe the Frog kissing.

In an interview on Trump’s plane in Canton, Ohio, Trump tried to blame Clinton and her allies for creating the term “alt-right,” although the term has been used within the movement for years.

Clinton and her campaign argue that some Trump backers are racist and misogynistic and have sought to link him to the “alt-right” movement of self-avowed white nationalists, many of whom have rallied around his candidacy.

“The alt-right. You know they came up with the term ‘alt-right.’  I think the term itself is ridiculous. The alt-right. When did it come into existence? It was just made up.”

Later in the interview Trump said he was unconcerned that moderators during the upcoming debates may decide to fact-check during the forums.

“I don’t care. My facts are good. My facts are good. I don’t get enough credit for having my facts right,” Trump said. “They’ll say I’m wrong even when I’m right.”

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

Trump rarely gets his facts right. We have over 150 instances of Trump not getting his facts right and we’re positive we missed quite a few.

The term “alt-right”, or Alternative Right, was not created by Hillary Clinton but was coined in 2008 by Richard Bertrand Spencer, who heads the white nationalist think tank known as the National Policy Institute, to describe a loose set of far-right ideals centered on “white identity” and the preservation of “Western civilization.

The alt-right movement is associated with white nationalism, white supremacism, antisemitism, right-wing populism, nativism, and the neoreactionary movement and wholeheartedly embrace the overt racism, misogyny, neo-Nazi affectations, bullying and trolling of chan culture as a lifestyle

Donald Trump famously hired alt-right leader and former Breitbart editor as his campaign CEO, signaling his embrace of the movement and pushing hate and racism into the mainstream.

Trump Defiant, Won’t Say Obama Was Born in United States

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an interview in Canton, Ohio that he remains unwilling to say that President Obama is born in the United States, that he is more bullish than ever on his chances to win and that he is not exploring the launch of a new media company in case he loses the race.

Trump also made a far-from-subtle push — in the interview and in a letter from his doctor released Thursday — to be seen as vigorous and healthy as his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, returned to the campaign trail after being treated for mild pneumonia.

In the interview, conducted late Wednesday aboard his private plane as it idled on the tarmac here, Trump suggested he is not eager to change his pitch or his positions even as he works to reach out to minority voters, many of whom are deeply offended by his long-refuted suggestion that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Trump refused to say whether he believes Obama was born in Hawaii.

“I’ll answer that question at the right time,” Trump said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”

When asked whether his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was accurate when she said recently that he now believes Obama was born in this country, Trump responded: “It’s okay. She’s allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs. I want to focus on other things.”

He added: “I don’t talk about it anymore. The reason I don’t is because then everyone is going to be talking about it as opposed to jobs, the military, the vets, security.”

In the interview, Trump defended his wife’s immigration history; attacked targets including CNN host Anderson Cooper and Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.); and said he had been “respectful” since Clinton fell ill but “that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stay there.”

Sitting in his plush, cream-and-gold cabin as his top aides looked on, Trump began by repeatedly recounting his poll numbers, which have ticked up nationally and in some key states.

Trump said a possible turning point in the race came last week when Clinton said that “half” of his supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables” — a remark she has since said she regrets.

“It’s the single biggest mistake in this political cycle, a massive comment, bigger than 47 percent,” Trump said, a reference to Mitt Romney’s controversial 2012 statement at a fundraiser about voters who receive government benefits or pay little in taxes. “When I first heard it, I couldn’t believe that she said it.”

Clinton and her campaign argue that some Trump backers are racist and misogynistic and have sought to link him to the “alt-right” movement of self-avowed white nationalists, many of whom have rallied around his candidacy.

Trump was a leading and vocal proponent of the debunked conspiracy theory that the nation’s first black president was born overseas and thus not eligible for the White House. Obama released his long-form Hawaiian birth certificate in 2011, but Trump has never disavowed his earlier claims.

(h/t Washington Post)

Reality

First of all, President Obama was born in Hawaii. Shut up.

The first idea that Barack Obama was not a naturally born citizen can actually be traced back to 2004 with the loony racist ravings of Judah Benjamin and Andy Martin. But the origins of the birther conspiracy theory for the 2008 presidential cycle did indeed start with supporters of Hillary Clinton, but there is no evidence that it came from Clinton directly. Most of the noise from the idiot birther conspiracy theorists came after Jun 13, 2008, days after Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008.

While it is true there was some hand from Clinton supporters, the idea that she started it or was “all in” as Trump claimed, is pure fiction.

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