For a person who likes to label things “fake,” President Donald Trump is the king of fake. Here are some examples:
Fake pictures: Remember how upset Trump was about the size of his inauguration crowd compared to President Barack Obama’s? Independent pictures showed Obama’s crowd to be larger and this did not make Trump happy. He continued to insist that his crowd was “the biggest ever.” But pictures told a different story. Little did we know at the time the trouble Trump went to prove his point. According to a story in The Guardian, a government photographer admits that after talking to the president, he edited official pictures to make Trump’s crowd appear larger. The photographer said that he cropped the empty space where the crowd ended and gave the new pictures to Trump the next morning.
Fake supporters: In Billings, Montana, Tyler Linfesty was asked to leave a Trump rally because of the facial expressions he made in response to the president’s speech. Linfesty, a 17-year-old high school senior, was placed behind the president on the stage. In the middle of the rally, Linfesty was asked to leave and was replaced with a woman, who sufficiently demonstrated her appreciation for the president. Two other people on the stage who were not sufficiently applauding the president were also replaced. This was all going on as Trump was speaking as if no one was watching.
Fake News: After an anonymous op-ed was published in The New York Times, reportedly by a senior staffer in the White House, Trump declared that the letter was fake. The next day, however, he ordered the Attorney General to investigate and locate the staffer who wrote the letter because it was, according to Trump, a national security issue. But if the letter was fake, how would Trump expect the Justice Department to find the writer? As one late-night comic stated, if you just wait long enough, Trump will discredit his own lies.
Fake Economics: Having inherited a growing economy from President Barack Obama, the economy continues to do well under Trump. So one might think that just stating the facts would be good enough. Instead, team Trump can’t help exaggerating about the economy. Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee, recently stated that Trump had created 700,000 jobs for African-Americans since he had been in office compared to only 195,000 during President Obama’s administration. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics corrected the statement stating that Obama had created 3 million jobs for African-Americans. To her credit, Huckabee apologized for the error.
Of course, Trump never apologizes. On Sept. 10, Trump tweeted “The GDP Rate (4.2%) is higher than the Unemployment Rate (3.9%) for the first time in over 100 years!” But, according to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, “it has happened in 185 months since 1948 and most recently in 2006 when the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent and the GDP growth was 5.4 percent.”
Not only does Trump state falsehoods, but he also attributes false statements to others. On Sept. 10, Trump tweeted “’President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP,’ stated President Obama. I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this!” President Obama never made this statement about the GDP and, for the record, Obama exceeded 4.2 percent growth on three separate occasions. For Trump, however, 4.2 percent was “historic.”
Fake Outrage: Trump now says that the media “shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name.” Trump seems to forget the times he used anonymous sources to sell the falsehood that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. “An extremely credible source,” tweeted Trump in 2012, “has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” Another anonymous source told Trump in 2016 that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s father had been with Lee Harvey Oswald before Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy. “I mean,” said Trump on Fox News, “what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.”
It seems that anonymous sources are good when Trump uses them, but “disgraceful” when they are used about him. “I think it’s disgraceful that The New York Times would do it,” Trump said in reference to the newspaper using an anonymous source.
Fake Numbers: Trump has called into question the official number of deaths reported in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (just under 3,000). Trump hates numbers that reflect poorly on him or his administration. His outrage, however, is merely a distraction from the facts.