The 8 Big Lies About Donald Trump

the biggest lies about trump

Liar. Tyrant. Racist. Nazi. These are some of the choice descriptors America’s scribbling class applies to Donald Trump. While they’re busy consuming hours of free coffee shop Wi-Fi and furiously pounding out hyperventilating opinion pieces we decided to look at the eight big lies being told about Donald Trump.

1) He lies all the time. This rings particularly hollow to anyone who has ever followed politics even a little bit. But pundits from Stephen Colbert on the Left to National Review on the Right sling the same mud.  These pundits spit it out with such vehemence it’s as if they, like Captain Renault, are shocked, (shocked!) to discover lying in politics. Did they just find out? Do they think their favored candidates don’t lie? Let’s face it, in politics there’s lying and there’s lying. There’s “I’m going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it” – he’ll build the wall, but who cares who pays for it? – and there’s “I didn’t have a private email server and I definitely didn’t send national security secrets on the illegal email server that I didn’t have.” Anyone who can’t tell the difference should not comment on politics.

2) He hates the First Amendment. This one is obviously popular among journalists. Trump, they assure us, is one executive order away from seizing printing presses, shutting down the internet, and forcing bloggers out of their basements and back into the labor pool. But what did he actually say? Remarkably little as it turns out. All of the hand wringing revolves around  two comments about libel laws. His most recent was  an August 14 tweet:

“It is not ‘freedom of the press’ when newspapers and others are allowed to say and write whatever they want even if it is completely false!”

The question fair-minded observers should ask:, how does what Trump says compare to existing jurisprudence on the subject? And on that basis, Trump’s comments seem much more benign—and his accusers motives much more malignant—than most of the commentary suggests. Under current law in order to prove that a publisher is guilty of libel against a public figure requires proof of “actual malice” which is defined as “knowing that (a statement) is false or acting with reckless disregard for the statement’s truth or falsity.” In that light, Trump’s comments seem to square pretty well with existing law.

3) Trump praised the Tiananmen Square massacre. This seems to be the official position not just of Leftist outlets but also the likes of  National Review. NRO editor Charles C.W. Cooke said exactly that. Jonah Goldberg reiterated the charge while participating in a panel at Hillsdale College on Constitution Day.

Here’s what Trump actually said in an interview with Mark Bowden in Playboy:

“You mean firm hand as in China?” Trump answered, “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak… as being spit on by the rest of the world… ” [Emphasis added]

To believe the NR slur, you have to believe that when Trump calls the Chinese government’s actions against students in Tiananmen Square “vicious” and “horrible” that he meant it as a compliment. Any honest reader knows he did not, making their claims, at a minimum, mendacious.

Trump’s larger point and the one which his detractors obstinately refuse to see, is that he wants to see an America that is strong and self-confident rather than one that is weak and disrespected. He contrasts the “strength” of the Chinese government, which he describes as “vicious” and “horrible,” with an America he believed was seen as weak. How is a country seen as weak supposed to deal effectively with a regime prepared to use its own strength for such vicious, horrible ends? “Peace through strength,” after all, was at the core of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign.

Such straightforward talk makes Leftists and Beltway conservatives uncomfortable. They love Reagan in the rearview mirror but their political forebears—in Mitt Romney’s case, literally his father—were horrified by Reagan, who was portrayed alternately as an unstable cowboy or an amiable dunce. Most ordinary Americans have a natural preference for their own and believe—rightly—that we should keep our own house in order, husband our strength, and use it to advance the interests of our own people. But Beltway types, drunk on a few decades of post-Cold War American hegemony, believe that America can only be good when she is acting in the interest of others and against the self-interest of her own people. They are like the heirs to a great fortune who are completely unaware of how the fortune was earned or what it takes to keep it.

4) Trump is a crypto-fascist in a red power tie. This meme does violence to the threat and memory of actual tyrants and speaks more to the emasculating of American culture than to Trump’s political designs. Trump speaks in the first person and in direct, declarative sentences. He says things like, “I’m going to build the wall” rather than talking in the fuzzy, non-committal third person so common among politicians who don’t want to get pinned down. Trump’s straightforward style is a foreign language to Gen Xers and Millennials for whom irony, serial, parenthetic caveats, and snark are the holy trinity of rhetoric. In most walks of life plain speaking is considered commendable. But in current year politics and our culture our best and brightest can’t tell the difference between a declarative sentence and a tyrant.

5) He’s not really pro-life . Believing this really relies on believing #1, “He’s a liar.” But for people who want to know the truth, the history here is important. It is no secret that as recently as 1999 Donald Trump supported legal abortion but with an important qualifier. Here’s what he told Tim Russert:

“I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject. But you still—I just believe in choice. And, again, it may be a little bit of a New York background, because there is some different attitude in different parts of the country…

This is an unfortunate but common position for many people of Trump’s generation and older – people who came of age before Roe v. Wade, before many people had thought seriously about abortion, and before ultrasounds. The position amounts to, “It makes my stomach turn, but I don’t want to get involved in anyone else’s personal business.” The position is morally untenable, but was common. It’s very similar to the position once held by Ronald Reagan before he underwent his own conversion and is still the stock response from Democrats looking for Roman Catholic votes in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

But Trump changed. In 2011 he told CBN in a lengthy interview, “One thing about me, I’m a very honorable guy. I’m pro-life, but I changed my view a number of years ago.” Trump says he changed his position after seeing and knowing the son of a friend whose mother had considered abortion. He explained to LifeNews that “As I’ve grown older, as I’ve seen things happen in life, I’ve changed my views — and others have also.”

There is no reason other than malignant obstinacy to doubt Trump’s sincerity. And unless you believe the “he’s a liar” meme, it’s out of character. Trump had no political reason to change his views in the mid-2000s – it’s not like he has shown any reticence in smashing Republican shibboleths.

6) Trump can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes. This can only mean that he will intentionally or through sheer recklessness or foolishness precipitate a nuclear war. With whom? The idea that Trump would needlessly launch a nuclear first-strike is laughable. Anyone who thinks Donald Trump is that crazy needs to have their own head examined.

The more common version of this is that Trump is a brash, unthinking, buffoon—a cowboy with a big mouth who will instigate an international crisis that will result in another country launching a nuclear strike on the United States. But does this sound plausible to anyone who is stone sober in the cold light of day? Anyone who believes this needs to name names: What country will use nuclear weapons against the United States and how will it be Trump’s fault? And if that country can be named—North Korea? Iran?—are they not already a major threat that needs to be neutralized rather than bribed?

7) Trump is a racist and anti-Semite. Ben Carson doesn’t seem to think so. Neither do other black supporters of The Donald, from Diamond and Silk to Don King, Mike Tyson, and Terrell Owens. And until he ran for president as a Republican, the hip-hop community idolized Trump, dropping his name or naming songs after him no less than 67 times. Artists paying homage to Trump included superstars like Kanye West, Ice Cube, and Lil’ Wayne.

The claim that Trump is a Jew-hater is even more ridiculous. His own daughter, Ivanka converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner. She keeps a kosher home, observes the sabbath, and raises her children—Donald’s grandchildren—as Jews. Ivanka is also one of her father’s most active and powerful surrogates on the campaign trail. Sheldon Adelson, one of this country’s most prominent Jewish Republicans and tireless supporters of Israel doesn’t seem to think Trump is anti-Semitic or anti-Israel either and has pledged millions to support his campaign.

Rather, the accusation of racism is largely based on Trump’s promise to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. To the Left and Davosie Right, this is prima facie evidence of racism. It’s not. Preference for one’s own is not hatred of the other. And being President of the United States requires a preference for the American people and the American nation over all others.

8) Trump is not a conservative. This is a favorite. And if conservatism is defined by the Bushes and their fellow travellers and enablers, it is mostly true. At least, it’s more true than the other accusations which are distortions or outright falsehoods. Still, Trump’s program of secure borders, economic nationalism, and interests-based foreign policy sounds conservative to most ears and hearkens back to an older and more distinctly American conservatism.

The people most likely to claim that Trump is “not a conservative” do so under the false assumption that checklist conservatism is an end in itself and that calling Trump a heretic will win them the day. To take the analogy to its logical conclusion, the accusers are defending the conservative catechism while Trump is defending the church – America – itself. The accusation itself, in the context of this election, is self-referential in the extreme.

Professional conservatives and their followers only seem to talk about saving “conservatism” – whatever that has become – while Donald Trump talks about making America great again. They sound like the promoters of self-interested factions Madison warned about in Federalist 10 while Trump sounds like a patriot. It’s no wonder Trump won the primaries handily.

He spoke to voters as Americans not as members of demographic or ideological factions looking for patronage. What has become clear during this cycle is that where Democrats have led many Republicans have followed. The Left views the country as a mosaic of grievance groups defined by race, class, or sexual preference and has taught the Right to do the same thing, though with a more ideological tinge. Sure, all of these sub-categories exist and are important, but Trump’s common-sense genius is that he understands that the ties that bind are more important. He speaks to Americans not as members of a group but as fellow citizens. The language of Americanism has been unlearned but it is not forgotten. Hearing it again has awakened in many the promise of a greater, more unified, more American nation.

About Chris Buskirk

Chris is publisher and editor of American Greatness and the host of The Chris Buskirk Show. He was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute and received a fellowship from the Earhart Foundation. Chris is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses in financial services and digital marketing. He is a frequent guest on NPR's "Morning Edition." His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Hill, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @TheChrisBuskirk

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17 responses to “The 8 Big Lies About Donald Trump”

  1. Rather, the accusation of racism is largely based on Trump’s promise to enforce the nation’s immigration laws. To the Left and Davosie Right, this is prima facie evidence of racism. It’s not. Preference for one’s own is not hatred of the other. And being President of the United States requires a preference for the American people and the American nation over all others.

    Exactly. Trump wants immigration laws enforced, is skeptical about industry-killing trade deals, and opposes mindless military operations. While the left-wing will downplay their behind-the-scenes support of endless warfare, and the Davoisie Right will pay lip service to the Rule of Law, they are united against these three pillars of Trumpism. To oppose open borders, mass migration, unquestioned one-way trade, and intervention in the latest troubles in NoOneGivesADamnStan is to be subjected to the wrath of the Davoisie Right and the left-wing.

    Trump has survived that wrath and thrived. The paradigm has shifted forever.

  2. Here’s another one, and it’s a doozy.

    “Trump said that “I could shoot somebody on Firth Avenue and not lose any support”.”

    He never said it. He did say “They say that my people are so loyal that I could shoot somebody on Firth Avenue and not lose any support.” And various people have dishonestly edited out the first part of that statement, the part starting with “They” and ending with “that”.

    • Ahem, you might want to watch the video that shows Trump himself making this claim in exactly the context and exactly the words as reported by both liberal and conservative media.

      Trump: “They say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that?” He then goes on to say, verbatim, “Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone (while making a shooting gesture with his right hand) and I wouldn’t lose any voters (while making another gesture with both arms to express incredulity). In the next sentence saying “Okay, it’s like incredible.”

      To put this into plain English, what Trump referred to when he said “They say” was that he had “the most loyal people”. But he did NOT say that “they say that he could shoot someone….” HE himself said that about his own people.

      Apart from Trump’s claim there is no known record of anyone, friend or foe, actually ever saying about Trump’s voters that he could shoot someone and not lose their support. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, only Trump himself has ever made this claim. This is Trump’s and no one else’s claim.

      And in no way did Trump express any kind of remorse regarding this intensity of loyalty. Why would he? He’s clearly proud of it, so much so that he manufactured this claim — purely metaphorical in spirit, without any question — that he could murder someone and not lose political support. On its face, that’s absurd. It cannot be true that if Trump were to actually murder someone that his supporters would stick with him and it cannot be true that Trump, literally, would believe this. And it cannot be true that anyone else would have ever made this claim, even metaphorically.

      Let’s review where are with this comment:

      1. Trump is so proud of the intense loyalty of his voters that he would have us believe, at least for illustrative purposes, that he could commit murder in borad daylight and not lose political support.

      2. Trump invented this claim. No one else is known or recorded to have made this claim. Not even once.

      3. The real point he was trying to make to his audience, that his base of support is so strong that he could literally (not really literally, but at that moment he would have had us believe “literally”) get away with murder and not lose political support.

      As we can be very sure Trump was speaking metaphorically and not literally, and in no way could we ever expect Trump to test his hypothesis, it was at worst a harmless, classic Trumpist braggadocio. But it does betray an alarming absurdity in his manner of speech. Instead of making the simple point that his supporters are so loyal that they’d be willing, let’s say, walk through driving snow or whatever colorful imagery comes to mind, he chose to make a remarkably tasteless and morbid comment, which in truth speaks ill of his supporters.

      In no way was Trump disapprovingly remarking on a quote originating from someone else. He invented this claim on the spot as it came to his mind and was proud of his rhetorical flourish. He wasn’t literally correct as there is no doubt that if he were to commit murder on Fifth Avenue his political support would collapse, but he does have a very good point that he can get away words and deeds that no other politician in the history of the United States could ever get away with. Such is the intensity of his political support.

      • Liberals and “true conservatives have no sense of humor. So glad I’m no longer a true conservative and got on the #TrumpTrain

      • Ahem. You’re astonishingly stupid.

        NO, it was “they” who said that that Trump could shoot somebody on Firth Avenue and not lose any support.

        Trump was commenting on a quote originating from somebody else.

        he did NOT say that “they say that he could shoot someone….” HE himself said that about his own people.

        You’re either lying, as usual, or you’re displaying remarkable stupidity, as usual. He’s referring to one of the many, many ridiculous insults thrown at Trump’s supporters by the anti-Trump brigade, insults which included calling them “white trash”, “trailer-park trash”, “neo-nazis”, “white supremacists”, and “easily led”.

      • I’ve quoted you Trump’s own words directly and provided the video for you to watch for yourself. Yet you deny what is undeniable, that NO ONE ELSE ever said “Trump could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue…”. Trump and only Trump said that about himself. No one else, not even one of his supporters, has ever said “Trump could murder someone and not lose support.”

        Trump has a rhetorical idiosyncrasy, which is to the use the word “OK” to emphasize the truth of the previous sentence. For example:

        “We are only going to have great trade deals, OK.”

        The use of the word “OK” in this context is intended to reaffirm to his audience the truth of what he is saying, that he means what he (and not someone else) says.

        When Trump said, while point at his audience with a gun-finger:

        “They say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that?” “Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I wouldn’t lose any voters. “Okay, it’s like incredible.”

        It’s absolutely true that “they” have said he has the most loyal people. That observation had been made by his supporters and his critics alike. Trump then went from what “they” said to an illustration of the intensity of his supporters’ support, on the spot inventing this image of his supporters standing by him after a hypothetical shooting on Fifth Avenue. Expressing incredulity, he said “Okay, its like incredible.” Harmless (though not at all presidential) stuff, actually, so why deny it?

        But if you’re right, that someone else said that about Trump and that he was only quoting this alleged “they” with respect to his ability to get away with murder in the eyes of his supporters, then please provide me that quote from this other person or persons (he claimed “they”, right?). Who, exactly, are “they” who allegedly said this? In truth, no one except Trump himself.

        This is the problem with Trump supporters. They hear his own words and, knowing that they can at times be absurd, and knowing that they can’t believe what he literally said, convince themselves that he said something other than what he actually said.

        The only rational explanation, and one that doesn’t hurt him politically, at all, is the one I’ve given. He invented a claim that no one else has ever made, that he could commit murder on Fifth Avenue and not lose his support. Others have observed that his supporters are intensely loyal to him, but no one else — not even Hillary — has ever claimed that he could murder someone and not lose support. That claim is a pure invention by Trump, a point made to underscore the observation that his supporters are indeed intensely loyal to him. It was an unnecessary boast on his part and one that itself never cost him political support, so it’s not clear to me why one of supporters, including a blindly loyal Trump can’t read Trump’s own words and accept them for them for what they are — a harmless, though tasteless, boast, would make wet his pants denying them.

        This Trump supporter right here proves the broader point that Trump made that day, that Trump would (almost) literally say or do anything and his supporters will stick by him.

      • In context, Severn is still right. I remember clearly the first time this came up, I was watching Trump’s rally at the time and I had watched the previous Fox program where it was said. Severn is right in both cases.

      • The main problem with this theory, that Trump was merely referring to what “they say”, is that no one else has ever actually said this about Trump’s supporters.

        The words he spoke are pretty straightforward:

        “You know what else they say about my people? The polls, they say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s like incredible,” Trump said.

        Let me help everyone here once again with the meaning of the words he spoke. There’s no question about the first two sentences, where he said “You know what they say about my people? The polls, the say I have the most loyal people.”

        So far, so good. It’s true that others have noted the intense loyalty of Trump supporters, proven once again here on this thread.

        But the rest of the paragraph is pure Trump. No one can seriously believe that “they” would say the sentence “Did you ever see that?” This is where Trump goes from quoting others (allegedly) to his own words, beginning with the very transitional sentence “Did you ever see that?” Trump never said that “they say” that Trump should shoot someone…. The words are right there.

        However, if there were any proof that someone — anyone — made this claim about Trump then we could concede that Trump was referring to what this person or “they” said about Trump. But in the absence of a scintilla of evidence that anyone else made this outrageous claim about Trump, that he could murder someone in broad daylight and not lose political support, the claim that Trump was referring to “they” is baseless.

      • No dice! You are lying! …I still hear President Trump saying “THEY SAY that because my people are so loyal…THEY SAY that I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and my people (his supporters9 they would still vote for me and I wouldn’t lose any voters!” He is reporting what the news media said about us….as Trump supporters and not what Trump himself says about us! BIG DIFFERENCE!

  3. A very good and honest article about America’s 45th President, Donald Trump. Those who actually take the time to watch his speeches and read his words usually will fully support Trump.

  4. Professional conservatives and their followers only seem to talk about saving “conservatism” – whatever that has become – while Donald Trump talks about making America great again.

    And there’s the money shot right there. What, in our public life in 2016, is worth conserving? A restoration in order is what’s in order, and that is what Trump is promising.

  5. Absolutely spot on. 100% correct. Thanks for a great article. Please don’t let NR get you down. They are yesterday’s news, and will be left with no influence whatsoever.
    NR knows every rebuttal you laid out. It’s not about any of that. It’s about NR and their master, Bill Kristol, and his Insidious Minions, keeping power. Screw them.

    • NR is controlled by the editor of the Weekly Standard? Next you’ll say that Obama was born in Kenya or the Cruz family killed JFK.