Trump Fake News: 3 times the president has had to walk back his outrageous claims
On Monday, President Donald Trump claimed the media was deliberately covering up terrorist attacks.
"It's happening," Trump said at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. "It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand them."
It was a honey of an accusation, and delivered with a complete lack of evidence — as is his wont.
But shortly after, White House press secretary Sean Spicer re-characterized the coverage of those attacks as "underreported."
"There’s a lot of instances that have occurred where I don’t think they’ve gotten the coverage it deserved," Spicer said. (The White House provided a list of 78 such attacks; among them was the 2015 shooting in San Bernadino, which the Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer for covering.)
It was just the latest instance of the White House having to walk back an outrageous claim made by Trump. Here are just a few other instances of the Trump administration backtracking.
Trump claims up to five million people voted illegally in 2016.
In an interview with Bill O'Reilly before the Super Bowl on Sunday, Trump appeared to backpedal a bit, though he stopped well short of conceding he was wrong.
Trump had been discussing what he called a "bad situation" involving dead people he claims voted and people registered in multiple states — you know, like his top strategist Steve Bannon and members of his own family.
O'Reilly reminded Trump that "the data has to show that 3 million illegals voted" for his assertion that voter fraud cost him the popular vote to hold water.
"Forget that," Trump responded. "Forget all that. Just take a look at the registration, and we’re going to do it. And I’m going to set up a commission to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence, and we’re going to look at it very carefully."
Trump says he saw video footage of the U.S. delivering cash to Iran.
The video did not exist, despite him repeating the claim at two separate rallies; without admitting he had been incorrect, Trump eventually backed off the claim on Twitter.
Trump claims Obama was an illegitimate president.
Trump's signature lie was that former President Barack Obama was not a legitimate president, a racist conspiracy theory he continued to promulgate even after the former president released his birth certificate.
In September 2016, Trump finally admitted that Obama was born in the United States by way of making another erroneous claim: that Hillary Clinton "started the 'birther' controversy."
"I finished it," he insisted.