Politifact seemed determined to pin their annual “Lie of the Year” on Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, noting that the “only real contenders were Trump’s.”
But not able to pinpoint any one lie that would rise to the occasion, the left-leaning outfit did the next best thing — they judged Trump on the total of everything he has ever said.
They even included a meme he re-tweeted on Twitter.
“PolitiFact has been documenting Trump’s statements on our Truth-O-Meter, where we’ve rated 76 percent of them Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire, out of 77 statements checked. No other politician has as many statements rated so far down on the dial,” Politifact said.
It’s entirely likely that no other candidate comes close to being fact-checked as often as Trump. In fact, all candidates combined may not equal the same number.
Among the false statements Politifact took into consideration were:
- “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down,” he said at a Nov. 21 rally in Birmingham, Ala. “And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”
- “The Mexican government … they send the bad ones over.”
- “Whites killed by whites — 16%. Whites killed by blacks — 81%,” said an image he shared on Twitter.
“Trump hasn’t apologized or backtracked on his statements,” the fact-checking entity said. “Instead, when challenged, he offers flimsy explanations and suggests he shouldn’t be held accountable — or simply insists he’s right.”
The candidate addressed the allegations of false statements in an interview Sunday with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
“People maybe call me out, but they turn out to be wrong, also,” Trump told Stephanopoulos. “And many of the things I’ve said — and I think just about all of them — they may have been controversial at one point, but they’re not controversial in the end, because people start to say, you know, Trump’s actually right.”
And one look at the polls suggests that an awful lot of people agree.
But even there, Politifact played down his lead by disparaging his base, saying “experts speculate that this is because Trump’s supporters, like their candidate, don’t mind the hyperbole.”
For the record, Politifact gave Trump his first ever “True” rating Sunday after evaluating his claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a 80 percent approval at home.
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