Recognize Donald Trump’s blatant lies during his presidency
After nearly two months in office, President Donald Trump’s political “honeymoon” with voters has been unprecedentedly characterized by excessive investigations, failed executive orders, false accusations and intra-party conflicts that have prevented any significant policy changes from coming to fruition. For a president who claimed that America “would get tired of winning so much,” it has become evident that this, like many other claims by our president, is simply false and, in many occasions, a flat out lie.
Many of this administration's significant policy proposals have come in the form of executive orders, due to the absence of a unified Republican party that is able to coalesce around any meaningful legislation. However, the president’s defense of these executive orders is traditionally based off factless claims. First, according to a Feb. 9 New York Times article, the president’s executive order attempting to restrict immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries was struck down by federal courts as unconstitutional. When his administration tried again with a new executive order that many politicians called “Muslim Ban 2.0”, the federal courts once again struck it down. This process is completely normal, as evident by many of former President Obama’s executive orders that were struck down by courts due to lawsuits from traditionally Republican states, but Trump’s remarks and reactions to this normalcy are troubling and unprecedented. On Feb. 6, the president falsely stated that only 109 people were affected by his travel ban — a complete lie, as this ban affected nearly 60,000 individuals, according to a Feb. 6 Politifact article. Furthermore, on Jan. 29, as an attempt to defend his executive orders, the president falsely stated that Christian refugees were not allowed in the U.S., according to the same article. This was a false assertion, as these refugees are, in fact, admitted into the United States. This series of falsehoods is common within this administration, as on Feb. 19 the president falsely implied that there had been terrorist attacks in Sweden, preventable by executive orders, as he proposed, according to a Feb. 19 Politifact article. The only issue was that there was no attack in Sweden — a lie, merely to defend a flawed legislative order. This resembles senior advisors such as Kellyanne Conway, who falsely claimed that there was a “Bowling Green Massacre” — a completely fabricated terrorist attack. These lies serve as a crucial indication not only that this legislation is severely flawed, but also that the president is entirely too comfortable lying to the public. Fudging the truth has always been a common practice in politics, but this president takes it to a new and more dangerous level where he blatantly lies about statements that can easily be disproved.
These false accusations and expressions are further seen in the Congressional hearings on Russian interference in the 2016 election. As the House Oversight Committee was hearing the testimony of FBI Director James Comey, the president was tweeting statements that contradicted the testimonies of his own intelligence community, according to a March 20 CNN article. The FBI Director confirmed that associates and members of the Donald Trump campaign were being investigated regarding the claims of Russian interference. While this statement only sheds some light on the secretive and complicated matter, it did directly refute the administration’s stance, as Trump was tweeting his own alternative facts during the hearing. It is true, we cannot jump on the facts, because we do not know all the details regarding this investigation. However, this hearing showcased that the president has and is continuing to directly lie to the American people in stating that there is no FBI investigation occurring regarding his campaign associates and their contact with Russia. The president should not be directly debunked in a live time hearing by the director of his own federal agency, as James Comey did on March 20. This also exposes the recurring theme of hypocrisy in this administration; multiple online news reports have shown members of the president’s administration, such as Kellyanne Conway and Reince Priebus, stating that Americans should not vote for any individual that is under an FBI investigation, according to a March 21 Huffington Post article. The president has repeatedly stated these accusations were false and a conspiracy by Democrats to explain why Hillary Clinton lost the election. Continuing the pattern of blame, Trump has suggested that Clinton associates were the true individuals who assisted and conspired with the Russian government, according to an April 2 article in the Hill. These accusations have no credible factual base to be supported; they are political tools used by this administration to continue the themes of scapegoating and projection that so deeply invigorated Trump’s core constituency support base.
These false accusations have consequences, most evidently seen in the president’s factless claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election. The consequences affect neither Trump nor his staff, but they influence the way Americans characterize and perceive the former president. Last week, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Ut.) stated that he received information on incidental tapping on Trump associates, information he shared with the White House before his own Committee Members in an unprecedented stance. However, according to a March 28 Washington Post article, it was revealed that this information actually came from the White House to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Ca), further showing his inability to chair this investigation in an objective manner. These lies may appear normal in the status quo, but it is unprecedented for one president to attack another in such a way, even for someone who gained his political fame in falsely asserting that Obama was not born in the U.S. These false accusations play well with the president’s core base, but it is crucial to pressure this administration to report the truth if Trump wants to keep his position in office.