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Thursday, June 20, 2019

CNN fact checks Trump’s big Orlando rally and it’s a gigantic bag of lies



ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JUNE 18: U.S. President Donald Trump stands with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who announced that she is stepping down as the White House press secretary, during his rally where he announced his candidacy for a second presidential term at the Amway Center on June 18, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.  President Trump is set to run against a wide open Democratic field of candidates. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Put them on a stage together and what do you get?  Two people and millions of lies.

Since Donald Trump first hit the public sphere back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in New York City, as a slumlord-turned-wealthy-slumlord, he’s been a one man propaganda machine.

Early on Trump learned that while he would always disappoint everyone in his life, he could say he hadn’t disappointed anyone.

He could pretend that he was the greatest at everything and with money and volume, he could convince mostly himself, and that would be enough to allow him to keep himself from staring into the dark chasm where his integrity and talent was supposed to be. On Tuesday, Trump held his largest 2020 campaign rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, to announce (officially) that he’s running for president for a second term.

Showing up for his rally, Trump has been met by an anti-endorsement from the traditionally conservative newspaper the Orlando Sentinel, who endorsed “anyone but Trump.” Of course all of that means nothing to a man who has no intention of talking about what a failure he is as president.  In fact, CNN decided to do a fact check on Trump’s speech, the speech that took about 20 minutes of griping about the Democratic Party and an appearance by the sadder version of Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., before it got started.

Trump explained to everyone within earshot that the United States oil and gas industry had been under attack from the Obama administration, but now under Trump, the U.S. was “the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world." Big news. Except the United States became the “number-one producer” of those things in 2012.

Trump claimed to have done more in the first 2 ½ years in office than any other president, while fighting an “illegal,” investigation into his campaign’s relationship with Russia. This of course is untrue. Trump also claimed a $40 million price tag on the Mueller investigation with nothing in the record to explain where that number comes from.

Trump reiterated the refrain that the Democratic Party previously supported the same border wall that Trump wanted to build. Trump also explained that the wall he was having built was “It's moving rapidly. Moving very rapidly." Neither of these things are accurate, the latter being so inaccurate it is simply a lie. But Trump is gearing up to run on the same things he ran on the first time and has not yet accomplished, and there is another pointless and hurtful government shutdown on the horizon. 

Those lies do not even take into account moments like this:

Trump told the Orlando audience that the air and water in the United States, under him, has never been cleaner. This, is the opposite of true. The statement comes after a week where former EPA heads criticized the Trump administration’s dismantling of science in the agency, as well as an announcement on Wednesday that the Trump administration would be rolling back the Obama-era regulations on how much emissions coal plants could spew into the “clean” air. And then there is this statement, about HER EMAILS! 

"Thirty-three thousand emails deleted, think of it. I keep mentioning, you know, there was a lot of corruption on the other side. But you know, the simplest thing: they get a subpoena from the United States Congress and they decide that they're not going to give it. So, Lindsey Graham, they did delete and they acid wash, which is very expensive. Nobody does it. They acid wash those emails, never to be seen again. But we may find them somewhere deep in the State Department." As CNN explains, the program used to delete Clinton’s emails is a free program called “BleachBit.” It’s a computer program. It is neither bleach nor acid.

Trump offered up a lot of factual incorrect word salad statements about his trade war with China and how it works and how our tariffs affect the American worker. It’s hard to parse how incorrect Trump is, in part because what he says doesn’t actually make sense. It sounds like english and it reads like english, but in the end it’s just some kind of dark magic trick of sulfur. Likewise with Trump’s statements on American trade and manufacturing, where he told the Orlando audience that the American auto-industry had not built manufacturing plants in “decades,” while touting new plant developments in a number of states. Even the states that Trump takes credit for had built manufacturing plants within the last decade. He also gave misleading statistics on the growth of manufacturing jobs under Obama (who inherited the shitty Bush Republican economic crash).

But probably the most egregious and craven was Trump’s healthcare claims, about veterans and Americans in general. His assertion that it was he who passed the “VA Choice Act,” something that was worked on by Sens. John McCain and Bernie Sanders, and signed into law in 2014 by President Obama, was a particularly grotesque conflation. Trump did what he did best, put his name onto a project that everyone else worked on and got up and running, long before his sorry visage appeared. He also reiterated something that has not been true and, barring divine intervention, will not be true under a Trump administration: 

"And we will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions. Always, always."

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