Donald Trump is the country’s most prominent spreader of fake news. Here are ten unquestionably fake news stories he has shared.
In 2009, Trump helped create fake news when the USA Network and WWE falsely reported that Trump was planning to buy “Monday Night RAW.” It turned out that it was all part of a wrestling storyline.
Trump spent years demanding that President Obama produce his birth certificate and other papers in response to false e-mails that Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim. He finally admitted Obama was born in this country in September, then accused Hillary Clinton of starting the lies about Obama.
In December 2011, Trump said President Obama “issued a statement for Kwanza but failed to issue one for Christmas.” That was provably false. (This photo is from 2014.)
Trump said in 2015 that “thousands and thousands of people were cheering” in Jersey City, N.J. when the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2011. Although some radio stations and websites reported celebrations in nearby Paterson, N.J., the city denied the reports.
In February 2016, Trump entertained conspiracy theories that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered when he said he was found with “a pillow on his face.” Alex Jones’ InfoWars had earlier reported on suggestions Scalia was killed. But the owner of the ranch where Scalia died later clarified that he did not have a pillow over his face.
In June 2016, Trump tweeted a photo that purported to show a family of African-Americans who supported him. But they told BuzzFeed they definitely did not.
In another case of Trump creating the fake news, he scored 22,000 retweets on Election Day by posting, “Just out according to @CNN: ‘Utah officials report voting machine problems across entire country.’” But it was just one county. No R.
After saying for months before election day that the vote would be rigged, Trump won. He subsequently said “million of people” voted illegally. A guy on Twitter who had tweeted that 3 million voted illegally declined to provide any source. Trump has continued to make baseless claims about millions of illegal voters since he took office.
Let’s give credit where its due: On Dec. 6, Trump fired one of his transition team staffers for tweeting a fake news story that led to an armed confrontation in a Washington, DC pizza restaurant. The issue became known as “pizzagate.”
On his first full day in office, Trump visited the Central Intelligence Agency and claimed 1.5 million people attended his inauguration. The New York Times said that photographs “disproved” that number. Vox did a deep dive into why Trump’s numbers appeared to be off. And a Texas NHL team, among others, made fun of him.
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