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Apr 15 2020

Lies 18,000!

A Market that will only go up.

It’s not for nothing that I will only call him Unindicted Co-Conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio.

Michael Cohen is still in Jail for paying off Stephanie Clifford and he did it for and at the direction of Unindicted Co-conspirator #1.

Bottomless Pinocchio? Well…

President Trump made 18,000 false or misleading claims in 1,170 days
By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Washington Post
April 14, 2020

When we last updated our database of President Trump’s false or misleading claims, it was on Jan. 19, the end of his third year as president. The president’s most frequently repeated false claim was that he presided over the best economy in the history of the United States.

The next day, the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus was reported in the United States. So, with this update through April 3, we’ve added a new category — coronavirus — that already has more than 350 items. Much has changed in the world, with stay-at-home orders, massive economic disruption and topsy-turvy securities markets, but one thing has remained constant — the president’s prolific twisting of the truth.

As of April 3, Trump’s 1,170th day in office, our database shows that he has made 18,000 false or misleading claims. That’s an average of more than 15 claims a day, though since our last update 75 days ago, he’s been averaging just over 23 claims a day. That’s slightly higher than the 22 a day he recorded in 2019.

With millions of Americans suddenly unemployed or facing cuts in pay, the president’s claims of an economic boom are woefully out of date. But that has not stopped him from recalling the pre-coronavirus environment with rose-colored glasses. “Again, we had the strongest economy in the world,” he said at a news conference on April 3. “We had our best ever. We had probably the best economy in the history of the world, bigger than China, bigger than anybody.”

Such economic statistics were a mainstay of the president’s campaign rallies, which were always a rich source of suspect claims. Before the pandemic forced the president to stop holding such events, he held seven rallies between Jan. 30 and March 2. Reading his remarks at those rallies now is like opening a time capsule, as he bragged about job numbers and dismissed the coronavirus as a problem akin to the flu that would magically disappear in April.

In a case of counting his chickens before they hatch, Trump repeatedly proclaimed he had the best unemployment numbers of any presidential term. But he was measuring his three-year average against full four- or eight-year terms. Given the swoon in the economy, it’s now doubtful he will have best record once his term is completed.

Grounded at home, the president has replaced the campaign rallies with his near-daily briefings at the White House on the pandemic. These news conferences have also been a rich source of misinformation. The president has over-promised (such as announcing a Google website that did not exist), sought undue credit or tried to pin the blame for the crisis on others.

For many weeks, Trump played down the emerging crisis. He frequently said there were only 15 cases and these patients would soon be better. He often claimed the low figure was the result of travel restrictions he placed on non-U.S. citizens traveling from China. At the time the virus was spreading rapidly through the United States, largely undetected because the Trump administration failed to quickly set up effective testing.

In early March, the case load started to explode. By March 4, there were more than 100 confirmed U.S. cases and six people had died. One week later, there were 800 cases and 27 deaths. By March 30, there were more than 165,000 cases and 3,000 deaths. By mid-April, the death toll in the United States topped 20,000.

Faced with a calamity, Trump suddenly began claiming that no one had seen this coming. But there have been repeated warnings that the United States was not prepared for a pandemic, including by Trump’s own administration. Numerous news articles documented how Trump dismissed or played down warnings by experts in his administration that the novel coronavirus could turn into a pandemic.

Trump’s top three most-repeated claims have remained the same.

His most repeated claim — 291 times — is that the U.S. economy today is the best in history. He began making this claim in June 2018, and it quickly became one of his favorites. As we noted, he’s trying to update it in the wake of the economic swoon. The president once could brag about the state of the economy, but he ran into trouble when he made a play for the history books. By just about any important measure, the pre-coronavirus economy was not doing as well as it did under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson or Bill Clinton — or Ulysses S. Grant. Moreover, the economy already was beginning to hit the head winds caused by Trump’s trade wars, with the manufacturing sector in an apparent recession.

About one in six of Trump’s claims are about immigration, his signature issue — a percentage that increased in early 2019 when the government was partly shut down over funding for his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In fact, his second-most-repeated claim — 256 times — is that his border wall is being built. Congress balked at funding the concrete barrier he envisioned, so he has tried to pitch bollard fencing and mostly repairs of existing barriers as “a wall.” The Washington Post has reported that the bollard fencing is easily breached, with smugglers sawing through it, despite Trump’s claims that it is impossible to get past.

Lately, Trump has once again begun falsely claiming the Mexico is paying for the border barrier, even though he had to raid the federal Treasury and delay military construction projects to obtain funding over Congress’s objections. And he has used the coronavirus outbreak to justify his push for the fencing, even though the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health experts say they haven’t seen evidence it can stop the virus from spreading.

Trump has falsely said 197 times that he passed the biggest tax cut in history. Even before his tax cut was crafted, he promised that it would be the biggest in U.S. history — bigger than President Ronald Reagan’s in 1981. Reagan’s tax cut amounted to 2.9 percent of the gross domestic product, and none of the proposals under consideration came close to that level. Yet Trump persisted in this fiction even when the tax cut was eventually crafted to be the equivalent of 0.9 percent of gross domestic product, making it the eighth-largest tax cut in 100 years. This continues to be an all-purpose applause line at the president’s rallies.

All three of these claims, of course, are on our list of Bottomless Pinocchios. It takes at least 20 repeats of a Three- or Four-Pinocchio claim to merit a Bottomless Pinocchio, and there are now 37 entries.

Q.E.D.