Trump’s untruths are piling up and Biden is also mistaken about the facts. Do voters care?

(Jeff Dean/Associated Press)

Trump’s untruths are piling up and Biden is also mistaken about the facts. Do voters care?

Election 2024

James Rainey

April 12, 2024


President Trump had another one of his screeds about how Democratic prosecutors were prosecuting him,


he was more investigated by the Democrats than by Billy the Kid, Jesse James and Al Capone combined.

The crowd at a 2022 rally in North Carolina seemed to eat it up, laughing heartily as Trump concluded: I think I may be the most honest human being that God ever created. The audience burst into applause.

As Trump campaigns to retake the White House, polls show Republicans are increasingly willing to accept his pronouncements, even if it is a cottage industry.


Heckers suggests that reality lies elsewhere. That’s because his grievances and complaints about a besieged America seem to ring true in the guts of a large segment of the population, who therefore


as a truth teller, said Steve Schmidt, for a long time

time Republican political consultant.

So Trump is two things at once, says Schmidt, who writes a blog about national politics that portrays the 45th president as a demagogue and a threat to democracy. He is simultaneously the most prolific liar in the history of American politics, and he is the most honest president we have ever had.

Donald Trump “is simultaneously the most prolific liar in the history of American politics, and he is the most honest president we’ve ever had.”

Several major media outlets had established fact-checking teams before Trump rose to prominence. In 2016


The New York Times made what was then portrayed as a momentous move when it named then-candidate Trumps


that President Obama was not born in America is a lie.


When the former reality show host won the presidency, fact-checking outfits went into overdrive.

The Washington Post counted 30,573 false or misleading claims made by Trump during his speech


In many cases this involved recidivism, such as the more than 800 claims about election fraud, which were roundly rejected by the court. After his 1,000th birthday

fact checking of

Trump this year, PolitiFact


reported being completely or mostly wrong more than three-quarters of the time.

It’s not unusual for politicians from both parties to mislead, exaggerate or make things up, PolitiFact reported, which didn’t stop President Biden from finding that 41% of nearly 300 of his statements were completely or mostly false. But American

fact checkers

I have never encountered a politician who shares Trump’s disdain for factual accuracy.

Trump’s core supporters show no sign of being deterred.

An example of this came this month, when Trump used a campaign event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to renew his long-running crusade against undocumented immigrants.

Trump uses the death of Ruby Garcia to portray immigrants as ‘animals’

Trump told the story of Ruby Garcia, whose alleged killer was in the country illegally. Trump called her one

beautiful… me

incredible young woman. He said he had spoken to some of her family about her tragic death.

But Garcia’s sister soon told Ken Kolker of the local NBC News affiliate that Trump had not spoken to anyone in the Garcia family. And Mavi Garcia did not appreciate that the former president had turned the death of her 25-year-old sister into a political talking point.

He hasn’t spoken to any of us,” Mavi Garcia told Target 8.

The Trump campaign did not respond to requests from The Times and other news outlets to discuss the discrepancy.

The episode


could have been a showstopper in American politics, a


and perhaps the future president called upon by an ordinary American. But there were no signals from supporters objecting to the mistake.


the Garcia incident quickly became part of the ambient noise of a campaign that promises to become increasingly louder and uglier.

A recent Washington Post survey found that Republicans are less likely than during Trump’s presidency to acknowledge his untruths.

When asked whether Trump regularly makes misleading statements, the share of Republicans who say he does so fell by 10 percentage points to 38

%,per cent,

compared to 2018. And the percentage of Republicans who say Trump usually makes outright false claims fell to 8

% per cent

from 14

%.per cent. Trump is about to stand trial in New York. This is what you can expect

Reporting on Trump’s claims about Ruby Garcia also pointed to other questionable comments from him that day.

PolitiFact, run by a Florida-based journalism education organization, the Poynter Institute, focused on Trump’s inflammatory and untrue claim that Venezuela was emptying its prisons and sending criminals to the United States.

United States

. It also noted that “violent crime and homicides have generally declined under Joe Biden’s presidency.”, run by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, focused on how Trump’s statements on immigration were misleading.


on the outer western border, were 14.7% higher in Trump’s final year in office than in the last full year before he was sworn in. Arrests reached a record high at the end of 2023, during Biden’s term in office.

On Fox News, host Bret Baier asked whether Trump’s claim was dismissed by Garcia’s sister. But commentator Charles Hurt never addressed the apparent untruth and justified Trump’s comments as being about something of great importance to people. Hurt shifted the topic to another family whose daughter was killed in an accidental shooting committed by a man who illegally migrated from Mexico.

Compare the widely divergent reporting on Trump

and Ruby Garcia on reports of an earlier incorrect statement by Biden about where he was the day after



In September last year, it was President Biden who was called out for a falsehood when he said on the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America that he had visited Ground Zero

in the

day after the World Trade Center towers were destroyed


2001. In fact, huh


nine days later he joined a congressional delegation there.

Why Biden gets little credit for the economy, especially in California

Many outlets including MSNBC, NBC, CNN,


PolitiFact reported Biden’s incorrect statement. A Wall Street Journey story asked: Was that a blunder born of fatigue, an honest mistake or an exaggeration by a president with a tendency to drop himself in the middle of the action?

The Washington Post,


New York Times and


Los Angeles Times did not report the episode, although the Post quoted a critic who attacked Biden for celebrating the anniversary in Alaska.

Fox spent much of its best time roasting Biden for lying about his attendance at Ground Zero in September


12, where Sean Hannity invited several guests to trash the president for the 9/11 commemoration in a location other than New York City, the Pentagon or Shanksville, P

A. enn.

Although Biden spoke from a U.S. airbase responding to the attacks, the Fox commentators said


his behavior is disgraceful.

In general, Biden was less prone to the kinds of unscripted moments


Heckers love it, says PolitiFact

Editor-in-chief Editor-in-chief

Katie Sanders, who partly explains why so many of Trump’s statements have come under scrutiny.

When a politician speaks casually, without carefully prepared comments in front of him, they tend to be less accurate,” Sanders said.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a political communications scholar and co-founder of, said responses to misstatements often fit together well.

worn out stories. Biden’s critics belittle the 81-year-old’s memory and mental abilities. Trump’s critics point to his history of lying.

Column: Biden’s memory is failing. That’s Trump. The question is whose mistakes are more dangerous. Trump himself boasted in his 1987 memoir that he had mastered the art of exaggeration. “People want to believe that something is the biggest, the grandest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole,” Trump wrote. “It’s a harmless form of exaggeration and a very effective form of promotion.”

Whether the campaign’s falsehoods make a lasting impression on voters depends on many factors, including whether they become the subject of ads, a memorable debate moment or a campaign meme, Jamieson said.

“Joe the Plumber”

became a recurring character in the 2008 presidential campaign as Ohio’s Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher pressured then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama on whether his tax plan would hurt small businesses. Senator John McCain of Arizona, an opponent of Obama’s Republic, brought Wurzelbacher to future campaign events and made sure his views were highlighted in the final debate between the candidates.

Jamieson said confirmation bias has always been a hallmark of true political believers, but it has only increased in the Trump era on both sides.

It’s a way to make sense of just about anything, Jamieson said, explaining how people sometimes process unfavorable messages. They’re already in their tribe, so if there’s a dissonant message, you can reduce that dissonance by saying it doesn’t matter, or it doesn’t change the candidates’ allegiance on a core issue.

Times researcher Scott Wilson contributed to this report.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles