Trump Factchecker Chooses Donald Trump's 12 Top Lies of 2019, One From Each Month, and We're Not Sure How He Narrowed It Down
Journalist Daniel Dale began the presidency of President Donald Trump working as Washington DC bureau chief for the Canadian newspaper Toronto Star.
His expertise was called upon to head a new project for the Star tracking the "false claims" of Trump.
Along with many other news organizations, the Toronto Star decided the President's outright lies, misinformation or ignorance of facts would be a major story of the Trump presidency. In June 2019, Dale took his ability to discern Trump fact from Trump fiction to CNN.
So who better to compile a list of top Trump lies of 2019 than an expert fact checker like Dale?
On Tuesday, Dale posted on Twitter:
"Here are my picks for Donald Trump's top 12 lies of the year, one for every month."
"It was hard to choose."
Here are my picks for Donald Trump's top 12 lies of the year, one for every month. It was hard to choose. https://t.co/5qyZL1aEc8— Daniel Dale (@Daniel Dale)1577822899.0
For January, Dale picked a story Trump told over and over about human trafficking. During a January 14 speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation, Trump said:
"And they'll have women taped—their mouths with duct tape, with electrical tape. They tape their face, their hair, their hands behind their back, their legs."
"They put them in the backseat of cars and vans, and they go—they don't come in through your port of entry because you'd see them. You couldn't do that. They come in through our border, where we don't have any barriers or walls."
The story appeared to have come straight from a work of fiction the President may have seen on TV as researchers could find no basis for it in federal government records. According to those federal statistics, most human trafficking does occur through legal ports of entry and not in the backseat of cars or vans driven across the desert along the southern border.
@EffingGrim @ddale8 That’s how he keeps himself off the record. Bad outcomes of his lies are followed by: That’s no… https://t.co/ykq3oDw9Kq— liri (@liri)1577826138.0
In February after a real case of voting fraud perpetrated by a North Carolina Republican campaign, Trump responded to questions about the real voting fraud with lies about imaginary voter fraud in California. But the President's own task force on voter fraud disbanded after finding no proof of the imaginary widespread voter fraud Trump continues to talk about.
In March, the President offered a brand new explanation for asking Russia to help him with the 2016 election by claiming he was just joking.
In April came the doozy of windmill cancer.
#IWillNotTolerate windmill cancer, aka the silent menace. https://t.co/IBFn1DnEby— LifetimeSupplyOfPens (@LifetimeSupplyOfPens)1556467942.0
In May, Trump used a double lie to attack his former adversary, the late Senator John McCain. The President lied about his and McCain's involvement in the 2014 Veteran's Choice law. In June, Trump again maligned veterans and their families by lying about the suspension of the Korean War remains repatriation program.
In July, the President launched one of many attacks against women of color in Congress by lying about Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. In August, Trump lied again about the affects of his trade war he began with most of the United States trading partners, including close allies.
The President told reporters:
"We're not paying for the tariffs; China is paying for the tariffs, for the 100th time."
"And I understand tariffs very well. Other countries, it may be that if I do things with other countries—but in the case of China, China is eating the tariffs, at least so far."
September brought another outrageous moment with Sharpie-gate after someone altered a weather map with a black marker to change Hurricane Dorian's trajectory to match false statements from the President.
Trump and the hurricane: How much damage did he do? https://t.co/WoDhYPLpLK— Los Angeles Times (@Los Angeles Times)1568392380.0
@Leslie_A_Perry @ddale8 Also most blatant example of him forcing others to support his lie.— Wicked Savage Patriot (@Wicked Savage Patriot)1577826226.0
October's choice by Dale were the multitude of lies Trump told about the whistleblower. For November, Dale picked a lie that caused a live fact check by Fox News when the President claimed he had withdrawn all troops from Syria as opposed to only withdrawing troops from the areas of Syria held by Kurdish forces per his agreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
And finally, for December, Dale decided on another whopper with a tough choice between 10-15 flush toilets and dishwashers that you have to press 10-12 times.
Early in my career, I did a lot of stories about efficient appliances, washing machines, even urinals. Today all th… https://t.co/HQiw4hVl8S— Tamara Keith (@Tamara Keith)1577477297.0
Ultimately Dale chose dishwashers after this rambling MAGA rally speech from Trump:
"Dishwashers—we did the dishwasher, right? You press it—remember the dishwasher, you'd press it, boom, there'd be like an explosion, five minutes later you open it up, the steam pours out, the dishes."
"Now, you press it 12 times. Women tell me. Again, you know, they give you four drops of water. And they're in places where there's so much water, they don't know what to do with it."
"So we just came out with a reg on dishwashers—we're going back to you. By the way, by the time they press it 10 times, you spend more on water—and electric!"
"Don't forget. The whole thing is worse because you're spending all that money on electric. So we're bringing back standards that are great."
The purpose of the rambling diatribe was to justify Trump's push to deregulate more environmental protections.
President Trump said energy efficient light bulbs are why he looks "so orange." His railing against them fits with… https://t.co/hz4bIkyZNG— NPR (@NPR)1577509866.0
People called out Trump's lies as gaslighting.
Reading it all laid out likes makes me proud of us — as a country — that we haven't gone batshit insane from all of the Gaslight fumes we've endured.
— ⚜️Rob Anderson for Louisiana (@RobAnderson2018) December 31, 2019
@RobAnderson2018 @ddale8 Speak for yourself 🤪 https://t.co/2671I0mOxT— DevinNunesBigBoyPants (@DevinNunesBigBoyPants)1577826520.0
Others were upset that the lies were so plentiful.
@BishesBrew @ddale8 He even lies about lying as well as lying when he doesn't need to lie.— The Polunatic (@The Polunatic)1577828055.0
I'm really grateful for you and your tireless, stress-inducing, mostly thankless work, Daniel. Really. Facts and the truth matter and I'm glad you don't let us forget it. Cheers to you and yours.
— Worth Wollpert (@mtgworth) December 31, 2019
Here's my vote for photo of the year in response to the lies. pic.twitter.com/XkczinK2hf
— KevinlyFather 🇺🇲🇨🇦🇲🇼🇸🇿 (@KevinlyFather) December 31, 2019
Thank you! Great documentation for history. Who'd of believed this could be job? Tracking the president's lies. The lies alone are reason enough for impeachment.
— Jacquelyn Jacobs (@jjacobs1164) December 31, 2019
Thank you for giving us the top 12 list for 2019. There are so many lies it is hard to remember them individually.
— Jim Boyle (@JimGBoyle) December 31, 2019
👌 hard to chose among zillions pic.twitter.com/FZGF47DXa1
— 🌊 Jamie Allingham 🌊 (@JamieAllingham1) December 31, 2019
While one could hope the lies will lessen in 2020, history indicates otherwise. So Daniel Dale will be busy for as long as President Trump remains in office.
The book Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us is available here.