The Trump Administration has taken to using the term “fake news” to describe factually accurate reporting that it does not like, while the President and his team churn out actual lies dressed up as facts. Here are some examples from Trump’s first month in office:
Fake News Bulletin: White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, talking to reporters on January 21, backed up Trump’s delusional claims about his Inauguration crowd size, saying “This was the largest audience to ever witness an Inauguration—period—both in person and around the globe.”
The Truth: More people attended Bill Clinton’s first Inauguration in 1993 and Barack Obama’s Inaugurations in 2009 and 2013, and maybe others. Asked about this falsehood, Trump aide Kellyanne Conway said Spicer was providing “alternative facts.”
Fake: Trump, in a January 25 interview with ABC, claimed he had received, during a speech to CIA employees, “the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl.”
Truth: The staffers had no choice but to give Trump standing ovations. They were never invited to sit down.
Fake: During a February 9 meeting with U.S. Senators, Trump claimed he would have won New Hampshire last fall were it not for “thousands” of people “brought in on buses” from Massachusetts to vote “illegally.” His policy director, Stephen Miller, reiterated this claim a few days later, saying, “Everybody’s aware of the problem in New Hampshire.”
Truth: There is no evidence of significant voter fraud in New Hampshire or anywhere else.
Fake: Speaking to military commanders on February 6, the Commander-in-Chief asserted that terrorist attacks are happening “all over Europe” but “the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.”
Truth: There is no evidence for Trump’s claim, and his administration’s list of seventy-eight undercovered attacks included exhaustively covered attacks in France, Belgium, and the United States.
Fake: Trump, during a February 7 meeting with county sheriffs, claimed “the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in forty-seven years.” He said this was not well known “because the press doesn’t tell it like it is.”
Truth: The U.S. murder rate has declined steadily for decades and in 2015 was less than half that of its peak in 1980.
Fake: In a February 12 interview on ABC, adviser Stephen Miller argued that the Trump team had “done more in three weeks than most presidents have done in an entire administration.”
Truth: Aside from signing ill-advised executive orders, Trump’s actual record of accomplishments at the time of this statement, reported Politico, amounted to “almost nothing.”
Fake: At a campaign-style rally in Florida on February 18, Trump boasted that his deft intervention in the planned purchase of a new Air Force One plane had saved “over $1 billion.”
Truth: The Air Force has no idea what Trump is talking about. Said spokesman Colonel Pat Ryder, “To my knowledge I have not been told that we have that information.”
Fake: In his first solo press conference on February 6, Trump boasted that his administration “is running like a fine-tuned machine.”
Truth: This one is actually correct, if by “fine-tuned machine” he meant “unmitigated disaster.” Call it an alternative fact.