During a heated exchange on Meet the Press on Sunday, Kellyanne Conway told Chuck Todd that White House spokesperson Sean Spicer had not lied about inauguration crowd sizes during the angry scolding of the media that was his first press conference – he had provided "alternative facts."
Now, as the folks at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary pointed out on Twitter, there is no such thing as an alternative fact.
"A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality," the publisher noted. But that seems to be of little consequence in the Orwellian world in which we now live; Trump's tendency to spout falsehoods at a rapid clip didn't stop him from ascending to the nation's highest office, and indeed may have helped him.
Spicer saying that President Donald Trump had the "largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period," is only the one of the more recent anyeurism-inducing fictions to come from Trump and his team. Trump has been waging a war on reality since long before he kicked off his presidential bid. Here's a curated selection of some of the more egregious "alternative facts" Trump has put into the world:
Feud with intelligence community the fault of "dishonest" media
On Jan. 21, Trump visited the CIA — which he spent months bashing during his transition — to assure the agents that "there is nobody that feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump." There was no rift between them over their conclusion that the Russian government had interfered in the United States presidential election on his behalf, he told them — that was all a lie put forth by the media, who are "among the most dishonest people on Earth."
Of course, Trump is wrong. His team publicly dismissed the intelligence community as "the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction." He also recently invoked Nazi Germany in reference to intelligence officials after an explosive, unverified report was released about Trump, the Russian government and a golden shower show.
Trump's visit to the CIA was "uncomfortable," according to intelligence officials, and former CIA Director James Brennan called Trump's rambling, self-aggrandizing speech — delivered before the Memorial Wall of Agency Heroes — "despicable."
Nobody cares about Trump's tax returns
Trump has not released his tax returns because he has claimed — falsely — that he cannot release them because he is under audit (the IRS has explicitly said that nothing prevents Trump from releasing his tax information).
Recently, Trump has coated this in another lie: that only "reporters" care about Trump's tax returns.
"You know, the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters, okay? They’re the only ones," he said at his Jan. 11 press conference. "I won; I mean, I became president. No, I don’t think they care at all. I don’t think they care at all. I think you care."
This is demonstrably false. A Pew Research Center report concluded that 60% of Americans believe Trump has a responsibility to release his returns.
Kellyanne Conway implied in a tweet Monday that Trump would, in fact, release his returns — after audit.
The landslide victory that wasn't
"Trump won, but to call it a 'massive landslide' in the Electoral College is not accurate by any reasonable definition," according to Politifact. "While Trump surpassed the required 270 electoral votes with room to spare, his margin ranks no better than the bottom quarter of Electoral College showings in American history, and no better than the bottom one-third of the showings since the end of World War II."
His sexual misconduct allegations have been "debunked." (They haven't.)
At the third presidential debate, Trump said that allegations he had groped or forced himself on women had been "largely debunked," and that "nobody has more respect for women than I do." But he offered no evidence to support that claim, and none have been conclusively debunked, according to Politifact.
Trump claims he was not mocking a disabled reporter
After lying about having seen "thousands" of New Jersey Muslims celebrating after the 9/11 attacks, Trump mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a congenital condition that limits his joint movement. Trump claimed he was mocking the reporter for "groveling" after changing his story and that he had "no idea who this reporter... is, what he looks like, or his level of intelligence... despite having one of the all-time great memories." But the reporter had regularly covered Trump, and the two were on a first-name basis for years, according to Kovaelski.
Politifact determined Trump's "excuses for his comments are at odds with the evidence."
Trump leads "birther" conspiracy, then blames Hillary Clinton for it
Of Trump's many whoppers, his repeated claims that former President Barack Obama was not a legitimate president stands out as perhaps the most egregious. Not only did he falsely suggest Obama was not born in the U.S., he continued to do so even after the president released his birth certificate. He finally admitted Obama was born in the U.S. in September — but falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton's team had started the racist conspiracy theory and took credit for "finishing" it.