Trump Fake News: 3 times the president has had to walk back his outrageous claims

Trump Fake News: 3 times the president has had to walk back his outrageous claims
President Donald Trump waves as he walks on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 from a trip to Florida.
Source: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
President Donald Trump waves as he walks on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 from a trip to Florida.
Source: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

On Monday, President Donald Trump claimed the media was deliberately covering up terrorist attacks.

"It's happening," Trump said at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. "It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand them."

It was a honey of an accusation, and delivered with a complete lack of evidence — as is his wont.

But shortly after, White House press secretary Sean Spicer re-characterized the coverage of those attacks as "underreported."

"There’s a lot of instances that have occurred where I don’t think they’ve gotten the coverage it deserved," Spicer said. (The White House provided a list of 78 such attacks; among them was the 2015 shooting in San Bernadino, which the Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer for covering.)

It was just the latest instance of the White House having to walk back an outrageous claim made by Trump. Here are just a few other instances of the Trump administration backtracking.

Trump claims up to five million people voted illegally in 2016.

Donald Trump casts a ballot in the 2016 election.
Source: MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

Despite winning the presidency, Trump has repeatedly claimed that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election — an allegation that is not only false, but underpinned by racism.

In an interview with Bill O'Reilly before the Super Bowl on Sunday, Trump appeared to backpedal a bit, though he stopped well short of conceding he was wrong.

Trump had been discussing what he called a "bad situation" involving dead people he claims voted and people registered in multiple states — you know, like his top strategist Steve Bannon and members of his own family. 

O'Reilly reminded Trump that "the data has to show that 3 million illegals voted" for his assertion that voter fraud cost him the popular vote to hold water.

"Forget that," Trump responded. "Forget all that. Just take a look at the registration, and we’re going to do it. And I’m going to set up a commission to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence, and we’re going to look at it very carefully."

Trump says he saw video footage of the U.S. delivering cash to Iran.

Donald Trump during an October rally in Maine. In an August rally there, he claimed he saw a video that did not exist.
Source: Evan Vucci/AP

Last August, Trump attacked President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over a video he claimed he saw of a plane carrying $400 million in cash from the U.S. to Iran. 

The video did not exist, despite him repeating the claim at two separate rallies; without admitting he had been incorrect, Trump eventually backed off the claim on Twitter.

Trump claims Obama was an illegitimate president.

Donald Trump and Barack Obama arrive at Trump's inauguration ceremony Jan. 20.
Source: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Trump's signature lie was that former President Barack Obama was not a legitimate president, a racist conspiracy theory he continued to promulgate even after the former president released his birth certificate.

In September 2016, Trump finally admitted that Obama was born in the United States by way of making another erroneous claim: that Hillary Clinton "started the 'birther' controversy."

"I finished it," he insisted.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Eric Lutz

Eric Lutz is a staff writer at Mic. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at ericlutz@mic.com.

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