http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/28/opinions/trump-politifact-lie-of-year-obeidallah-opinion/index.htmlTrump finally gets the honor he deserves
By Dean Obeidallah Updated 4:30 PM ET, Thu December 28, 2017
Donald Trump is right -- he doesn't always get the credit he deserves. And Trump isn't bashful about making that point.
In November while on Fox News -- his seemingly go-to network for daily "intelligence briefings" -- he complained to host Laura Ingraham that despite leading "one of the greatest" economic revivals in "the history of our country," he was "not getting enough credit for it."
And Trump made that very point yet again a few days ago with his tweet: "... So many things accomplished by the Trump Administration, perhaps more than any other President in first year. Sadly, will never be reported correctly by the Fake News. Media!"
Finally, it looks like things are changing. The non-partisan PolitiFact.com -- the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking media outlet -- recently announced its signature annual award.After reviewing scores of statements made by politicians this year, it has declared that the big winner of "Lie of the Year" for 2017 goes to one told by (cue the drum roll and prepare the confetti) Donald J. Trump!
That has to bring some joy for Trump as he spends time this week at his exclusive, for-profit country club Mar-a-Largo -- or as he has nicknamed it the "Winter White House."
You might be asking which Trump lie did PolitiFact choose, considering Trump has served up more "whoppers" than Burger King. Well, it goes back to May 2017 when Trump told NBC's Lester Holt that, "This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."As PolitiFact notes, Trump told different versions of that lie several times in 2017, such as in September when he tweeted, "The Russia hoax continues."
But it was his comment in May that earned Trump this "honor."
Although there hasn't been any evidence that points to direct collusion between Trump and Russians, there is no denying that the Russians interfered in the presidential election. Still, the President continues to do just that -- despite evidence of Russian meddling. As PolitiFact pointed out, "Trump could acknowledge the interference happened while still standing by the legitimacy of his election and his presidency -- but he declines to do so. Sometimes he'll state firmly there was "no collusion" between his campaign and Russia, an implicit admission that Russia did act in some capacity. Then he reverts back to denying the interference even happened."
I wish Trump would give a speech accepting this award. I could see him thanking himself for being one the greatest fabricators ever. Trump would then slam the "haters and losers" and of course those in the "fake news" who doubted he would ever win such an honor.But simply recognizing Trump for this one lie is unfair to all the others he told in 2017. So let's take a quick stroll down Trump "Pants on Fire" lane, courtesy of PolitiFact, to look back at some of the other tall tales he gave us.
There were Trump's lies about policy. For example, in September while stumping to build support for tax cuts, Trump declared that ending the estate tax would "protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer." In reality, this tax at the time only applied to estates worth over $5.49 million for individuals or $10.98 million dollars if a married couple. Add to that, this tax was paid by a total of 5,460 estates in 2017. Thus, Trump's claim that millions of small businesses and farmers would benefit was a big, fat lie.
Trump also lied when attacking his political opponents. In July, Trump took to Twitter to go after Amazon because its founder, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post which has dared to criticize the President. In a possible effort to spark a congressional inquiry into the company, Trump tweeted, "Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?"
In reality, Amazon is neither a monopoly nor a company that doesn't pay taxes. Amazon actually paid $412 million in taxes in 2016, according to regulatory findings. Who knows what Trump paid? The American people don't, because Trump has refused to release his tax returns.
Trump even lied while attacking people who were standing up to white supremacy. In August, Trump stated that white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville "had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit." This was the same press conference where Trump infamously stated that there were "very fine people on both sides." In reality, those protesting the vile white supremacists actually had a permit despite Trump's attempt to smear them.And there were just so many other "Pants on Fire" lies by Trump in 2017 from his February statement that terrorism attacks in Europe are so frequent it has "gotten to a point where it's not even being reported," to his lie last week that the federal government's diversity visa program gives us "the worst of the worst" of people from other countries.
Although Trump's "Lie of the Year" award may be a bit tarnished in his eyes because he isn't the first president to receive it -- one of his arch-nemeses, President Barack Obama, beat him to it when he received this honor back in 2013 -- at the rate Trump is going, I bet he will win this award many, many more times before he finally leaves the White House.