This White House just keeps not telling the truth over and over and over again

Seven days before national security adviser H.R. McMaster "resigned," President Donald Trump insisted that reports th...

Posted: Mar 23, 2018 1:43 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2018 1:43 PM

Seven days before national security adviser H.R. McMaster "resigned," President Donald Trump insisted that reports that McMaster was on his way out as part of a broader staff shakeup were totally and completely wrong.

"The story was very false," Trump said last Thursday in response to a slew of reports -- including by CNN -- that, in the wake of the removal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, more changes were coming, with a focus on McMaster.

"They wrote a story about staff changes that was very false," said Trump. "It was a very false story ... a very exaggerated and false story."

Except that it wasn't.

Later that same Thursday -- in the wake of even more reports that Trump had decided it was time for McMaster, specifically, to go, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders took to Twitter to push back.

"Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster -- contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC," she tweeted.

The following day, which was exactly one week ago today, at her daily press briefing, Sanders was pressed on her tweet and the reports about McMaster. Here's how she responded (I am excerpting her answer in full because it's a wow):

"I - again, like I said last night, and I'll echo it again, I spoke directly to the President last night. He asked me to pass that message along to General McMaster. I know the two of them have been in meetings today. Whether or not that came up, I don't know.

"But again, our focus is not on a lot of the news stories that you guys would like us to be focused on, but we're actually focused on what the American people want us to do, and that's to come here and do our jobs.

"General McMaster is a dedicated public servant, and he is here not focused on the news stories that many of you are writing, but on some really big issues: things like North Korea; things like Russia; things like Iran. That's what he's doing, and that's what we're going to continue to be focused on every single day that we show up for work."

That also wasn't true.

And this is hardly the first time the White House has cried "fake news" about a story of staff turmoil that later -- and not even much later -- wound up being 100% accurate.

On Saturday March 10, The New York Times wrote a story detailing unrest within Trump's legal team and reporting on the possibility of Emmet T. Flood, a lawyer on Bill Clinton's team during his impeachment, signing on to help Trump. The piece contained these lines: "But there have been signs in recent months that Mr. Trump may be looking to shake up his legal team and change his approach to Mr. Mueller's investigation."

At 10:41 am on Sunday March 11, Trump launched into this pair of tweets:

"The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job and ... have shown conclusively that there was no Collusion with Russia..just excuse for losing. The only Collusion was that done by the DNC, the Democrats and Crooked Hillary. The writer of the story, Maggie Haberman, a Hillary flunky, knows nothing about me and is not given access."

Not true. Again.

Eight days after the original New York Times report, Trump brought Joseph di Genova, a lawyer and conservative talking head, onto his legal team. Three days after that -- aka Thursday -- John Dowd resigned as Trump's top personal lawyer.

We've long known of President Trump's casual disregard for the truth. In the course of his first year in office, he said more than 2,000 -- 2,000! -- things that were all or mostly false, according to The Washington Post's Fact Checker.

"The President is not a fact-based president," acknowledged Newsmax CEO (and Trump confidante) Chris Ruddy on Thursday. "He is a salesman. He is probably the greatest salesman the country has ever produced. ... Having known him for many years, when I hear him say something that I take as an exaggeration, I see it as a rhetorical device."

But there's a very fine line between exaggerating and just plain old lying. And Trump seems to stray across it fairly frequently.

What the events of the past 10 days should remind us of is that anything and everything that comes from this president and this White House -- especially denials of so-called "fake news" -- needs to be looked at very, very skeptically. In fact, their track record suggests that we should not assume that what the White House is saying on virtually anything is based on take-it-to-the-bank facts and reality.

Which is a very scary proposition.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 90017

Reported Deaths: 2017
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25857922
Ramsey10492318
Dakota7125125
Anoka5753132
Stearns377023
Washington357355
Scott242633
Olmsted228727
Nobles193116
Blue Earth15986
Wright15337
St. Louis135234
Carver13517
Rice13018
Mower12864
Clay126140
Sherburne109314
Kandiyohi9312
Winona85018
Lyon6464
Waseca5328
Steele5212
Freeborn5163
Benton5113
Watonwan5054
Nicollet49916
Todd4792
McLeod4462
Chisago4441
Le Sueur4444
Crow Wing43318
Otter Tail3924
Beltrami3764
Goodhue3309
Martin3199
Pine2810
Itasca27713
Polk2734
Isanti2580
Douglas2491
Becker2442
Carlton2391
Cottonwood2190
Pipestone2129
Unassigned20952
Morrison2031
Dodge1990
Chippewa1921
Sibley1793
Meeker1772
Wabasha1740
Brown1732
Yellow Medicine1582
Murray1542
Rock1520
Mille Lacs1453
Redwood1400
Jackson1331
Faribault1320
Renville1286
Cass1253
Roseau1160
Swift1141
Pennington1121
Houston1100
Fillmore1080
Kanabec1058
Koochiching1053
Lincoln1020
Stevens931
Pope880
Hubbard820
Aitkin711
Big Stone680
Wadena650
Grant584
Wilkin553
Lake530
Norman510
Marshall491
Lac qui Parle460
Mahnomen451
Red Lake390
Traverse300
Clearwater260
Lake of the Woods201
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 80106

Reported Deaths: 1256
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15318256
Johnson499527
Woodbury498961
Black Hawk434986
Linn3783106
Story328617
Dubuque279840
Scott279727
Dallas269038
Pottawattamie200037
Buena Vista194712
Marshall176134
Sioux13503
Wapello126757
Webster119314
Clinton107018
Muscatine106452
Plymouth105220
Crawford10014
Cerro Gordo99621
Warren9286
Jasper76632
Des Moines7417
Marion7154
Tama69031
Carroll6345
Henry6074
Lee5967
Wright5621
Dickinson4856
Boone4677
Bremer4627
Washington43111
Louisa42515
Mahaska34019
Franklin33617
Delaware3353
Hamilton3143
Jackson3003
Floyd2983
Winneshiek2985
Clay2923
Benton2861
Hardin2761
Winnebago27111
Butler2592
Clarke2553
Emmet25210
Poweshiek2498
Lyon2483
Allamakee2455
Jones2443
Buchanan2421
Shelby2421
Clayton2323
Guthrie2235
Cedar2211
Chickasaw2210
Kossuth2190
Sac2140
Grundy2052
Madison2052
Cherokee1942
Fayette1911
Iowa1851
Mitchell1830
Howard1825
Harrison1782
Humboldt1733
Hancock1722
Calhoun1702
Mills1681
Palo Alto1600
Pocahontas1522
Monroe14810
Lucas1426
Page1420
Monona1381
Jefferson1341
Cass1332
Osceola1260
Appanoose1233
Taylor1231
Union1223
Davis1144
Van Buren1101
Worth1020
Ida970
Keokuk911
Fremont870
Greene870
Montgomery865
Wayne822
Adair661
Audubon641
Decatur590
Ringgold412
Adams280
Unassigned160
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