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President Trump's remarkable, misinformation-filled midterms media blitz

The more President Donald Trump speaks, the more misinformation he spreads.It's as simple as that....

Posted: Oct 23, 2018 12:10 AM
Updated: Oct 23, 2018 12:10 AM

The more President Donald Trump speaks, the more misinformation he spreads.

It's as simple as that.

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The President has been holding lots of rallies and granting lots of interviews ahead of the midterm elections. He may be right that his appearances are helping boost GOP voter enthusiasm. But he's wrong about a lot of what he's saying in these appearances.

As numerous fact-checkers have observed, he seems to be getting even looser with the truth as he grows into the job. (In September, The Washington Post's Fact Checker had counted 5,001 false or misleading claims from the President since Trump took office).

In recent days, Trump has continued to add to the tally.

His latest remarkable string of mistruths ranged from international issues to domestic financial concerns. Some of the claims were completely false, while others were half-truths and exaggerations.

These extrapolations were made by Trump on both his favorite social media platform: Twitter, and while on the stump, campaigning in Arizona and Nevada for Republicans ahead of the midterm elections.

Saudi Arabia

Trump has repeatedly cited a $110 billion arms deal between the gulf nation and the United States, as having the potential to create up to 1 million jobs, most recently during a roundtable in Arizona on Friday.

Those numbers don't quite hold up upon closer examination. Saudi Arabia has so far only followed through on $14.5 billion in purchases. And the deal's job-creation potential is much lower than the hundreds of thousands Trump has mentioned, according to The Washington Post's fact-checkers.

Trump continues to defend his relationship with Saudi Arabia, which is under increased scrutiny for its role in the apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The migrant caravan

Much of Trump's talk about the migrant caravan working its way north through Mexico and Central America has a conspiratorial edge. A new example: "Democrats want caravans. They like the caravans. A lot of people say, 'I wonder who started that caravan...'"

Trump re-upped that claim in a tweet on Sunday afternoon: "The Caravans are a disgrace to the Democrat Party. Change the immigration laws NOW!"

Attempts to fact check that claim proved ... difficult. Trump has essentially provided no proof to back up his statement. And on Friday night, New York Times reporter Emily Cochrane asked Trump about evidence for his claims that the "caravan" is full of "hardened criminals." His reply? "Oh please, please, don't be a baby..."

Trump's doubled down on his criticism of Democrats as an "angry, ruthless mob" during his rally in Nevada.

Voter fraud

Trump tweeted on Saturday night that "all levels of government and law enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD," even though cases of voter fraud are vanishingly rare. "Cheat at your own peril," he said, even though his own voter fraud commission was dissolved in January.

Study after study shows that voter fraud is hardly an issue. Among the hundreds of millions of votes cast in 2016, there were only four recorded instances of fraud, according to the Washington Post.

Vote count

Trump claims that the recent opioid bill passed with "very little Democratic support."

Actually, the bill is a rare bipartisan feat, receiving nearly unanimous support in both chambers. It passed the Senate with a vote of 98-1. Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican, was the only dissenting vote, while the House passed it from 393-8. Among other things, the bill authorized more money to fight the opioid epidemic and increased the penalties for drug manufacturers and distributors for overprescribing medication.

Another round of tax cuts

At a rally in Nevada this weekend, Trump floated another "major tax cut for middle-income people," that would be done "sometime just prior, I would say, to November."

With Congress on recess and out of town until after the midterms and no tax-cut package such as this previously mentioned, it's unclear what or where this new package would come from.

Based on this, Trump reportedly pushed congressional leaders to introduce a new tax package before the midterms.

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