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Donald Trump said 52 false things last week

Toronto Star Toronto Star 26/09/2016 Daniel Dale - Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON—The Los Angeles Times put an unprecedented headline in big type at the top of its front page on Sunday: “Scope of Trump’s lies unmatched.”

The U.S. media, and the Canadian media for that matter, has long been reluctant to call a top candidate a liar in their news coverage, much less a habitual liar. But the Republican presidential nominee is different than anyone who has come before — so uniquely uninterested in the truth, so shamelessly inaccurate about such an unparalleled variety of things — that he has finally prodded reporters and editors into a different kind of coverage.

For the past week, the Star has been compiling a list of Trump’s false claims. Between last Saturday and this Sunday, we counted 52 of them – not including a bunch he repeated.

Some of the judgments are subjective. The New York Times counted 31 “whoppers” between Sept. 15 and Sept. 21. Politico, adopting a stricter standard, counted 87 “erroneous statements” over five days.

Regardless, it’s a lot.

GALLERY: Cruz and Trump's love-hate relationship

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Cruz challenges rival Trump about releasing his tax returns during the debate sponsored by CNN for the 2016 Republican U.S. presidential candidates in Houston: Ted Cruz challenges rival Donald Trump about releasing his tax returns during the debate sponsored by CNN for the 2016 Republican presidential candidates in Houston, Texas. Cruz and Trump's love-hate relationship

A number of them are big lies, like “I was against getting into the war in Iraq” (he supported the war) and “You have illegal immigrants being treated better than our veterans in many cases” (not even close). Some of them are tiny demonstrations of ignorance, like his assertion that Al Wilson wrote the song “The Snake” in the 1990s (Oscar Brown Jr. wrote it in the 1960s).

Most of them are in the middle — not significant enough to change an election on their own, but not really nothing, either. All together, they paint a picture of a candidate who lies for strategic reasons and no reason, sneakily and sloppily, but above all: frequently.

Some of the false claims were wildly absurd statements. Ignoring everything from slavery to segregation to the crack epidemic, Trump declared that black communities are “absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before — ever, ever, ever.” Ignoring all evidence, he alleged that opponent Hillary Clinton is proposing “open borders” and a “total government takeover of health care.”

Many of the claims were exaggerations of figures. Trump said the trade deficit with China is “$500 billion a year” (it is around $300 billion) and said Clinton is outspending him on Virginia ads by a “50-to-1” ratio (it is closer to 11-to-1).

Others were made-up non-facts. Trump said debate moderator Lester Holt is a Democrat (he is a Republican), that “thousands” of people were outside a Pennsylvania rally (nobody was outside), and that “unbelievable numbers of jobs” will be cut in Ford’s outsourcing of small-car production (no jobs are being cut).

Several were self-aggrandizing. Trump claimed polls show a never-before-seen level of enthusiasm for him (Mitt Romney’s supporters were just as enthusiastic) and that his poll numbers with black people are taking off “like a rocket ship” (they haven’t budged).

And, as usual, several were about Muslims. Trump falsely claimed that the authorities are allowing jihadi magazines to be sold in America, knowingly taking back returning Daesh terrorists, and refusing to investigate known terror threats because they “don’t want to be accused of profiling.”

You can find a complete list at thestar.com/news/Donald-trump-quickfacts.html.. 

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