Trumped by his own lies?

Will Donald Trump end up being trumped by his own lies? There’s plenty of scope for it if voters thinks honesty matters.

Paul Krugman at New York Times: A Lie Too Far?

I suspect Donald Trump is feeling a bit sandbagged right now, or will be when he wakes up. All along he has treated the news media with contempt, and been rewarded with obsequious deference — his lies sugar-coated, described as “disputed” or “stretching the truth,” while every aspect of his opponent’s life is described as “raising questions” and “casting shadows”, despite lack of evidence that she did anything wrong.

A large irony is that some people bought that line that Trump tells the unvarnished truth, whereas he has frequently blatantly lied.

But the print media appear to have finally found their voice . The Times and the AP, in particular, have put out hard-hitting stories that present the essence in the lede, not in paragraph 25.

What’s so good about these stories? The fact that they are simple straightforward reporting.

First, confronted with obvious lies, they don’t pretend that the candidate said something less blatant, or do views differ on shape of planet — they simply say that what Trump said is untrue, and that his repetition of these falsehoods makes it clear that he was deliberately lying.

Second, the stories for today’s paper are notable for the absence of what I call second-order political reporting: they’re about what Trump said and did, not speculations about how it will play with voters.

You could say that the lies were so blatant that doing the right thing became unavoidable. But there were plenty of earlier lies — Trump lying about his opposition to the Iraq War, about his donations to charity, and much more. There was already the unprecedented contempt for the press he showed by refusing to release his tax returns.

The Matt Lauer debacle may have helped bring things into focus.

There are now two questions: will this last, and if it does, has the turn come soon enough? In both cases, nobody knows. But just imagine how different this election would look if we’d had this kind of simple, factual, truly balanced (as opposed to both-sides-do-it) reporting all along.

The Times’ editorial Donald Trump’s Latest Birther Lie addresses Trump’s deliberate dishonesty, saying that he has even lied when admitting he had been lying about where Obama was born.

The midday bulletin arrived as another bizarre moment in the absurdist presidential campaign of Donald Trump: News Alert: Trump admits Obama was born in the United States.

What? It read like some variation on “Trump Finds the Earth No Longer Flat.” But no, Mr. Trump, the ultimate mountebank, was at it again, altering but not abandoning the Big Lie campaign that first made him the darling of wing nuts and racists five years ago: his vicious insistence that President Obama was not born a legitimate American citizen.

Did he apologize to Mr. Obama and the American people for the political poison he spread for so long? Of course not. Being Mr. Trump, he instead substituted a lie for a lie. He falsely accused Hillary Clinton of starting the birther myth, then further claimed he had nobly “finished” it off by badgering the White House for proof that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, not Africa.

The facts — because facts still matter — are that Mr. Trump continued toheap doubt on President Obama’s birth certificate even after it was released, slyly retweeting others’ contentions that it was a fake and a “computer generated forgery.”

After he tried to pin the birther smear on her, Mrs. Clinton called it what it is: an “outrageous lie” intended to “delegitimize our first black president.” Mr. Trump delegitimized his own candidacy instead.

Also at New York Times:

Fox News: Trump plays the press… again

That sound you hear are thousands of plaintive sighs from thousands of political reporters around the country as they realize they have yet again been snookered by Donald Trump.

After building anticipation for a day over a big revelation to be made about Trump’s former efforts to prove that President Obama was actually born in Kenya, the Republican nominee managed to not only get wall-to-wall coverage of an otherwise unremarkable endorsement from retired military leaders, but also even a lavish plug for his new hotel in Washington.

As Trump did with generating wild speculation about whether he would endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan, or whether he would back down on his call for mass deportations of illegal immigrants, Trump did the conventional thing, but used his reputation for unconventionality to blow up press coverage and dominate the news cycle.

And like he did in the times before, Trump eventually came out with the conventional position – in this case that the president was born where he said he was born – but did it in such a way to distract from his shift.  

The tricky part about this dismount was that Trump probably wouldn’t be the Republican nominee if it wasn’t for his birtherism, but birtherism continued to weigh down his White House ambitions.

He couldn’t very well take on the subject of his quest to prove Obama an African in America rather than an African American during the first debate 10 days from now. The birther business needed to be offloaded pronto.

Except this time the offloading doesn’t seem to have happened pronto. Media have decided to hold him to account for his trademark lie, and his follow up lies.

Also from Fox: Clinton campaign, Blumenthal fight back against accusations of spreading ‘birth rumor’

Trump, a leader in the call for Obama to finally make public a copy of his Hawaii birth certificate, said on Friday the issue is over and called for the campaigns to move on with substantive issues.

Still, he blamed Clinton for starting the controversy.


On Saturday, 2016 Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon told Fox News: “As multiple, independent fact checkers have affirmed in the years since, neither the 2008 campaign nor the candidate ever questioned the president’s citizenship or birth certificate.”

“This is false. Never happened,” he said. “Period. Donald Trump cannot distract from the inescapable fact that he is the one who embraced and promoted the racist birther lie and bears the responsibility for it.”

Time will tell whether this exposure of lies laid upon lies will have any effect on trump’s campaign and on his electability.

Bur serious questions have been raised – again – about Trump’s lack of honesty and his deliberate use of lies throughout his campaign.

There’s areas of concern around Hillary Clinton, but Trump’s level of lying must be of concern, given the position of responsibility and power he is seeking.

The US needs to be able to trust what their president says, the world needs to trust what the US president says.


Trump concedes on birther bull

Donald Trump has publically conceded that Barack Obama was born in the USA. Until now Trump has been one of the most prominent ‘birther’ promoters, but with typical chutzpah has even blamed Hillary Clinton of starting the birther bull.

Newshub: Trump concedes Obama was born in US

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has acknowledged for the first time that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

At a campaign event at his new hotel in downtown Washington Mr Trump said: “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period,”

The presidential hopeful has questioned Mr Obama’s citizenship for years but has now reversed his opinions on a controversy that he helped launch but that has become a distraction to his White House bid.

“Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”

‘Birther’ votes are unlikely to make the difference in the election, and ‘birthers’ will probably ignore this concession and go on believing anyway.

The New York businessman led the birther movement aimed at Mr Obama, who was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father.

The issue has not been a factor in the campaign for the presidential election, but it resurfaced again in recent days, taking the focus of Mr Trump’s campaign away from topics such as immigration, trade and the economy, which he has been using to hit Ms Clinton.

Mr Trump accused Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of starting the so-called “birther” controversy during the 2008 primary campaign against Mr Obama, an accusation that independent fact-checking sites have rated as false.

I think he has accused Clinton of many ridiculous things, one of the reasons for his popularity. Honesty hasn’t been prominent in Trumps campaign but many seem to love being told what they want to hear rather than the truth.

From Wikipedia: Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories

During Barack Obama‘s campaign for president in 2008 and in the years following his election, many conspiracy theorieswere circulated, falsely asserting that he was not a natural-born citizen of the United States and consequently, underArticle Two of the U.S. Constitution, that he was ineligible to be President of the United States.

Such claims were promoted by fringe theorists (“birthers“), some of whom sought court rulings either declaring Obama ineligible to take office, or granting access to various documents which they claimed would evidence such ineligibility; none of these efforts were successful. Some political opponents, especially in the Republican Party, have expressed skepticism about Obama’s citizenship or been unwilling to acknowledge it; some have proposed legislation which would require presidential candidates to provide proof of eligibility.

On Trump’s involvement:

In March 2011, during an interview on Good Morning America, Donald Trump said he was seriously considering running for president, that he was a “little” skeptical of Obama’s citizenship, and that someone who shares this view shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed as an “idiot” (as Trump considers the term “birther” to be “derogatory”).

It’s ironic that he considered the term ‘birther’ to be derogatory but had no problem promoting bull about the President of ther USA.

Trump added, “Growing up no one knew him”, a claim ranked Pants-on-Fire by Politifact. Later, Trump appeared on The View repeating several times that “I want him (Obama) to show his birth certificate.” He speculated that “there’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like”, a comment which host Whoopi Goldberg described as “the biggest pile of dog mess I’ve heard in ages.”

On the March 30, 2011, edition of CNN Newsroom, anchor Suzanne Malveaux commented on Trump’s statements, pointing out that she had made a documentary for which she had gone to Hawaii and spoken with people who knew Obama as a child.

In an NBC TV interview broadcast on April 7, 2011, Trump said he would not let go of the issue, because he was not satisfied that Obama had proved his citizenship.

After Trump began making his views public, he was contacted by Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, who was reportedly on the phone with Trump every day for a week, providing Trump with a “birther primer”, answers to questions, and advice.

After Obama released his long-form birth certificate on April 27, 2011, Trump said “I am really honored and I am really proud, that I was able to do something that nobody else could do.”

On October 24, 2012, Trump offered to donate five million dollars to the charity of Obama’s choice in return for the publication of his college and passport applications before October 31, 2012.


Trump plays birther card

Donald Trump has played the ‘birther’ card before, against Barack Obama.

And he’s just tried the same trick against Ted Cruz in the Republican race for presidential nomination.

Donald Trump Goes ‘Birther’ On Ted Cruz

First Donald Trump took aim at rival Ted Cruz’s evangelical credentials. Now he’s questioning whether the Canadian-born Texas senator is even eligible for the White House.

“Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem,” Trump said of Cruz’s birthplace and citizenship in an interview with the Washington Post. “It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.”

This is another Trump sideshow. He must be feeling some pressure.

Back in 2011, when Trump first floated a GOP presidential run, he famously questioned whether President Obama was actually born in Hawaii.

After the Trump-fueled controversy over Obama’s birthplace, the question over Cruz’s was a natural one that’s already come up. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada, in 1970 while his parents were working in the oil industry. Though his dad is from Cuba, his mother was a U.S. citizen, having been born in Delaware.

Experts say there is no question about Cruz’s eligibility.

Legal scholars have agreed that Cruz and the other candidates before him would indeed be eligible for the White House. Neal Katyal, who was acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, and Paul Clement, who was the solicitor general under George W. Bush, wrote in the Harvard Law Review that “there is no question” Cruz is eligible and that “”Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a ‘natural born Citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution” and the “Naturalization Act of 1790.”

The possibility that Cruz may not be eligible for the White House is something that Trump himself even dismissed last fall.

“I hear it was checked out by every attorney and every which way, and I understand Ted is in fine shape,” Trump told ABC News last September of his rival’s constitutional eligibility because of his birthplace.

And Trump has previously accepted Cruz doesn’t have an eligibility problem.

But the latest reversal comes as Cruz is seriously threatening Trump’s lead in Iowa and elsewhere — especially with evangelical voters critical to winning the Hawkeye State’s caucuses on Feb. 1.

Playing the birther card may play to the far right that seems to be excited about Trump but I doubt that it will help him gain wider support that will be crucial if he is to succeed.