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LIES AND THE LYING LIARS THAT TELL THEM

A Flailing Trump Pushes Questionable Voter Numbers

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Donald Trump speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)

President Trump, still looking for a narrative after his disastrous government shutdown did immeasurable damage to the country, took to Twitter to share some numbers he believes about voter fraud.

In a move similar to his 2016 voter fraud claims, he once again argued about non-citizens voting. While Trump won in 2018, he lost the popular vote — and Trump tried to claim that was only due to voter fraud suppressing his numbers.

The GOP also suffered tremendous loses in the 2018 midterms.

A study by a Loyola Law School professor, Justin Levitt, tracked United States elections from 2000-2014. Out of more than 1 billion votes, they could only confirm 31 instances of voter fraud. Additionally, only four documented cases of voter fraud were discovered in 2016.

President Trump’s own commission on voting fraud shut down last January, after finding no evidence of widespread voter fraud. 

Trump’s source for his numbers was a tweet by Ken Paxton, the current Texas Attorney General. He retweeted Paxton’s claim as well.

The numbers Paxton are citing are suspect. For one, they cover a 22-year time period from 1996 to 2018. There remains, however, no evidence that any of these people voted fraudulently in the 2018 midterms.

What’s more, the data does not state that 58,000 non-citizens voted: these were emphasized as weak matches, with many of those listed being in the process of becoming naturalized citizens. 

Many names in that sample are also likely in error, potentially based on a name match alone, but not the same individual. Even the head of the Texas Association of Elections Administrators, Chris Davis, has requested patience, knowing that these number lack appropriate verification. Nevertheless, President Trump moved forward on these claims.

President Trump seems to be once again trying to create a narrative of voter fraud, akin to his post-2016 mantra that “millions” voted illegally in California, in spite of a clear lack of proof.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

 

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LIES AND THE LYING LIARS THAT TELL THEM

‘I Barely Knew Him’: Trump Totally Disavows His Former Communications Director Now That He’s Turned Against Him

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President Donald Trump promised Americans he knew and would hire only the best people – after a rigorous selection process – to fill his administration. That quickly turned out to be false.  Not only has he hired scores of unqualified people for key roles, he has had the highest turnover of any president in history, and has left hundreds of critical positions unfilled. Trump also blames all his failures on his staff, or other outside forces – every one else but Trump is to blame.

When hiring new members to his team, he portrays them as the greatest, someone who will help fix everything.

Once someone leaves or is fired, he quickly disavows them – especially if they turn against him.

Remember George Papadopoulos, the man who was a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, the man whose actions in part drove the FBI to initiate an investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia? Team Trump quickly dismissed him as someone the president had never met (false) and who was basically a “coffee boy,” as reports showed.

Now Trump is disparaging Anthony Scaramucci, an investment banker who has praised and defended Trump for years, until even he could no longer do so. Trump hired Scaramucci as his Communications Director. After an expletive-filled conversation with a reporter, then White House chief-of-staff John Kelly fired him less than two weeks later.

Scaramucciremained loyal to the president, but has recently trashed Trump as “crazy” and “narcissistic,” and called on the left to help deprogram Republicans from the “cult” of Trump.

Rather than ignore it, Trump on launched an attack on his former friend.

Monday morning Trump called Scaramucci “highly unstable,” “a mental wreck,” and a “nut job.”

“I barely knew him,” Trump said, which is false but were it to be true would once again prove how Trump lied about knowing and hiring “the best people.”

Scaramucci, Trump tweeted, “wheedled his way into my campaign.”

He also claims Scaramucci “abused” staff members, which would be news if true.

Trump then says Scaramucci “got fired,” as if Trump isn’t the President and head of the Executive Branch.

Just one more “coffee boy” at the upper echelons of Team Trump.

UPDATE: 9:21 AM ET –
The tweets have just been deleted and reposted, presumably to effectively “erase” the negative responses, a tactic the Trump administration has been using recently. Here are the replacement tweets:

 

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LIES AND THE LYING LIARS THAT TELL THEM

‘You Can’t Make This Stuff Up’ Republican Steve Scalise Says in Lie Blaming Democrats for Trump Jr. Subpoena

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Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), the second-most powerful Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, is lying about a subpoena issued to Donald Trump Jr. by the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” Scalise ironically says about the subpoena, issued by Chairman Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, to the President’s eldest son.

“Democrats are subpoenaing @DonaldJTrumpJr based on the testimony of Michael Cohen—a man who lied to Congress multiple times. This is how low they are willing to sink to harass @realDonaldTrump & his entire family. The #MuellerReport is done. Move on!” Scalise tweeted.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti mocked the Minority Whip:

Scalise, after substantial mockery from Mariotti and others, went on to delete his lie.

RELATED: JAIL FOR JR.? TRUMP SON ‘UNLIKELY TO COMPLY’ WITH SENATE SUBPOENA – TOP DEMOCRAT SAYS OK TO LOCK HIM UP

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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LIES AND THE LYING LIARS THAT TELL THEM

Let’s Be Very Clear: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Lied to Robert Mueller Too

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White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is getting raked of the coals after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report documented the fact that she blatantly lied to the media and the American people.

But while the coverage of her comments include sharp criticism — including calls for her to resign — it’s actually being more generous to Sanders than she deserves.

Mueller’s report makes clear that when Sanders told the press that “countless” FBI employees told her they were glad President Donal Trump fired Director James Comey, she was just making things up:

Sanders told this Office that her reference to hearing from “countless members of the FBI” was a “slip of the tongue.” She also recalled that her statement in a separate press interview that rank-and-file FBI agents had lost confidence in Corney was a comment she made “in the heat of the moment” that was not founded on anything.

Some press accounts are claiming that Sanders admitted that she was lying. But while the report makes clear that she was lying, Sanders never admitted to that. In fact, the only reasonable interpretation is that Sanders lied to Mueller.

Related: ‘Slip of the Tongue’?: Watch Sarah Huckabee Sanders Lie Over and Over Again About Fbi Agents and Comey

Her claim about “countless members of the FBI” talking to her was not a “slip of the tongue.” A slip of the tongue is something you do by accident, unintentionally. But when you watch the video of her remarks, it is absolutely clear that she is not making a mistake. She is actively telling a lie. When she is pressed on the lie, she doubles down:

And as the report noted, she repeated these baseless claims again. This is not what happens when someone makes a “slip of the tongue,” like calling a friend by the wrong name or swearing when you shouldn’t.

Now, it’s important also to be clear that, while Sanders clearly lied to Mueller, and while lying to Mueller is a crime, it doesn’t follow that she should have been indicted, as some of her most vigorous critics might claim. Lies have to be demonstrable and material to the investigators to be charged. And while her lies were about a matter that was important to the investigation — Trump’s motives for firing Comey are key to the obstruction of justice investigation — the difference between Sanders making a mistake with the press and actively lying to the press do not plausibly constitute a serious enough distinction to investigators to be worth charging. Michael Cohen’s lies, which reduced the length of time the Trump Tower Moscow deal was being negotiated by about six months, by contrast, were relevant to the nature of those negotiations in ways that are material to the investigation. And it’s important for prosecutors to distinguish between egregious lies that are meant to divert the purpose of an investigation and white lies that allow one to save face without changing the bottom-line conclusion.

Nevertheless, in the public accounting of what went on during the investigation, it’s important to be forthright about what happened. Sanders not only lied to the public, but she lied to the special counsel.

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