Trump, as most know by now, is a Hall of Fame liar. A simple Google search of the president’s name and the word lie leads to a seemingly infinite scroll of articles that might just reach back to the creation of the Internet itself. But when Trump is cornered, as he likely felt this week following the release of damning audiotapes of himself talking to Bob Woodward in connection with a coming book, Trump becomes a liar on steroids.
On Friday, CNN’s Brianna Keilar fact-checked the president’s most recent burst of dishonesty saying that Trump’s attempts at trying to shape the narrative following the Woodward/Trump tapes has the president “lying about lying.”
“The President is attempting some damage control. His version of that is lying about lying.”@brikeilarCNN fact-checks President Trump’s remarks after he admitted to downplaying the coronavirus. https://t.co/u9BuogY2RW pic.twitter.com/J0LHl2ETOI
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) September 11, 2020
“In the wake of the release of recordings of President Trump talking in February to journalist Bob Woodward about the severity of the coronavirus, as he downplayed it publicly, the president is attempting some damage control. His version of that is: lying about lying,” the host began.
Keilar played a video clip of the president, this week, denying that he lied to the American people about what he knew and believed to be true regarding the dangers of the coronavirus in early February.
“I didn’t lie. What I said is we have to be calm. We can’t be panicked… I don’t want to jump up and down and start screaming death, death, because that’s not what it’s about,” Trump said.
Coming out of that clip, Keilar called what the president said a lie and proved it using Trump’s own words.
“No, Trump was lying because a reminder, this is what he told Woodward on February 7th,” Keilar said. CNN then ran the audio of Trump telling Woodward how he understood the coronavirus was more contagious and “deadly” than the flu.
The coronavirus “is more deadly, this is five percent versus one percent and less than one percent. So this is deadly stuff,” Trump said to Woodward in early February.
Kellar continued the fact check playing a mash of video which showed Trump at the same time telling Woodward about the dangers of the virus and downplaying that information to the public.
“This is like a flu… Of the 15 people, the original 15, as I call them, eight of them have returned to their homes,” Trump said, adding that the number of cases is “going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up. And again, when you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”
Also during the segment, Kellar called out Trump for downplaying what he told Woodward in February about airborne transmission of the virus and how sharing that information could have led to Americans taking measures, like social distancing and wearing masks, that would have helped contain the spread for months now.
CNN then played video from a recent Trump rally where supporters told reporters that they are not wearing masks “because there is no” virus, adding, “It’s a fake pandemic created to destroy the United States of America.”
“These are diehard Trump supporters, and they probably would have listened to Trump if he had just told them the truth,” Kellar said.
Trump’s lying about the lying did not stop there. Following the president’s Thursday press conference, CNN’s Jamie Gangel spoke to Bob Woodward who told her Trump lied multiple times.
Gangel reported that Trump’s claims, during the presser, about Woodward allegedly saying that the president’s February comments about the virus’s airborne transmission not being “bad” were false. According to Gangel, Woodward said that he never said that and he has the audiotapes to prove it.
Gangel continued to expose the president’s lies:
“Second thing we’ve been hearing from the White House today is that the president gave Woodward his cell phone [number]. That is not true. Woodward was not given his cell phone,” she said.
Then Gangel showed the receipts that she had in her possession that exposed more Trump lies:
“And I have here: the president said that these were very short phone calls. I actually have a list of all of the phone calls, all of the dates there were. There’s, in addition to the 18 calls, there is the 19th call. It is almost 10 hours of interviews here. Many of them over a half-hour long, some of them an hour. And frequently it was Trump calling Woodward unexpectedly,” Gangel said.
Not sure the White House is aware, there is a 19th interview, frequently it was @realDonaldTrump calling @realBobWoodward and we have a list of the calls here. Woodward has transcripts and audio recordings. https://t.co/zltxfS9nTS
— Jamie Gangel (@jamiegangel) September 11, 2020
On Friday, political scientist Greg Weiner penned an op-ed for the New York Times and encapsulated the constant con and the dangerous singular focus that Trump has brought to the White House. Weiner wrote, “It’s simple. Everything that benefits Mr. Trump is true, and everything that inconveniences him is false.”