“President Donald Trump can’t be counted on to give accurate information to Americans when violent acts are unfolding abroad.”
That is how Calvin Woodward and Jim Drinkard open their Associated Press article fact-checking the President’s tweets on the London attacks, and they did not ease up from there.
Long considered the gold standard for fact-based reporting, the AP noted that the attacks in both London and the Phillipines “prompted visceral reactions from Trump instead of statements shaped by the findings of the U.S. intelligence and diplomatic apparatus…and [Trump] got it wrong in the Philippines case, calling the episode there a ‘terrorist attack’ when it was not.”
The AP dissected several of the President’s recent statements, identifying numerous fallacies and contradictions. Some examples include:
We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2017
The AP writes that Trump “directly contradicted an earlier statement by his homeland security secretary that the travel restrictions blocked by U.S. courts do not constitute a ban.”
At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is "no reason to be alarmed!"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017
Many have noted that this tweet takes Mayor Sadiq Khan’s actual quote egregiously out of context. The AP is no different, reporting that Khan “was not playing down the danger” and “said terrorists will not be allowed to ‘cower our city or Londoners.'”
Woodward and Drinkard also fact-checked several claims in Trump’s Rose Garden announcement that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, including this one:
“The cost to the economy at this time would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP and 6.5 million industrial jobs, while households would have 7,000 less income, and in many cases, much worse than that.”
The article notes that the claim is based on a transparently biased study that “makes worst-case assumptions that may inflate the cost of meeting U.S. targets under the Paris accord while largely ignoring the economic benefits.”
“Academic studies have found that increased environmental regulation doesn’t actually have much impact on employment,” they continue. “Jobs lost at polluting companies tend to be offset by new jobs in green technology.”
Gone are the days when a revered news outlet could afford the luxury of bending over backwards not to offend Republicans who would accuse them of partisanship. Trump has so egregiously shunned facts that respectable journalists are left with no choice but to call out his claims for what they are: lies.
No one has ever credibly accused the AP of bias, but that will not keep this President from trying it anyway. Clearly, he has no intention of letting the facts get in his way.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com