Trump has a serious issue with something very simple: the truth. In addition, he considers any negative coverage him as "fake news." As he himself stated, he "really started this whole fake news thing."
- Trump has been in an ongoing spat with top GOP Senator, Bob Corker. Corker has called Trump “utterly untruthful” and said that the White House has become an "adult daycare."
- Trump accused the widow of a solider who died during the attack in Niger and her Congresswoman, Frederica Wilson, of lying about his condolence phone call to her. He also said he called or wrote a letter to “virtually every family” of soldiers who have been killed since he took office – he hasn't.
- Fake news, social media, and Russia’s role in disinformation during the election campaign has been a major focus of the Trump-Russia investigations.
Trump called a congresswoman "wacky" and said she told a "total lie" about his call to the widow of a solider killed in Niger. "The Fake News is going crazy with wacky Congresswoman Wilson(D), who was SECRETLY on a very personal call, and gave a total lie on content!" Trump tweeted. Frederica Wilson said Trump told the widow her husband "knew what he signed up for" in a condolence call. (Politico)
Putin's "chef" is believed to have financed the Russian "troll factory" that used social media to spread fake news during the 2016 US presidential campaign. Yevgeny Prigozhin is a Russian oligarch and the main backer of the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency. A declassified assessment by US intelligence concluded in January that the "likely financier of the so-called Internet Research Agency of professional trolls located in Saint Petersburg is a close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence." It did not name Prigozhin directly. Prigozhin was at one point, allegedly, Putin's "personal chef," in addition to having catering contracts with Russia's armed forces. He also once served caviar and truffles to George W. Bush during a summit in St. Petersburg. (CNN)
In response to the NBC News story, Trump tweeted that NBC’s broadcast license should be pulled as punishment for reporting what he considers fake news. “Fake @NBCNews made up a story that I wanted a ‘tenfold’ increase in our U.S. nuclear arsenal. Pure fiction, made up to demean. NBC = CNN!” Trump tweeted. “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” (Politico / The Hill)
Trump challenged Tillerson to an IQ test after the secretary of state's "moron" comment. "I think it's fake news," Trump said, "but if he did that, I guess we'll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win." Tillerson reportedly called Trump a "fucking moron" and nearly resigned this summer. (Forbes / Washington Post)
Trump criticized the Senate Intelligence Committee for continuing its investigation into possible collusion between Russia and his campaign, tweeting: "Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!" Trump tweeted. The tweet comes in response to yesterday's news that the committee is still investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential race. (The Hill / ABC News)
Today, Tillerson denied he considered resigning from his job, but did not address whether he called Trump a "moron." Minutes before Tillerson's remarks, Trump tweeted that NBC News was "fake news" and "more dishonest than even CNN. They are a disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news ratings are way down!" Immediately after Tillerson spoke, Trump tweeted, again, that the NBC News "story has just been totally refuted" by Tillerson and that the news network "should issue an apology to AMERICA!" Later in the day Trump called it “a totally phony story” and said he has "total confidence” in Tillerson. (USA Today / CBS News / New York Times)
The House intelligence committee is focusing on Russian ads bought on Google, search engine manipulation, fake news, and the potential uses of YouTube. Google had initially said it found no evidence of targeted tactics like the thousands of election-related ads purchased on Facebook. (Bloomberg)
Twitter briefed members of the Senate and House intelligence committees about fake news spread by Russian accounts and what steps the company took to stop it. Twitter told Congress that about 200 accounts are tied to some of the same Russian-linked sources that purchased ads on Facebook. The vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee criticized Twitter for failing to aggressively investigate the Russian misuse of its platform beyond the accounts linked to fraudulent profiles already identified by Facebook. Mark Warner said the company's presentation “showed an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions and again begs many more questions than they offered." He added: “Their response was frankly inadequate on every level.” (Recode / New York Times)
Russian-bought political Facebook ads criticized Hillary Clinton, promoted Trump, and supported Bernie Sanders even after his presidential campaign had ended. The ads appeared designed to create divisions while sometimes praising Trump, Sanders, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. A number of the ads questioned Clinton’s authenticity and touted liberal criticisms of her candidacy. Trump took to Twitter to suggest that Facebook had colluded with the news media against him during the campaign, tweeting: "Facebook was always anti-Trump. The Networks were always anti-Trump hence, Fake News @nytimes (apologized) & @WaPo were anti-Trump. Collusion?" He added: "But the people were Pro-Trump! Virtually no President has accomplished what we have accomplished in the first 9 months – and economy roaring." (Politico / The Hill)
On the news media: "It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions. They’re very dishonest people. The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news."
Trump thanked a fake Twitter user and then attacked the "dishonest Fake News Media." The account was created in October 2015, but it first tweeted just 3 days ago, gathering over 6,000 followers with memes and posts exclusively celebrating Donald Trump. Trump thanked the bot for its tweet saying that "Every single day the #FakeNews media try to take you down.. You never falter, you always stand strong!" (Mashable)
Mitch McConnell undercuts Trump that "most news is not fake." McConnell told a group at the Louisville Chamber of Commerce that he reads a variety of sources that Trump has blasted, including the New York Times, and that "it is my view that most news is not fake." (Politico)
Trump took to Twitter on his first day of vacation to lash out at the “Fake News” media and insist that his political base is only “getting stronger" despite a drop-off in his approval rating and the intensifying Russian investigation. “The Trump base is far bigger and stronger than ever before (despite some phony Fake News polling). Look at rallies in Penn, Iowa, Ohio and West Virginia,” Trump tweeted. “The fact is the Fake News Russian collusion story, record Stock Market, border security, military strength, jobs, Supreme Court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation and so much more have driven the Trump base even closer together. Will never change!” He added: “Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES and WAPO, the Trump base is getting stronger!”
Pence shot down a report that he was positioning himself to run for president in 2020, calling it "disgraceful and offensive." Pence has created his own political fund-raising committee, signaling to major Republican donors that he's the heir apparent if Trump does not seek a second term. “Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the president’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020," Pence said in a statement. "Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd.” (Politico / New York Times)
Trump used a campaign-style rally to attack the Russia investigation, hours after news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller had tapped a grand jury. He referred to the investigation as a "totally made-up Russia story" and a "total fabrication." He insisted that Democrats "can't beat us at the voting booths, so they're trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want. They're trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us, and most importantly, demeaning to our country and demeaning to our Constitution." (Politico / CNN)
The FBI monitored social media on Election Day to track a suspected Russian disinformation campaign spreading "fake news" and identify possible disruptions to the vote. For the FBI, monitoring the news put them "right on the edge of Constitutional legality" given the First Amendment's free speech protections. (CNN)
The lawyer in the Fox "fake news" suit wants Trump and Spicer to testify. Rod Wheeler’s lawsuit claims that Fox fabricated quotes implicating DNC staffer Seth Rich in the WikiLeaks scandal. “We’re going to litigate this case as we would any other,” and that means “we’ll want to depose anyone who has information,” including the president, Wheeler's attorney. (Yahoo News)
Fox News and a Trump donor created a fake news story to deflect attention from the administration's ties to Russia, a lawsuit alleges. The story is about the death of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer, which first aired in May, but was retracted a week later. The lawsuit, filed by Rod Wheeler, a paid commentator for the news network, claims a Fox News reporter created quotations out of thin air and attributed them to him in order to propel the story. A month before the story ran, Trump donor Ed Butowsky and Wheeler met at the White House with Sean Spicer to brief him on what they were uncovering. At a press gaggle after the story ran, Spicer claimed to have no knowledge of the Rich story. Spicer now confirms meeting with the two. (NPR)
The new White House communications director praised Breitbart News, saying they've "captured the spirit of what's actually going on in the country." Anthony Scaramucci said he wants to get Trump's unfiltered message to his supporters via Twitter, bypassing mainstream media Trump often calls "fake news," while hoping to de-escalate "unfairness and bias in the media." (Politico)
In response to the news of the meeting, Trump tweeted that the "Fake News" story about his "secret dinner with Putin is "'sick.'" He added that "the Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest" and makes his previously undisclosed meeting with Putin "look sinister!" (Twitter)
Trump defended Ivanka's seat-holding at the G20, saying "If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother, as her mother gave our country away, the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!" Clinton responded on Twitter: "Good morning Mr. President. It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me." Ivanka sat in for Trump when he stepped away for a one-on-one discussion with other leaders. Ivanka serves as an unpaid adviser to Trump as the assistant to the president with an office in the West Wing, blurring the lines between family and official business. (CNN / Bloomberg)
Investigators are exploring if Russia colluded with far-right, pro-Trump sites during the election in order to spread bogus stories aimed at discrediting Hillary Clinton. The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee said that at least 1,000 “paid internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia” were pumping anti-Clinton fake news into social media sites during the campaign. The head of Trump's digital team, Brad Parscale, has been asked to appear before the House intelligence committee. (The Guardian)
Trump used his Saturday night speech to continue his attack on the news media. “The fake media is trying to silence us," Trump said. "But we will not let them. Because the people know the truth. The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I’m president and they’re not.” (New York Times)
Later, Trump tweeted that the "FAKE NEWS" Washington Post is the "guardian of Amazon" for taxes purposes. Amazon doesn’t own the newspaper. It's privately owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. There is no federal “internet tax.” Fake news. (Politico / Recode)
Sarah Huckabee Sanders lectured reporters about the "constant barrage of fake news" by the media. She then promoted a video by James O'Keefe, a journalist known for his deceptive video editing and interview tactics, who released an undercover video where a CNN producer called the network's Russia coverage "mostly bullshit." She conceded that she did not know "whether it's accurate or not," then added that "if it is accurate, I think it's a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism." (Washington Post / Politico / HuffPost)
Trump tweeted that CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, and The Washington Post are all "fake news" after CNN retracted a story tying a member of Trump’s transition team to the ongoing Russia investigations. (Politico)
Republican Karen Handel beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia's special election for a House seat. Trump tweeted his excitement: “Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0." The Georgia race was the most expensive House race in history, with candidates spending roughly $55 million combined. (CNN / New York Times / Politico)
Trump blocked a veterans group on Twitter that was critical of him. While on the campaign trail, Trump praised veterans as "amazing," "distinguished" and "tremendous." Today, he blocked them on Twitter for criticizing his tweet about the "Fake News Media." (Talking Points Memo / Newsweek / The Hill)
US investigators believe Russian hackers planted a fake news report in Qatar's state news agency. The Qatar News Agency attributed false remarks to the nation's ruler that appeared friendly to Iran and Israel and questioned whether Trump would last in office. In reaction, Qatar's neighbors, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cut off economic and political ties, causing a broader crisis. (CNN)
Fox News host to Trump: "Fake news media" isn’t the issue. "It’s you." Neil Cavuto hit Trump for his criticism of how the media has covered his Twitter habits, saying "Mr. President, it’s not the fake news media that’s your problem. It’s you. It’s not just your tweeting, it’s your scapegoating. It’s your refusal to see that sometimes you’re the one who’s feeding your own beast and acting beastly with your own guys. Look at the critiques you’re now hearing from usually friendly and supportive allies as sort of like an intervention. Because firing off these angry missives and tweets risks your political discussion." (The Hill)
Trump attacks "fake news" for reporting that Kushner had discussed setting up a secret communications channel with the Russians. (New York Times)
Poll/ 65% of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media. 84% of voters said it's hard to know what news to believe online. (Editor's Suggestion: Get the fuck off Facebook.) (The Hill)
Trump attacks "fake news media" while congratulating Fox News for its high ratings. It's not clear what provoked Trump’s criticism of the media on Twitter this morning. (Politico)
Trump blasts approval rating polls as "fake news" conducted by media outlets whose polling about last year’s presidential election had proven incorrect. (Politico)
Trump slams Comey hearing as "fake news" four hours before Comey confirmed the existence of a probe on "the Russian story." Trump preemptively tried to swat down lingering allegations that his campaign engaged in improper activities with the Russian government during the 2016 election. (Salon)
Moscow blames anti-Russian hysteria in the U.S. for Sessions’s plight, saying "fake news" and a "witch hunt" are intended to head off better relations. (Washington Post)
FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier to continue his work. While Trump has derided the dossier as “fake news” compiled by his political opponents, the FBI’s arrangement with the spy shows that bureau investigators considered him credible and found his line of inquiry to be worthy of pursuit. (Washington Post)
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace warns viewers: Trump crossed the line in latest attack on media. Trump's contentious relationship with the press has again been in the spotlight after the president repeatedly attacked the media as “fake news”. All presidents fight with the media, but Trump had taken it a step further in making them out to be “the enemy,” Wallace said. (Washington Post)
CNN host Don Lemon abruptly ended his segment after a commentator continued to call a story they were discussing "fake news" while defending Trump. Lemon was moderating a discussion on the cost of Trump's visits to Mar-a-Lago in Florida when Paris Dennard, a political analyst and commentator, called it "fake news." Dennard insisted that "this is a fake news story," after which Lemon ended the segment altogether. (The Hill)
Sanders rips Trump, jokes about “fake news”. In an 11-minute interview, Sanders weighed in on Trump's travel ban, his clashing with the media, and the controversy surrounding National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (CNN)
WH official: We'll say "fake news" until media realizes attitude of attacking the President is wrong. Trump and his staff have repeatedly used the term "fake news" to discredit reporting on the administration, often offering no evidence to back up their disputes with those outlets' stories. (CNN)
Trump says "negative polls are fake news." Trump turned to Twitter early Monday and began challenging polls that showed his travel order was not popular. (New York Times)
The massacre that wasn’t, and a turning point for fake news. The Bowling Green episode made such a splash because it played directly into concerns that the Trump administration would use untrue assertions to rally support for its agenda while denigrating as "dishonest" all the valid reporting pointing out the falsehoods. (New York Times)
White House ices out CNN. Trump administration refuses to put officials on air on the network the president called "fake news." (Politico)
Trump continued his longstanding assault on media outlets. This time labeling the NY Times as "fake news," and said that it and the Washington Post's coverage of Trump has been "so false and angry." It is unclear as to what prompted Trump's criticism. (Politico)
One of the greatest threats Trump poses is that he corrupts and corrodes the absoluteness of truth, facts and science. It is no coincidence that the rise of Trump is concurrent with the rise of “fake news.” It is no coincidence that his rise comes during an age of severely damaged faith in institutions. Our president is a pathological liar. Say it. Write it. Never become inured to it. And dispense with the terms of art to describe it. A lie by any other name portends the same. (NY Times)
Fake news is about to get even scarier than you ever dreamed. What we saw in the 2016 election is nothing compared to what we need to prepare for in 2020. If there’s one thing we learned from this election cycle, it is that there are a number of reasons that people create fake-news stories. And, it has become clear that most new consumers don’t want to know if what they are reading is real or fake; they just want to know that it helps support their worldview. (Vanity Fair)
Trump's impulses now carry the force of the presidency. Impetuous and instinctive, convinced of broad, but hidden plots to undermine him, eager to fight and prone to what an aide called “alternative facts,” Trump has shown in just days in office that he is like few if any occupants of the White House before him. (NY Times)
For Trump, everything is a rating. Trump spent his first weekend in office at war with math. He said that his inauguration crowd — which photographs showed was dwarfed by Barack Obama’s estimated 1.8 million in 2009 — “looked like a million, a million and a half.” His staff members backed up that claim with what his adviser Kellyanne Conway memorably termed “alternative facts.” (NY Times)
Kellyanne Conway said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the White House had put forth “alternative facts” to ones reported by the news media about the size of Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd. (NY Times)
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. What– You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains–
CHUCK TODD: Wait a minute– Alternative facts?
CHUCK TODD: Alternative facts? Four of the five facts he uttered, the one thing he got right–
CHUCK TODD: –was Zeke Miller. Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods.
Alternative facts are a needless lie by the Trump Administration. If the president and his aides will tell easily disproven falsehoods about crowd sizes and speeches, what else will they be willing to dissemble about? (The Atlantic)
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