Donald Trump tried to present himself as a paragon of journalistic virtue at Wednesday’s press conference, and if you were trapped in a bunker the last two years, from another planet, a frequent impulse buyer of bridges, or a Trump supporter, you might have believed him. Over the hour-long circus, Trump railed against the “very, very dishonest people” working in media, said he has “great respect for freedom of the press and all of that” and bemoaned fake news—seven times. “It's a very sad thing,” Trump stated at one moment. “So, all I can ask for is honest reporters.”
There’s nothing inherently funny about the words Trump used, but they are absolutely hilarious coming out of his mouth. Fake news is the one thing Trump hasn’t claimed to have invented that he actually deserves at least partial credit for inventing. He has been spreading fake news since it was just called “lies,” and he’s shown that winning the presidency will only increase his fake news output. Trump puts out so much misinformation he is a fake news factory unto himself, an artisan of lies, a curator of untruths. Real estate may be his job, but lying is his career, hobby and passion project.
Trump has put thousands of fake news stories out there, some enormous and others so small you wonder why he bothers. Here are 14 fake news stories from the recent and distant past that Trump has created or promoted.
1. Obama is a Kenyan Muslim who never attended Columbia University.
Trump began courting his base in 2011, when he assumed a position as a lead voice among the birthers, a group of racists and Islamophobes desperate for any reason to delegitimize the first black president. For half a decade, Trump relentlessly peddled birtherism and other overtly racialized lies. He suggested that President Obama fabricated his time at Columbia University, a favorite contention among a right-wing that reserves a particularly visceral hatred for educated “elites” of the uppity black variety. Trump also demanded—demanded, with all the gall and entitlement of a mediocre “self-made” white trust fund kid—that Obama prove he was good enough and American enough to hold the office. To ensure this demand was as demeaning as possible, Trump offered Obama $5 million (he would later lie and say it was $50 million) to show his passport and longform birth certificate, as if Obama would shuck and jump at the money. When Trump finally dropped all the birther stuff earlier this year, he tried to slither out of it via more fake news, and invented a story pinning the whole thing on Hillary Clinton. Continue reading the story here