Trump Owns Up to Making Things Up - NECN
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

Trump Owns Up to Making Things Up

The president's impulse to replace fact with fiction has defined him as a politician and as a businessman before that

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Tape Surfaces Showing Trump Admitting to Making Up Facts

    President Trump says he did not know if America had a trade deficit with Canada, but assumed we did and insisted on that fact to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Scott McGrew reports.

    (Published Thursday, March 15, 2018)

    President Donald Trump has owned up to making things up.

    For a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump was by his own admission unprepared — deficient in the fundamentals of the Canada-U.S. trade relationship that he'd been railing about since the campaign.

    He insisted to Trudeau that the U.S. was running a trade deficit with Canada, a statement contradicted by U.S. government statistics. He was winging it, he confided to donors at a private Missouri political fundraiser Wednesday night.

    "I didn't even know," he said. "I had no idea."

    'Late Night': A Closer Look at Trump's Lies to Trudeau

    [NATL] 'Late Night': A Closer Look at Trump's Lies to Trudeau

    Seth Meyers takes a closer look at President Donald Trump lying to Canada's prime minister, major news in the Russia investigation and rumors of more staff turnover at the White House.

    (Published Friday, March 16, 2018)

    Others might be mortified at being caught short. Not this president.

    For Trump the showman, the episode illustrated his skill at improvisation. Still, it was a rare admission that he will say things without knowing if they are true.

    Trump's impulse to replace fact with fiction has defined him as a politician and as a businessman before that.

    Depositions reviewed by AP from his litigious years in real estate show a history of dodgy statements about his property and wealth. Asked once about overstating the number of units sold in a Las Vegas tower, he said he didn't intend his answer to be taken literally.

    Trump's years of questioning President Barack Obama's citizenship showed a willingness to perpetuate myth that was seen again early in his presidential campaign, when he insisted against all evidence that Muslims took to the streets in New Jersey to celebrate the 2001 terrorist attack across the river in Manhattan.

    In office, he routinely misuses numbers — trade statistics among them — and recounts events to suit his agenda even if the facts don't fit.

    Trump Discusses New US Missile Defense Strategy

    [NATL] Trump Discusses New US Missile Defense Strategy

    President Donald Trump discussed his plans for a revamped missile defense strategy during a speech at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on Thursday.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    Of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Florida, he said, "If you had one person in that room that could carry a gun and knew how to use it, it wouldn't have happened, or certainly not to the extent it did," a statement belied by the fact that the club had an armed guard on duty who immediately exchanged fire with the gunman.

    In leaked audio of the Missouri fundraiser, first reported by The Washington Post, Trump says that in his meeting with Trudeau, he thought the U.S. must be running a trade deficit with Canada because the Canadians have been smart about trade and "we're so stupid."

    "Nice guy, good-looking guy, comes in — 'Donald, we have no trade deficit.'" Trump recounted. "He's very proud because everybody else, you know, we're getting killed."

    "I said, 'Wrong, Justin, you do.' I didn't even know. ... I had no idea. I just said, 'You're wrong.' You know why? Because we're so stupid. . And I thought they were smart."

    Trump went on to say that his position was ultimately vindicated when he had U.S. and Canadian aides take a closer look at trade between the two countries. That conclusion is not supported by the numbers.

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday insisted Trump was right, saying: "Well the president was accurate, because there is a trade deficit and that was the point he was making, is that he didn't have to look at the specific figures, because he knew that there was a trade deficit."

    Shutdown Relief: Easing the Burden

    [NATL] Shutdown Relief: Easing the Burden

    As the government shutdown drags on, companies, restaurants and service providers across the country are coming up with ways to help the estimated 800,000 Americans not getting paid. NBC's Dan Scheneman reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019)

    Canadian Foreign Affairs spokesman Adam Austin offered this counter: "According to their own statistics, the U.S. runs a trade surplus with Canada."

    Trump mischaracterizes the trade balance by considering only trade in goods and ignoring services. On goods, the U.S. ran a deficit of $17.6 billion with Canada last year. That was offset by a surplus in trade in services.

    Overall, the U.S. Census Bureau reports a U.S. trade surplus of $2.8 billion last year with Canada.