September 16, 2020

ABC News held a Donald Trump Town Hall last night hosted by George Stephanopoulos and it was not a pretty picture for the so-called president.

The Washington Post's fact-checker gave Trump Four Pinnochio's for his disgraceful performance.

It was an unusual venue for Stable Genius: the ABC Town Hall was NOT filled with sycophants and Trump cultists to stroke his humongous ego and praise the air he breathes. Trump faced pushback and some real questions from real Americans and the moderator, George Stephanopolis, actually fact-checked him in real time on healthcare and other issues.

Trump appeared to be spinning himself into the ground like a morbid top.

CNN's fact-checker Daniel Dale joined Don Lemon on-air after the event, and went through Donald Trump's cavalcade of misinformation, calling it a "firehose of lying."

That's just about right.

DON LEMON: Daniel, let me bring you in because you've been busy fact checking this Town Hall. What stood out to you?

DANIEL DALE: There was just so much lying, Don. I'm going to go quickly.

He said, again, Democrats won't protect people with pre-existing conditions. That's nonsense, as a voter told him, Democrats created those protections.

He insisted he didn't praise China on the virus. He did so repeatedly. We know that. He claimed nobody knew at the time he was praising China, that seniors were especially susceptible to the virus. That's one of the first things we learned out of China, Italy, and the US.

He claimed Biden said in March the pandemic was, quotes, totally overexaggerated. I can find no evidence Biden ever said that.

He said Winston Churchill was kind of like him, playing down stuff because he went on rooftops in the bombing and said everything is going to be good. Churchill did not stand on the rooftops and warn everything was going to be good.

He said protesters took over 20% of Seattle. He took credit for sending in the National Guard in Minneapolis saying this happened after a week and a half of violence there. It was not even close to a week and a half. It was days and the Democratic governor is the one who activated the Guard.

He said he essentially repealed Obamacare by getting rid of individual mandate, not even close to true with the Medicaid expansion, pre-existing conditions expansion, other stuff remains.

His administration admits he inherited about 16,000 ventilators from Obama.

He did his usual false boast about so-called bans on travel from China and Europe. They were not complete bans.

He said stocks are owned by, quote, everybody. Just about half of Americans own stocks.

He repeated his nonsense about testing causing cases, testing merely reveals and helps fight cases.

He said that Biden has agreed to a Bernie Sanders style of socialized health care. He fought Sanders on that issue. He has very much not agreed to a Sanders-style plan.

And, Don, this is a preliminary list. I have hours of fact checking tonight to do because there's even more than this.
So this was just a firehose of lying, again, from the president.

DON LEMON: Do you need a drink of water?

DALE: Yeah. I think i'm -- my camera here, I apologize to the viewers.

LEMON: It was just, what, an hour, hour and a half town hall and -- yes, like, every -- like every -- oh, my gosh.

DALE: Every other line was false or misleading. It was crazy.

LEMON: Let's listen to what he said about crime. Listen to what the president said about crime tonight. Here it is.

[VIDEO CLIP, TRUMP] If you're going to stop crime, we have to give the -- the respect back to the police that they deserve. They've done a fantastic job in so many locations but then bad things happen. Look at new york. New york was a very safe city. Rudy giuliani did a fantastic job. The city was safe and then all of a sudden we have a mayor, he starts cutting the police force and crime is up 100%, 150%. I saw one form of crime up 300%. [END CLIP]

LEMON: What are the facts, Daniel?

DALE: So, there have been spikes in certain kinds of crime in New York City this year, particularly shootings where there's been a more than 100% increase. Not a 300% increase, but substantial. The thing to remember, though, is that crime has fallen hugely since even Giuliani's final year. There's been a subsequent big decrease. Last year in 2019 there were fewer than half the murders under Bill de Blasio than in the last year of Giuliani, so, yes, this year has been an increase. The city is still way safer than it was in Giuliani's last year in 2001.

LEMON: Well, there you go, don't let facts get in the way of a good story.

Trump was so awful and deceitful that Fox News host and COVID-19 denier Laura Ingraham furiously spun out of control herself, claiming the townhall was an "ambush" set up by a room full of Trump resistance.

Meanwhile Trump was so deluded about his appearance that he tweeted this this morning:

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.