In interview about his falsehoods, President Trump offers new ones

Trump: I've predicted things before
Trump: I've predicted things before

Time magazine's interview with President Trump about past falsehoods is full of new falsehoods from the president.

"Name what's wrong! I mean, honestly," Trump told interviewer Michael Scherer. Seconds later, he said "I predicted Brexit."

Trump repeatedly brought up Brexit in the interview as an example of his sharp instincts. "Brexit, I was totally right about that. You were over there I think, when I predicted that, right, the day before," Trump told Scherer.

But Trump made no such prediction the day before the vote. At that time, he said he would personally "probably vote to get out," but did not predict that it would happen. In fact, he downplayed his own opinion, saying on Fox, "I don't think anybody should listen to me because I haven't really focused on it very much, but my inclination would be to get out." (He did, in an interview two months before the vote, say, "I think that Britain will separate from the EU. I think that maybe it's time, especially in light of what's happened with the craziness that is going on with immigration, with people pouring in all over the place I think that Britain will end up separating from the EU.")

In the interview with Scherer, Trump also fanned false narratives about wiretapping, voter fraud, NATO, and refugee violence in Sweden.

He leaned on two main talking points to defend himself: "The country believes me" and "I'm quoting highly respected people and sources from major television networks."

About his false claim during the campaign that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks, Trump once again cited a Washington Post story from 2001 -- but that story never said what Trump claimed.

Asked about his false claim that Ted Cruz's father was linked to JFK's assassin, Trump said "that was in the newspaper. I wasn't, I didn't say that. I was referring to a newspaper."

The bogus story was actually in the National Enquirer, and Trump didn't quote the Enquirer when he passed along the scandalous allegation last May.

Scherer also brought up more recent misstatements by Trump, like the baseless allegation that former President Obama wiretapped him.

Trump said this: "I quoted Judge Napolitano, just like I quoted Bret Baier, I mean Bret Baier mentioned the word wiretap. Now he can now deny it, or whatever he is doing, you know. But I watched Bret Baier, and he used that term. I have a lot of respect for Judge Napolitano, and he said that three sources have told him things that would make me right. I don't know where he has gone with it since then. But I'm quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks."

Both Baier and Napolitano work for Fox News, which has said that its newsroom has no evidence that Obama wiretapped Trump.

Napolitano has been sidelined by the network because he stepped out of line by citing those "three sources."

But the uncorroborated Fox segments gave Trump something to cling onto.

Trump's proclivity for cherry-picking news sources was on display throughout the interview.

He criticized individual media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. The president said it was a "disgrace" that the Journal wrote a blistering editorial about his lack of credibility.

Trump also slammed The New York Times, CNN "and all of them" for pre-election day polls. The polls "were extremely bad and they turned out to be totally wrong, and my polls showed I was going to win."

In fact, most pre-election polls accurately showed Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by a small margin.

In the interview, Scherer and Trump also discussed Trump's February suggestion about a terrorist incident "last night in Sweden" when there was no such incident, but there was a segment broadcast on Fox News about purported problems in Sweden.

Trump told Scherer: "Sweden. I make the statement, everyone goes crazy. The next day they have a massive riot, and death, and problems."

He referred to a "massive riot" again later in the interview, as well as a "horrible, horrible riot in Sweden and you saw what happened."

There was, indeed, a riot in a Stockholm suburb two days after Trump's original remark, but Swedish authorities did not describe it as a "massive riot." A CNN team saw smashed doors and broken windows. Police said ten cars were burned.

Crime levels in Sweden remain relatively low. But in conservative media circles, the late February riot was hyped as some sort of proof that the president was right.

Scherer said on CNN Thursday morning that Trump's misstatements and distortions "are incredibly viral. And as a messaging tool for him, even this debate we're having now on CNN, discussing whether it's true or not true, it allows him to get out his message."

Let's acknowledge, he said, that "it has actually been quite successful."


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