Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

How Many Lies Can Donald Trump Defend in One Interview?

How Many Lies Can Donald Trump Defend in One Interview?

President Trump doubled down multiple debunked allegations in an interview published Thursday - including his claim that his predecessor ordered an illegal wiretap of Trump Tower - and pointed to his position of power as reason enough to continue making baseless allegations.

The Time interview took place right around the time that House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) held a news conference to announce he's found new "evidence" that might justifying Trump's wiretapping accusation.

Trump tells Time, "Hey look, in the meantime, I guess, I can't be doing so badly, because I'm president, and you're not".

"Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wire tapping", he said.

The president also stuck to his guns on his claim that millions of people voted illegally in last year's elections, ballots that he has said cost him the popular vote. Nunes said he has records indicating that "on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about United States citizens involved in the Trump transition".

To support his claim, Trump pointed to his prediction that Britain would vote to leave the European Union, his insistence that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states meet their defense spending obligations when "nobody knew that they weren't paying" and his shocking victory in the presidential election itself as proof that he is often proven right.

Asked about his false claim that Ted Cruz's father was linked to JFK's assassin, Trump said "that was in the newspaper". I said, 'No, Brexit is going to happen, ' and everybody laughed, and Brexit happened. I mean we have many, you can go up and down the ladder. "But that was in the newspaper", the president said.

In an interview that consisted mostly of Trump repeating his talking points, there was one throwaway line that stood out: Trump admitted that the latest jobs report, which boasted 235,000 new jobs and a 0.1 percent decrease in the unemployment, "are not the real statistics".

Trump also defended his administration's controversial assertion that the British spy agency GCHQ surveilled his campaign at the request of the Obama administration - an allegation the agency has fiercely denied, and which prompted a diplomatic incident that national security adviser H.R. McMaster was drawn in to defuse. 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".

Nunes, on Wednesday night, said there was "incidental collection" of communications from Trump's team between the election and Trump's swearing in.

He later admitted he had no idea who'd be wiretapping him if it occurred. I did. I figured it. Brexit, I was totally right about that.

"Well I think I will be proved right about that too", Trump replied.

He also boasted about being able to predict, among other things, his victory in the election, the British vote to exit Europe and various terrorist attacks, including one in Sweden that never actually happened.

Presented with a litany of other falsehoods and mischaracterizations, Trump offered this nonchalant rebuttal to his critics: "What am I going to tell you?"

"But my instinct turns out to be right", he said.

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