The Post’s Fact Checker has chronicled more than 3,200 false or misleading statements made by Trump since he took office. These continued unabated during his recent foreign travels.
Consider his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
Trump tweet: “Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. . . . Before taking office, people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea.”
Facts: During the five-hour meeting, North Korea did not stipulate how or when it would denuclearize. The nuclear threat from North Korea has not gone away. There was no assumption before Trump took office that the United States was going to war with North Korea. North Korea tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile only after Trump took office. It was the bellicose rhetoric and name-calling between Trump and Kim that raised concern about possible military conflict.
Displays of bad character? How about lies at last week’s NATO summit in Brussels, and then in England?
Trump at the summit: “Germany is a captive of Russia because they supply [energy]. They got rid of their coal plants. They got rid of their nuclear. They’re getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia. I think it’s something that NATO has to look at.”
From an Associated Press fact check: “In 2017, Germany got more than one-third of its energy for electricity from coal and nearly 12 percent from nuclear plants. . . . Only 13 percent came from natural gas, with Russia as the major supplier. . . . Germany plans to retire nuclear plants by 2022 and intends to reduce its reliance on coal. But Germany has not ‘got rid’ of either.”
At a post-summit news conference, Trump falsely claimed he had forced NATO allies to increase their contributions to the defense alliance.
Trump: “We had a fantastic meeting at the end — 29 countries, and they are putting up a lot. Germany has increased very substantially their time period and Germany is coming along.”
Fact: Trump did not secure agreement from NATO members for larger spending commitments. French President Emmanuel Macron said allies did not alter their declarations in response to Trump’s harangue. “There is a communique that was published yesterday,” Macron said. “It’s very detailed. . . . It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024. That’s all.”
Then Trump headed for Britain.
Fact: It wasn’t. As the Sun responded: “We stand by our reporting and the quotes we used — including those where the president was positive about the prime minister, in both the paper and in our audio — and we’re delighted that the president essentially retracted his original charge against the paper later in the press conference. To say the president called us ‘fake news’ with any serious intent is, well . . . fake news.”
Finally, consider Trump’s abandonment of any semblance of moral principles in Helsinki, where he groveled in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was a flat-out case of presidential misconduct. To think: a U.S. president on the world stage, espousing a moral equivalence between Russian tampering with a U.S. presidential election and the FBI’s investigation of that illegal tampering — and that same president even considering the outrageous question of letting Russians interrogate a U.S. ambassador.
Add all of that to the allegations of deceit, racism and lack of integrity in the complaint filed with the ABC Board last month.
It is Trump’s bad conduct, before and during his presidency — his moral blindness and reckless disregard for the truth — that caused a retired federal judge, a retired D.C. Superior Court jurist and five interfaith leaders to file that complaint.
Trump may occupy the White House. But the District of Columbia, by law, has the right to evaluate the moral and ethical qualities of someone seeking to sell alcoholic beverages within its borders. Trump comes up short.
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