“Won” is an odd word to use here, certainly, given what Mueller was tasked to investigate and what little we know about his conclusions. But Trump nonetheless embraced it — even claiming that “everybody knows” he won.
This is a favorite formulation of Trump’s that fits with his tendency toward exaggeration. It’s not just that many Americans believe something to be the case. No, everybody knows that what Trump is saying is the truth, that he offers unassailable insights and any contrary opinions are necessarily insincere and inaccurate.
We found about 30 instances in the past six months alone where Trump asserted that everyone knew something. They’re presented below in reverse chronological order with repeat instances of the same claim excluded.
Not only were nearly all of Trump’s assertions things that not everybody knew, but they were often assertions with which a majority of Americans disagreed.
Everybody knows …
April 10. That Trump “won” the Mueller report. Polling shows that 59 percent think Trump wasn’t cleared or that it’s too soon to say.
April 9. That President Barack Obama used child separation as part of his immigration policy. That’s simply not true. It follows, then, that not everyone “knows” this.
April 5. That loopholes in immigration laws, such as “chain migration” or “visa lottery,” are very bad. Polling indicates that 48 percent support continuing the visa lottery and 43 percent support family reunification (what Trump calls “chain migration”).
April 2. That what the Democrats are planning on health care is a disaster. According to Kaiser Family Foundation polling, 56 percent at least somewhat support Medicare-for-all in the abstract.
March 27. That you need the wall. A Quinnipiac University poll found that 55 percent don’t think building a wall at the Mexican border would make American safer.
March 22. That Democratic investigations are a “continuation of the same witch hunt.” Six in 10 support House Democrats investigating Trump further on a range of issues, including his campaign’s interactions with Russia.
March 22. That there was no obstruction. A Washington Post-Schar School poll found that 49 percent think Trump obstructed justice, even after the completion of Mueller’s probe.
March 2. What word he wanted to use to describe ending tariffs. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump claimed that he wanted to use a non-politically correct word but wouldn’t because his wife didn’t want him to. I didn’t know what he meant then, and I still don’t.
Feb. 22. That we need border security. Probably, though 43 percent didn’t think there was a security crisis at the border in January.
Feb. 21. That the depth and glory of African American contributions to American culture are beyond measure. We must grimly note that racists would probably not claim to know that this is true.
Feb. 15. That human smugglers drive bound women across the border between border checkpoints. While the New York Times reports that incidents of women being bound while being smuggled over the border have occurred, the Border Patrol at one point struggled to find stories matching Trump’s description.
Feb. 3. That everyone knows what’s happening at the border because of the shutdown. A majority consistently opposed Trump’s proposal to build a wall, his solution for what was happening on the border with Mexico.
Feb. 1. That Democrats are not being honest about what’s happening at the border. Another Quinnipiac poll found that half of Americans trust Democrats in Congress more than Trump on border security.
Jan. 31. That the wall works. Six in 10 say the wall wouldn’t significantly reduce crime or drugs.
Jan. 31. Everybody knows Roger Stone personally. Probably not.
Jan. 25. That Trump has a powerful alternative to congressional funding for the wall. Trump was referring to his plan to use a national emergency to secure funding to build a wall. Asked by CNN in January, 3 percent had no opinion on declaring a national emergency — suggesting that they didn’t know much about this alternative.
Jan. 14. That there’s a humanitarian crisis on the border. A poll released that day found that 26 percent of respondents didn’t believe there was a humanitarian crisis at the border.
Jan. 14. Everybody knows Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney. Maybe in South Carolina.
Jan. 10. That NAFTA was a disaster. In a Fox News poll from December, 41 percent viewed NAFTA at least somewhat favorably.
Nov. 29, 2018. About the Moscow Trump Tower deal. Speaking to reporters, Trump apparently claimed that everybody knew about the Trump Tower Moscow deal during the campaign. This was far from true, and Trump himself repeatedly asserted that he had no links to Russia before he was elected.
Nov. 22. That the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is “out of control.” This is hard to evaluate, but it’s worth noting that Trump won a victory in a fight over his wall in the court earlier this year. It seems unlikely that everyone has an opinion on federal circuit courts.
Nov. 15. What it means that Trump signed the most significant VA reform in half a century. Trump’s claim here isn’t really clear, but it’s also not the case that Trump passed the most significant reform in half a century. He repeatedly claims credit for something Obama did.
Nov. 14. That the Mueller probe is “pure harassment.” The Post found that 57 percent think that the Mueller probe was “mainly interested in finding out the truth.”
Oct. 31. That birthright citizenship costs the country billions of dollars. People born in the United States are citizens. It’s not clear that they then cost the country billions of dollars that aren’t then paid back through taxes or other mechanisms. Trump often makes unfounded claims about the costs of immigration.
Oct. 31. That there were more murders in Tallahassee in 2017 than in any other year on record. Trump was disparaging Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who was running for governor of Florida. The figure is accurate — the high was 22 — but it’s unlikely everyone knew it.
Oct. 16. That there was no collusion. A CNN-SSRS poll found that 56 percent say that Trump wasn’t exonerated on collusion.
Oct. 11. Who Kid Rock is. When Rock (Kid?) toyed with running for Senate in Michigan, a poll found that nearly a third of his own state had never heard of him.
Oct. 11. Who Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) is. Grassley fared a bit better than Kid (Rock?): Nine percent of Iowans had no opinion of the job he was doing.
It’s worth pointing out that one subgroup gets a lot closer to universally holding Trump’s positions on these issues: Republicans. Every Republican Trump supporter likely “knows” the various claims he makes, but that group doesn’t constitute “everybody” in any sense. Even if it does seem to be the group that’s closest to Trump’s heart.