Invented fact watch: Donald J. Trump has invented a fact!


The New York Times makes it official:
Donald J. Trump is one step closer to making it into the White House.

We say that because the rising star has invented an important fact. Confirmation of his invented fact appears in today's New York Times.

The invented fact is announced at the top of the front page of this morning's hard-copy Times. It appears in paragraph 2 of a news report about Candidate Trump's foreign policy speech.

The front-page report was written by Mark Landler and, inevitably, the hapless Ashley Parker. This is the way their report begins, right at the very top of the hard-copy Times' front page:
LANDLER AND PARKER (4/28/16): Donald J. Trump, exuding confidence after his resounding primary victories in the East, promised a foreign policy on Wednesday that he said would put “America first.” He castigated President Obama and Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state and a possible opponent in the general election, for what he described as a string of missteps that have disillusioned the nation’s allies and emboldened its rivals.

Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, pledged a major buildup of the military, the swift destruction of the Islamic State and the rejection of trade deals that he said tied the nation’s hands. But he also pointedly rejected the nation-building of the George W. Bush administration, reminding his audience that he had opposed the Iraq war.
There it sits, in paragraph 2, at the top of the Times front page. According to Landler and Parker, Donald J. Trump reminded his audience "that he had opposed the Iraq war."

Is it true? Did the aforementioned Donald J. Trump "oppose the Iraq war?"

Trump has been making this claim since last summer. He delivered an especially ornate version of this bogus claim at the second Republican debate, way back last September.

Did Trump oppose the war in Iraq? he has made this claim again and again, sometimes with Anderson Cooper offering his thousand-yard stare. For months, it has been clear that Trump hopes to use this phony claim in a general election campaign against Candidate Clinton, who is said to have voted "for the war in Iraq."

It's also clear that Donald J. Trump didn't oppose the war in Iraq. Fact-checkers have reached this conclusion again and again. That even includes a fact-check by a newspaper called the New York Times—a fact-check which, in best Times fashion, doesn't carry a date.

There is zero evidence that Donald J. Trump opposed the war in Iraq. At that GOP debate last fall, he said "I'll give you twenty-five different stories" to that effect, seeming to mean news reports.

In fact, no such report has ever turned up. There is zero evidence suggesting that Trump opposed the war in Iraq.

That said, dearest darlings, so what? Trump has been claiming that he opposed the war; at "newspapers" like the New York Times, this claim has now been confirmed as an established fact. It appears today at the top of page one, in paragraph 2 of a major news report.

This claim is untrue. In our world, though, Trump's false claim is now an established establishment fact.

You'd think an entity like the Times would be embarrassed by this sort of thing. Thinking that, you'd be wrong. As a foreign affairs reporter, Landler should be scandalized to see his name on such manifest nonsense. That said, Parker is one of the Times' endless roster of world-class flyweight trivia peddlers. We will assume that she provided the invention of this latest new fact.

Please understand—this invented fact actually could send Donald J. Trump to the White House. Invented facts tend to spread quite fast. To cite one example, the hapless entity still called Salon is pimping this headline today:
WEDNESDAY, APR 27, 2016 07:00 PM EDT

Trump opposed Iraq. Hillary voted for war: Let’s take his foreign policy vision seriously
Trump gets some things very wrong. But today's speech was still daring, spot on and important contrast with Hillary

As is so often the case with Salon, nothing in Smith's report says that Trump opposed the war in Iraq. Some "editor" decided to stick that in the headline anyway. This is the norm at Salon.

Whether at the Times or the new Salon, we the people are getting our pockets picked today. Rather, we're having something stuck into the pockets and cubbyholes of our spotless minds.

Last summer, Donald J. Trump set out to invent a fact. He hopes to ride that fact to the White House. The New York Times and the new Salon have now christened his bogus new fact.

Just for the record: For liberals, it does no good to complain about this sort of thing from the Times.

In the journalism business, liberal and mainstream careers tend to run through the Times. Your favorite heroes will never complain about this latest gong-show by the glorious dispenser of salaries and reputations.

Rachel won't say a word tonight. In all probability, Hayes won't go there either.


  1. We are told over and over that whatever Trump says, no matter how vile or vulgar or untrue, it doesn't matter. It won't hurt him. He's the new shiny object. Get with the program.

    1. It won't hurt Trump within the batshit crazy wing of the Republican Party that already supports him.

      The rest of America isn't the batshit crazy wing of the Republican Party.

  2. Not a Trump fan, but there's a 2007 interview with Wolf Blitzer that seems to bolster Trump's assertion. Does this count?

    1. No. No it doesn't.

      Trump's repeated false representation was that he opposed going into Iraq.


      "I'm the only one on this stage that said, ‘Do not go into Iraq. Do not attack Iraq,’ " Trump said. "Nobody else on this stage said that. And I said it loud and strong. And I was in the private sector. I wasn't a politician, fortunately. But I said it, and I said it loud and clear, ‘You'll destabilize the Middle East.’


      Example 2:

      “I said going into Iraq — that was in 2003 — you can check it out, check out — I’ll give you 25 different stories. In fact, a delegation was sent to my office to see me because I was so vocal about it. I’m a very militaristic person, but you have to know when to use the military. I’m the only person up here that fought against going into Iraq. I think it is very important. I think it is important because it is about judgment. I didn’t want to go into Iraq. It is about judgment. Because what I said, ‘You’re going to destabilize the Middle East,’ and that’s what happened.”

      — Trump, GOP debate on CNN, Sept. 16, 2015

      Nobody has been able to find a single story, let alone 25 that proved he was vocally opposed to going in.

      What he said in 2007 is irrelevant to his false claim that he opposed going in in the first place.

      But apparently, reality doesn't matter to Salon as long as they can beat Hillary over the head, it's just as much fun with invented stories.


      Invented facts tend to spread quite fast. To cite one example, the hapless entity still called Salon is pimping this headline today:

      WEDNESDAY, APR 27, 2016 07:00 PM EDT

      Trump opposed Iraq. Hillary voted for war: Let’s take his foreign policy vision seriously
      Trump gets some things very wrong. But today's speech was still daring, spot on and important contrast with Hillary


    2. Not unless something that happened in 2007 can be considered as simultaneous to something that happened 2003. And Trump would have had to be standing on a railroad platform.
      Bob Gardner
      Randolph, MA

    3. Yeah, I know 2007 was later than 2003; sorry, I guess was I was trying to glean whether his 2007 position was his opinion all along or a reversal of some sort. That said, it's still a pretty scathing criticism and not the usual chickenhawk posturing from Republicans.

  3. Really, Bob? Is your opinion of the American voter that low? Do you really think that voters like you live so much in the past a single vote by Hillary 14 years ago that they disagree with matters that much? Do you really think they will look at Trump and Hillary and base their decision solely on what Trump says he did back then?

    Then consider. Bernie Sanders DID vote against the Iraq War. And he's been shouting that from the rooftops. Did he win the Democratic nomination for president among an electorate more likely to be disposed against that war than the general voting population? Did he even come close? Not really. Don't believe me? Then go look up the numbers.

    Really Bob? Vast swaths of the American voting public are already repulsed by Donald Trump, especially Latinos and women, including many in those two groups who have voted Republican in the past.

    This election is going to be a landslide. So much so that Hillary can practically grab a cabana on a beach somewhere for the next several months, sip pina coladas, and not lift another finger. I exaggerate of course, but that's how big her win will be, and she is also likely to take the Senate with her, and even now serious Republicans are fearing she'll take the House as well. That's why they are still working so hard to find a way to deny Trump the nomination. They know full well the disaster that is looming for them.

    And she won't let up. She'll do like all good politicians and run this race like she's two points behind. And she will deliver an historic beating.

    But never mind all that. Trump said he was against the war. The "media" hasn't sufficiently in your mind called him out on that (and he was called out on that when he said it), and you think that, and that alone will propel him to the White House?

    Really, Bob?

    Then consider this as well. The GOP has completely lost its mind and any sense of direction and discipline. Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment has be chucked out the window by everybody in that party.

    Donald Trump has gotten to where he is first by appealing to a plurality of voters in Republican primaries, basically the same people who have chosen truly bizarre Senate candidates for some years over "establishment" favorites.

    The coalition that sent George W. Bush to the White House no longer exists, and it will be years. And the big money that fueled that engine? Good-bye. Heck, we even had one of the Kochs say that Hillary would be a better president that Trump or Cruz, and Charles Koch would send money to Pol Pot if he thought he could win.

    So never mind that? Trump said he was against the war, and the media hasn't sufficiently called BS on that> That's got him headed to 1600 Pennsylvania?

    Really, Bob?

  4. Another lie that Trump gets away with is that Cruz won Wisconsin in a voterless election. In fact, there were 17,000 votes cast at caucuses throughout the state. Every delegate was elected. You can hear Cruz backer Steve Deace explode at Trump surrogate Kayleigh McEnany for 'lying' over her defense of Donald Trump's claim that the Colorado GOP primaries were "rigged" to reflect the will of party insiders and not the voters. See

  5. Mr. Patrick Smith, who wrote the article in Salon, seems to dislike the New York Times as much as Bob Somerby does. He also seems to have a jones for Hillary Clinton equal if not greater than the jones Somerby has for Rachel Maddow.

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  7. Not just Iraq. Libya too. The NYT reports that Trump was "scathing" about intervention in Libya. Here's what Trump said about Libya in 2011: “I can’t believe what our country is doing,” said Trump on his video blog at the time. “Gaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage and that’s what it is, it’s a carnage.”

    “Now we should go in, we should stop this guy, which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it, and save these lives. This is absolutely nuts. We don’t want to get involved and you’re gonna end up with something like you’ve never seen before,” he argued.

  8. Bob Somerby said, "As a foreign affairs reporter, Landler should be scandalized to see his name on such manifest nonsense."

    Evidently not because he repeated this invented fact again on NPR's "Diane Rehm Show." Here is an excerpt from the transcript:

    "Landler: And just one small, quick point. I'm fascinated by what a general election debate on foreign policy between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would look like, partly because of his unpredictability and incoherence, but partly because some of these ideas are probably not the kind of Republican she thought she was going to be facing. I mean, a guy who will come out and say, I was against the Iraq War and I, you know, want us in some cases to do less rather than more, is going to be a very interesting debate."

  9. Hate to break up the party, but Bob seems to miss that Parker is simply TELLING YOU WHAT TRUMP TOLD HIS AUDIENCE. Has it somehow not been established that Trump at a given moment is apt to say anything? Even the mainstream press has covered, it seems to me, that Trump has been unable to back up his claims about Iraq.

    Salon has indeed been leaning towards legitimized Trump and it goes back at least to the odious Camille Paglia. But Bob wasn't much interested.

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