Omo Press

Home Page

email us



Lies and Alternative Facts of Donald Trump

by Charles Siegel


copyright © 2017 by Charles Siegel

Trumpery Cover


Read selections from the book

Buy or preview the book on

Outside the US, search for this
book on your local amazon site.


"our Gross Domestic Product
...was below zero."

- Donald Trump, June 16, 2015

You have to be extremely ignorant to say that our Gross Domestic Product, the total value of everything our economy produces, is less than zero. But Donald Trump managed. He saw a news report about economic data, and this was the talking point he took away from it.

This book looks at fifty of Trump’s most blatant falsehoods. Some result from extreme ignorance, some from bragging, some from a willingness to say anything that is to his advantage, some from attempts to manipulate the news cycle - and all from a disregard for the truth.

This book retells the story of Trump’s plunge into politics from a different perspective, as a series of falsehoods with the factual background for each - from early statements, such as his support for the claim that Obama was born in Kenya, to recent self-contradictory statements about his contacts with Russia.

This book will inoculate you against Trump’s falsehoods. After you read it, you will not believe the trumpery.

Trumpery noun
1. Deceit, fraud, Obsolete.
2. Less valuable than it seems or of no value.
3. About beliefs or statements: worthless, nonsensical.
From French tromper: to deceive; tromperie: deceit.

Selections From This Book:


Whites Killed by Blacks--81%

The Trumpery

Trump’s retweeted an image with the heading "Crime Statistics: 2015," with a picture of a man in a mask pointing a gun, and with text saying:

  • Blacks killed by whites--2%
  • Blacks killed by police--1%
  • Whites killed by police--3%
  • Whites killed by whites--16%
  • Whites killed by blacks--81%
  • Blacks killed by blacks--97%

SOURCE: Crime Statistics Bureau - San Francisco
--Donald Trump, retweet of November 22, 201559

The Facts

This image spread around twitter through retweets, so Trump probably did know its origin. It was later discovered that it originated with a neo-Nazi whose Twitter account has a modified swastika as its image, has the user name "Non Dildo’d Goyim," and has this description of himself:

A detester of any kind of sick perverted dildo waving marxism and liberalism,we Should have listened to the Austrian chap with the little moustache.

The errors in spelling and punctuation are in the original. Of course, the Austrian chap with the little moustache was Hitler.60

The supposed source of the numbers, "Crime Statistics Bureau - San Francisco," does not exist.61 The crime statistics are wildly inaccurate. At the time Trump retweeted it, the latest data available was the FBI report for 2014, which give these statistics:

  • Blacks killed by whites--8%
  • Whites killed by whites--82%
  • Whites killed by blacks--15%
  • Blacks killed by blacks--90%

The FBI does not report killings by police.

The most vicious lie is obviously the claim that 81% of murders of whites are committed by blacks, when the number is actually 15%--vicious because it is meant to stir up racial hatred.62


Our Gross Domestic Product Was Below Zero

The Trumpery

Last quarter, it was just announced our gross domestic product--a sign of strength, right? But not for us. It was below zero. Whoever heard of this? It’s never below zero.
--Donald Trump in his presidential announcement speech, June 16, 201565

The Facts

It is absurd to say that our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was below zero. The GDP is the total value of all the goods and services produced by the United States economy, which is obviously more than zero. In reality, the GDP of the United States in 2015 was $17.95 trillion. Anyone who believes the GDP could be below zero shows extreme ignorance.

The report that Trump was referring to actually said that growth of GDP was less than zero. The GDP declined by 0.7 percent during the first quarter of 2015 compared with the first quarter of 2014.

But if Trump was just being inarticulate by saying GDP was below zero when he really meant growth of GDP was below zero, it would show extreme ignorance to say the growth of GDP is "never below zero." It actually is common for the GDP to decline.

Since 1947, GDP growth has been below zero for forty-two quarters. A recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters when the GDP declines, so GDP growth is below zero for multiple quarters when there is a recession. It is also often below zero for a single quarter.

In 2015, 2014, and 2011, GDP growth was negative during one quarter each year, and the country was not in a recession. In 2009 and 2008, GDP growth was negative during five quarters, while the country was in the "great recession."66

Anyone who understands elementary economics knows these facts. It is a sign of economic illiteracy to believe that the GDP was less than zero. It is a sign of economic illiteracy to believe that growth in GDP is never below zero.

Whichever one Trump actually meant, it is frightening that someone so ignorant is now responsible for managing the American economy.


Ted Cruz’s Father Was with Lee Harvey Oswald

The Trumpery

His [Ted Cruz’} father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being--you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it. I mean, what was he doing--what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.
--Donald Trump, May 3, 2016 in an interview with Fox News77

The Facts

On April 20, 2016, the National Enquirer posted a story on its website saying, "Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s Cuban-born dad was caught on camera in New Orleans--alongside Lee Harvey Oswald--just three months before the assassin killed President John F. Kennedy!"

The beginning of the article claimed to have photographic evidence that the man was actually Ted Cruz’ father, but then it backed off a bit and said that the man might be Cruz’s father: "The investigation into the mystery man who might very well be Rafael Cruz provides a potentially chilling look at the family history of the Republican presidential candidate."78

The key piece of evidence was a photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, giving out leaflets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans on August 16, 1963 with a man standing next to him who looked like Rafael Cruz.79

The National Enquirer claimed, "Top D.C. insiders have confirmed … that ‘the man in the photograph is indeed Rafael!’"80

A couple of weeks later, Donald Trump made the statement about Rafael Cruz and Lee Harvey Oswald in an interview with Fox News. The media all reported that Trump had said that Cruz was with Oswald before the Kennedy assassination, which is what the Enquirer claimed, but Trump actually botched it up by saying, "His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being--you know, shot." Trump was presumably just being his usual inarticulate self by it was before Oswald was shot, though the article said it was before Kennedy was shot. It does not make much practical difference since Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby just two days after Kennedy’s assassination.

Politifact asked independent experts about the Enquirer’s claim. James Wayman of the U.S National Biometric Center said that proper analysis requires two frontal images of a person’s face, while the Enquirer has one image that was not quite frontal. Cole Calistra of Kairos, a company that makes face recognition software, said the photo was too grainy to use in an identification, and when Politifact tried using Kairos software it could not identify the man next to Oswald as even a 25% match with Cruz.

Rafael Cruz fled from Cuba in 1957 after being beaten for agitating against Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, and he initially backed Fidel Castro’s revolution against Batista. But he returned to Cuba shortly after Castro took power in 1959, and he was so shocked by the reality of Cuba’s communism that he never went back again. Cruz was an adamant anti-communist for years before the photograph was taken, so it is not plausible that he would work with Lee Harvey Oswald and give out leaflets for the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee.81

Rafael Cruz responded, "It’s ludicrous. It’s ludicrous. I was never in New Orleans at that time. That’s typical of Donald Trump; just attack and make all kinds of innuendo and attacks with no substance."82

The National Enquirer is sold at supermarket checkout lines, and it is known for publishing sensationalistic stories to attract attention. Ted Cruz was exactly right about its credibility when he said, at a campaign event in Indiana, "Yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard."83

The Excuse

After Cruz lost the Indiana primary and dropped out of the presidential race, Trump refused to apologize for this claim, saying:

All I was doing was referring to a picture that was reported and in a magazine. And I think they didn’t deny it. I don’t think anybody denied it.
--Donald Trump in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America, May 4, 201684

In reality, both Rafael Cruz and Ted Cruz did deny it.
Trump revealed the real reason he attacked Rafael Cruz in a later interview where he said:

Trump: I was on a show and they played a clip of Ted’s father, who is very active in the campaign. It’s not like he is an inactive person.
Interviewer: But there is no evidence of this [Cruz being with Oswald].
Trump: Excuse me. He said very nasty things about me. And then I just asked about stories that were appearing all over the place, not just in The National Enquirer, about the fact that a picture was taken of him and Lee Harvey Oswald, and they didn’t deny the picture.
--Donald Trump, interview with CNN, May 4, 201685

Trump ignores the interviewer’s statement that there was no evidence and reveals his real motive: Rafael Cruz said "nasty things" about him, and if someone criticizes him, Trump hits back without regard for the truth.86


I Am So Tall that I Am Not Obese

The Trumpery

You’re 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, as I mentioned. In my mind, I’m thinking your body surface area and your BMI is high, is probably close to 30, which is sort of the barrier for most people.
--Dr. Mehmet Oz quoting from Trump’s doctor’s report on his health during an interview with Trump on September 16, 2016127

The Facts

At 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, Trump would have a body mass index (BMI) of 29.5, which would make him overweight but not obese. At 6-foot-2 and 236 pounds, Trump would have a BMI of 30.3, which would make him obese.

There is very convincing evidence that Trump is actually 6-foot-2, making it likely that the doctor’s report added an inch to his height so it would not reveal that he is obese.

Trump’s drivers’ license lists his height as 6-foot-2.128

A series of pictures in the Washington Post show Trump standing next people whose height is known, and everyone can see that he is shorter than Jeb Bush, who is 6-foot-3, and shorter than quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is 6-foot-2.129

Trump’s reported weight is probably also inaccurate. Pictures of people who are actually 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds show that they are far less fat that Trump. Estimates based on pictures say that Trump is at least 250 to 260 pounds.130

Trump is obese even if we correct only his height, so it is ironic that he has often criticized people because of their weight. For example, he said:

  • Rosie O’Donnell is "a fat pig" and that she has "a fat, ugly face."
  • Jennifer Lopez has a "fat a--."131
  • Alicia Machado, Miss Universe winner of 1996, "was the winner, and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem." Machado also claimed that Trump had called her "Miss Piggy" because of her weight and "Miss Housekeeping" because she is a Latina.132

The best selling author and cardiologist Dean Ornish, said:

Even more important than Donald Trump’s weight is how unhealthy he looks. I was at the debate last week at Hofstra and had the chance to see him in person. He has said on many occasions that he is on a fast-food diet of burgers and fried chicken and French fries, and he looked like it--unhealthy complexion, puffy, pasty skin, sweating a lot.133

The Excuse

I have been the personal physician of Mr. Donald J. Trump since 1980. … If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.
--Dr. Harold Bornstein, in a letter of December 4, 2015.134

Bornstein seems to be almost as good at hyperbole as Trump is. He obviously cannot state unequivocally that Trump is the healthiest person elected to the presidency, since he has not examined all the other people elected to the presidency, but he must know that many presidents had much healthier BMIs than Trump.


Obama Released 122 Terrorists from Guantanamo

The Trumpery

122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!
--Donald Trump, tweet of March 7, 2017, 4:04 AM261

The Facts

Our intelligence agencies did estimate that 122 prisoners released from Guantanamo (also called Gitmo) were engaging in terrorist activities, but most of them were released by the George W. Bush administration, not by the Obama Administration.

The Director of National Intelligence reports regularly on prisoners released from Guantanamo who returned to terrorism. Its report with data from the opening of the prison in 2002 through July 2016 said:

  • 693 detainees were released from Guantanamo, 532 by Bush and 161 by Obama.
  • 122 of those released were confirmed of returning to terrorism. Of those, 113 had been released by Bush and 9 by Obama.
  • 86 of those released were suspected of returning to terrorist activity. Of those 75 had been released by Bush and 11 by Obama.

The same day that Trump made this charge, the office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement confirming that 113 of the 122 had been released by Bush.

Trump got that figure from Fox News, which released a "breaking news" report about one prisoner who was killed in an airstrike against terrorists in Yemen after being released from Guantanamo by Obama. The story also said, "One hundred twenty-two prisoners released from Guantanamo have returned to the battlefield" but did not say who released them. Without any attempt at fact checking, Trump assumed that Obama released them all and used Twitter at 4:04 AM to send this false accusation to his millions of followers.

The Excuse

A few hours after Trump’s tweet, after it was widely reported that Trump’s claim was false, Sean Spicer held a press briefing, and when a reporter asked whether Trump would correct this false tweet, Spicer gave this answer:

Obviously the president meant in totality, the number that had been released on the battlefield--that have been released from Gitmo since individuals have been released. That is correct.
--White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, March 7, 2017262

Though Spicer used the word "obviously," it is far from obvious that Trump meant the total number released from Guantanamo, since he clearly said he was talking about the number released by Obama.

One thing is obvious: Trump tweets impulsively without much concern about whether what is saying is true.


Mika Brzezinski Was Bleeding from a Facelift

The Trumpery

I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came.. Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!
--Donald Trump, tweets of June 29, 2017, 5:52 AM and 5:58 AM387

The Facts

This tweet contains obvious falsehoods about Morning Joe, an early morning talk show on NBC hosted by Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist:

  • He says it is poorly rated, but is actually the second-highest rated show running from 6 AM to 9 AM, with 997,000 viewers, and its ratings have grown for the last nine quarters.388
  • He says he does not watch the show any more, but members of his inner circle say he has been angry with Morning Joe for weeks and has privately called Joe Scarborough a "psycho."389 It is hard to believe he could get so angry without watching the show.
  • He says Mika Brzezinski was bleeding from a facelift, but photos of her at Mar-a-Lago show she was not bleeding.390

Worse than the falsehoods, though, is the angry, vicious tone of the tweet. When he says "low I.Q Crazy Mika," "Psycho Joe" and "bleeding badly from a face-lift," he sounds like a ten-year-old schoolyard bully, who lashes out at anyone who defies him by using any insult and personal attack that comes to mind, even if they are obviously untrue.

This tweet weakened Trump’s presidency, not only because it shows that Trump lacks self-control and restraint, but also because Scarborough and Brzezinski responded by saying that Trump threatened them to make them stop criticizing him.

On the morning of June 30, Scarborough said on the show that "three people at the very top of the administration" had called them and said that the National Enquirer was preparing to publish a damaging story about Scarborough and Brzezinski (who are engaged to be married), and Trump would stop the story from appearing "If you call the president up, and you apologize for your coverage." Scarborough added, "The calls kept coming and kept coming, and they were like ‘Call. You need to call. Please call. Come on, Joe. Just pick up the phone and call him.’" He refused to call, and the Enquirer published an article in June with the headline "Joe & Mika: TV Couple’s Sleazy Cheating Scandal," which said they "started hooking up while married to other people."391

Trump denied that he had made this threat:

Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show
--Donald Trump, tweet of June 30, 2017, 5:55 AM392

But Scarborough replied:

Yet another lie. I have texts from your top aides and phone records. Also, those records show I haven’t spoken with you in many months.
Why do you keep lying about things that are so easily disproven? What is wrong with you?
--Joe Scarborough, tweets of June 30, 2017, 6:02 and 6:03 AM393

If this accusation is true and can be documented, it involves a breech of ethics that could haunt Trump, like the investigation of his campaign’s connection with Russia.
Trump was widely criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for his tweets about Scarborough and Brzezinski. Here are some of the criticisms from Republicans:

Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America.
--Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, tweet of June 29, 2017, 7:15 AM394

Please just stop. This isn’t normal and it’s beneath the dignity of your office.
--Senator. Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, tweet of June 29, 2017, 7:16 AM395

This has to stop - we all have a job - 3 branches of gov’t and media. We don’t have to get along, but we must show respect and civility.
--Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, tweet of June 29, 2017, 8:18 AM396

Stop it! The presidential platform should be used for more than bringing people down.
--Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, tweet of June 29, 2017, 11:45 AM397

It’s just not acceptable. We need to demand better ... We should just appreciate if the President could focus with us on doing some really good things for the American people and leave comments like that to himself.
--Representative. Lynn Jenkins, Republican of Kansas, in a response to CNN398

Obviously I don’t see that as an appropriate comment. I think…. What we’re trying to do around here is improve the tone, the civility of the debate. And this obviously doesn’t help do that.
--Representative Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and Speaker of the House, at a press conference, June 29, 2017399

Sean Hannity of Fox News, known for supporting Trump, initially said that Scarborough deserved the criticism, but later in the first day of the controversy, he said it would have been in Trump’s "best interest not to do it--in my humble opinion."400

The Excuse

I think the American people elected somebody who’s tough, who’s smart, and who’s a fighter, and that’s Donald Trump, and I don’t think it is a surprise to anybody that he fights fire with fire.
--Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary, defending Trump’s tweets about Morning Joe at a News Conference of June 29, 2017401

If Trump were really tough, he would be thick-skinned enough to ignore insults and attacks rather than becoming so angry that he lashes out in ways that are self-defeating.

If he were really smart, he would have known that these tweets would provoke bipartisan criticism that would weaken him politically.

If he were really an effective fighter, he would control his vindictive impulses, so he could focus on fighting for his legislative agenda rather than being distracted by petty personal feuds.

Footnotes are not included in this internet preview.