From an imaginary restraining order to a phantom drop in NATO spending: Trump makes 99 false claims in two weeks

By Daniel Dale and Tara Subramaniam, CNN

Updated 6:01 PM ET, Sat December 21, 2019

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump made 99 false claims over the two weeks that ended last Sunday.

Trump made 22 of the false claims at a campaign rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He made 16 of them in a lengthy exchange with reporters during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The economy was Trump’s top subject of dishonesty, with 25 false claims. He made 22 false claims about military affairs, largely on account of his presence at a NATO summit. He made 15 false claims about NATO itself, 11 about impeachment.

Trump is now averaging 63 false claims per week since we started counting at CNN on July 8, 2019. He made 38 false claims last week, 61 the week before.

He is now up to 1,450 total false claims since July 8. A breakdown of the lowlights from the last two weeks:
The most egregious false claim: An imaginary restraining order

Trump has no shortage of factual ammunition for bashing former FBI senior counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who exchanged anti-Trump texts while being involved in the investigation into the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia (and while having an affair).

But Trump is rarely satisfied with accurate attacks when he can do more damage to his foes’ reputations with inaccurate ones. At his December 10 campaign rally in Pennsylvania, he alleged that one of either Strzok or Page had obtained a restraining order against the other.

Most presidents try to limit their public storytelling to stories they know to be accurate. Not Trump, an eager purveyor of rumor and insinuation, he told the crowd: “I don’t know if it’s true. The fake news will never report it. But it could be true. No, that’s what I heard, I don’t know.”
There is not a hint of evidence that the story is true. Page tweeted that it was a “lie.”


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