Trump Campaign Members’ False Statements

Trying to document a few of the most egregious examples.

On ABC’s This Week on July 24, 2016, Paul Manafort asserted there were no connections between the Trump campaign and the Putin regime, and said there was no basis for the allegations. Source (probably should source ABC instead)

Knowingly false, given that Manafort met with Russian parties at Trump Tower on June 9 to receive Russian government intelligence on Clinton barely a month before.

On CNN’s State of the Union on July 24, 2016, Donald Trump Jr. called out those alleging Russian hacking efforts being part of a plot to help Trump and hurt Clinton, saying, “It’s disgusting. It’s so phony… I can’t think of bigger lies… the DNC and … Clinton… will lie and do anything to win.” Later: the election is “not going to be about divisive politics and emails. You know, accusing people of working with the Russian government…. If the RNC did that, if my father’s campaign did that they’d be calling for people to get the electric chair.” Source

Knowingly false, given that Trump Jr. was explicitly told that the Russian government was working to help Trump, and that he met with Russian parties at Trump Tower on June 9 to receive Russian government intelligence on Clinton barely a month before.

On July 25–26, 2016, Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me.”

Later: “In order to try and deflect the horror and stupidity of the Wikileakes disaster, the Dems said maybe it is Russia dealing with Trump. Crazy!”

If Donald Trump Sr. knew about the June 9 meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower, or anything about the Russian government effort to help Trump that resulted in that meeting, then this was knowingly false.

On November 11, 2016, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied any contact with… anyone. “It never happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.” Source

Hicks’s statement was in response to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stating on November 10 that, “There were contacts. We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign…. Obviously, we know most of the people from [Trump’s] entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high ranking positions. I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.” Source In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Associated Press that, “our experts, our specialists on the U.S., on international affairs… Of course they are constantly speaking to their counterparts [in the U.S.], including those from Mr. Trump’s group. Of course, it’s quite natural that Russian experts are trying to maintain the dialogue with people from different camps. It’s very important to understand the main streams, and understand the main tendencies, nuances and the positioning of different parties, different camps here in the United States.” Source

But even without considering Russian officials’ statements… this site documents dozens of communications between the campaign and foreign entities. Hicks herself communicated via email with a Greek journalist regarding George Papadopoulos visiting Athens to meet Greek officials during the campaign. Hicks’s statement was knowingly false.

On January 15, 2017, on the television news program Face the Nation (Transcript), Mike Pence stated that he had spoken personally with Michael Flynn, and that Flynn told him that December telephone conversations he had conducted with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak were limited to exchanging good Christmas wishes, and condolences in relation to a recent plane crash. Pence added, “what I can confirm, having spoken to him about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.”

When it was revealed that in fact, Flynn had numerous calls with Kislyak immediately following the imposition of sanctions, and that Flynn indicated to Kislyak that the incoming Trump administration would remove those sanctions, Flynn was forced to step down.

During this interview, Pence also directly denied that any advisor, or anybody in the Trump campaign had any contact with the Russians who where trying to meddle in the election.

 

On January 23, 2017, Donald Trump falsely claimed that widespread voter fraud was the reason he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, alleging that between 3–5 million illegal votes were cast for Clinton.

It’s interesting that Trump would cast doubt on the legitimacy of an election he won. My guess is that this piece of propaganda was already prepared before the election, and Trump had it ready for a campaign to claim Clinton’s victory was illegitimate. When he won, he had no reason to use this lie, but he couldn’t resist and said it anyway.