He’s still repeating his favorite old lies, those eternal chestnuts about the size of the trade deficit with China and the legitimacy of the Russia investigation and how many immigrants show up for their court hearings.
But former President Donald Trump’s current dishonesty is overwhelmingly focused on a single subject: the 2020 election he lost eight months ago but won’t stop lying that he won.
In a rambling Sunday address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Trump returned again and again to election-related lies — some of them detailed and wrong, most of them vague and wrong.
What can you even say about claims so disconnected from reality? Here’s a brief fact check of eight of them.
Trump: “And we were doing so well until the rigged election happened to come along. We were doing really well.”
The election was not rigged. Trump lost fair and square.
Trump: “Unfortunately, this was an election where the person that counts the votes was far more important than the candidate, no matter how many votes that candidate got — and we got record numbers of votes.”
Joe Biden was the candidate who earned a record number of votes: more than 81 million. Trump earned more than 74 million votes — a record for a sitting president, but that’s not what Trump said here.
Trump: “You know, the New York Times asked me a question: ‘What happened in 2020 — that was different from 2016.’ I said, ‘Well I’ll tell you: we did much better in 2020 and we got 12 million more votes. We won by a much bigger margin.”
Trump lost. Biden beat him by 74 votes in the Electoral College, 306 to 232, and by more than 7 million votes in the national popular vote.
Trump did receive about 11.2 million more votes than he did in 2016 — side note: that doesn’t round to “12 million” — but Biden received about 15.4 million more votes than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton got in 2016.
Trump: “Every time the media references the election hoax. they say the fraud is: ‘Unproven! And while there is no evidence…’ No evidence? No evidence? There’s so much evidence.”
There was no election hoax. And while there were some scattered cases of fraud, including some by Trump supporters, there is indeed no evidence of widespread fraud or outcome-altering fraud — as Republican elections officials in various states, Trump-appointed former Attorney General William Barr, and numerous others have pointed out.
Trump: “…the Justice Department, they failed to call out a late-night ballot stuffing that took place in Georgia, remember that? Where they made up a story of a water main break in order to get people and security to leave the premises. And then they went into a rampage of stuffing, essentially, the ballots.”
There was no ballot “stuffing” at an elections facility in Georgia. While initial reports of a burst pipe or broken water main at State Farm Arena did turn out to be inaccurate — the reality was that a urinal had overflowed — Trump’s claim that local elections workers proceeded to stuff the ballot box has been debunked by the office of Georgia’s Republican elections chief, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
Trump: “They deleted, Georgia, over 100,000 votes.”
Didn’t happen. Rather, Raffensperger announced in June that more than 100,000 names would be deleted from Georgia’s voter registration rolls to keep the state’s voter files “up to date,” saying “there is no legitimate reason to keep ineligible voters on the rolls.” That is not even close to the same thing as deleting actual votes.
Trump: “The drop boxes were off very late. ‘Where are they? Where are they? What happened?’ They’re supposed to be — they’re not. I could tell you what happened. Sometimes late by days in showing up to the vote-counting areas.”
There is no evidence that ballot drop boxes were delivered improperly late. There is no evidence for Trump’s suggestion that something nefarious happened with ballot drop boxes.
Trump: “Detroit was so corrupt.”
There is no evidence that Detroit was “corrupt” in the 2020 election. In fact, a Republican-led investigation debunked some of Trump allies’ false claims about what happened in Detroit, such as their inaccurate assertion that large numbers of ballots were cast in the names of deceased Detroit residents.