I Didn’t Say That

Published: April 22, 2020

By Jim Lichtman
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When it comes to honestly reporting the facts to the American public, I’ve given up expecting Trump to deviate from his past behavior.

While the President continues to walk on water to his base, the rest of us know that he continues to contradict and flat-out lie about his own statements.

Washington Post reporter JM Rieger put together a video clip (April 21), that shows before and after statements, many occurring during the same press conference.

During one of his coronavirus briefings, Trump said, “We’re going to put a hold on money spent to the W.H.O. [World Health Organization]. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it.”

“…asked 17 minutes later, whether the best time to freeze aid to the organization was during a global health pandemic, Trump falsely claimed he had not said what he clearly just said.

“ ‘I mean, I’m not saying I’m going to do it, but we’re going to look at it,’ Trump said.

“One week later,” Rieger adds, “Trump said he would, in fact, freeze aid to the WHO.

FactCheck.org contains a laundry list of false statements Trump has said regarding the W.H.O.

“On Feb. 10, Trump said that the heat in April would kill the coronavirus. On April 3, Trump falsely said he never put a date on when the virus would go away.

“I didn’t say a date. I said it’s going away, and it is going away.”

“A few weeks ago,” a reporter asks, “you said this was just like the flu. What have you learned?”

“I didn’t say, two weeks ago, that it was like the flu,” Trump said.

Trump’s denials-du-jour are like a bad Abbott and Costello routine. The only difference is the stakes are considerably higher.

“If they [states governors] don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump said responding to pleas of help from state governors.

Then, it’s followed by the ol’ switcheroo: “But I didn’t say that,” Trump told a reporter.

“These are direct quotes, sir,” the reporter calmly points out.

And on it goes.

The United States is now the epicenter of the worst health crisis since the 1918 Spanish flu, and much of the time, the President of the United States is pathologically incapable of telling the truth about a catastrophic medical crisis that, as of April 12, has claimed more than 45,000 lives with more than 800,000 reported cases which led to stay-at-home orders by a majority of states.

The man whose job requires the highest level of honesty and responsibility is manifestly irresponsible and dishonest, even blaming others when it suits him.

“The Obama administration,” Trump said, “made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing…”

It is beyond comprehension that supporters cannot hear, see and judge for themselves the total lack leadership in dealing with COVID-19. In fact, Trump recklessly encourages protestors who rally at the steps of state capitols to end stay-at-home orders.

” ‘These are people expressing their views,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘They seem to be very responsible people to me.’ But he said he thought the protesters had been treated ‘rough,’ ” The New York Times reports (April 20).

“…three days after saying New York didn’t need all of the ventilators it was requesting, Trump denied he said that,” Post reporter Rieger writes.

“ ‘I didn’t say that, come on. Why don’t you act a little more positive?’ Trump said on March 29 when asked about his previous ventilator comments. ‘It’s always trying to “get you.” ’

“Less than three weeks later, Trump touted the comments he previously denied making.”

If I were attending a press briefing, here’s the question I would ask the Messiah of Misinformation: If the news media is “the enemy of the people,” “corrupt,” and “Fake News,” as you’ve called them, why do you spend so much time in front of them?


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