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Clinton, Democrats, Allies and the First Presidential Debate

Hilary for America
September 27, 2016

The Reviews Are In: Clinton Won The Debate

The reviews are in. Last night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met on the presidential debate stage for the first time and Hillary Clinton was the clear winner.  Once again, Donald Trump showed why he lacks the knowledge, values and temperament to be president.

Only one candidate came prepared for the debate - and that candidate was Clinton. She put forth concrete, detailed ideas for how she will grow the middle class and create an economy that works for everyone - not just those at the top. It is clearer than ever that Clinton has a strong command of the issues and has the knowledge, judgment and temperament to be commander-in-chief.

On the flip side, Trump came to the debate unprepared and quickly became unhinged. He lacked command of the issues and offered no clear plans for the American people. Americans were waiting to see which version of Trump showed up at Hofstra University. Was it “ready-to-be-president” Trump? Nope.

The Reviews Are In And Overwhelming: Hillary Clinton Won The Debate

Washington Post: Editorial Board: The first debate proved again that only one of the candidates is fit to be president
Associated Press: Analysis: In debate, Clinton was prepared, Trump was Trump
Associated Press: Debate Takeaways: Clinton gets under Trump's skin in debate
New York Times: Debate Takeways: Hillary Clinton Digs In and Prevails
New York Times: Commentators Give Hillary Clinton Edge in Debate
New York Times (The Upshot): Prediction Markets Score the Debate a Rout: Clinton Over Trump
Washington Post: Clinton went after Trump’s weakness: His famously thin skin
Washington Post: Why even Republicans think Clinton won the first debate
Washington Post (Opinion): Clinton shifts the election in her direction
Washington Post (Opinion): What worked for Trump in the primaries failed him against Clinton
Washington Post (Opinion): Donald Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton lacked the stamina to be president. Guess who wilted on the debate stage?
Washington Post: The answer that best exemplifies how badly Donald Trump was out of his depth in the debate
Washington Post: Caught in Iraq War lie, Donald Trump cries ‘Hannity’
Washington Post: Trump started out subdued, then his cool quickly melted
Washington Post: Clinton outscores Trump — but the campaign isn’t over yet
Washington Post (Opinion): Trump takes the bait; Clinton sticks to the script
Wall Street Journal: Markets Bet On Hillary Clinton After First Presidential Debate
CNBC: Fidgeting, restless Trump says he has a 'much better temperament' than Clinton
CNBC: Donald Trump: The one time Hillary Clinton got under my skin during the debate
CNN: Clinton puts Trump on defense at first debate
CNN: Who won the debate? The Mexican peso says it wasn't Trump
CNN: How Hillary Clinton took debate prep seriously
NBC News: Analysis: Hillary Clinton's Studies for Debate With Donald Trump Pay Off
Bloomberg: Clinton Excels in Debate by Laying Traps on Trump's Temperament
Business Insider: 5 pieces of evidence that Hillary Clinton won the big presidential debate
Buzzfeed: How Hillary Clinton Took Charge In The First Presidential Debate
Buzzfeed: Donald Trump Made A Number Of False Claims During The Debate
Daily Beast: Donald Trump Comes Up Small On His Biggest Stage Yet
Daily Beast: Donald Trump Bungles Hillary Clintons Tax Returns Attack
The Economist: A win for Hillary Clinton
Fast Company: Trump Seems To Admit Not Paying Taxes, Then Denies Admitting It
Financial Times: Forex markets hand debate to Clinton
FiveThirtyEight: Clinton Won The Debate, Which Means She's Likely To Gain In The Polls
Fortune: At Least a Few Republican Pros Agree: Hillary Clinton Beat Donald Trump
Fortune: Did Donald Trump Just Admit He Doesn't Pay Federal Income Taxes?
Fortune: Hillary Clinton Blames Donald Trump for the Deficit, With a Burn: 'Maybe It's Because You Haven't Paid Any Taxes'
The Guardian: Hillary Clinton stays calm while Trump loses cool during first presidential debate
The Guardian: Hillary Clinton clear debate winner among group of undecided voters
Huffington Post: Trump's Debate Performance Was The Worst Ever
Huffington Post: Clinton Destroys Trump On His Missing Tax Returns
Mashable: Is Trump toast? Clinton scores a huge victory in the first debate
Mother Jones: Hillary Clinton Just Eviscerated Trump Over His Tax Returns
New York Daily News: Donald Trump sniffles through first debate with Hillary Clinton
New York Magazine: Did Trump Just Admit He Doesn't Pay Any Taxes?
New York Magazine: Ranting Bully Donald Trump Came Unglued in First Presidential Debate
New York Post: Trump's debate incompetence a slap in the face to his supporters
Newsweek: Donald Trump's Sniffling, Humbling Debate Debacle
Politico: Trump Takes the Bait:
Politico: Insiders: Hillary Won
Politico: Clinton set the trap and Trump walked in
Politico: Trump: My mic was 'defective'
Slate Magazine: It Sure Sounds Like Donald Trump Just Admitted He Doesn't Pay Taxes
Slate: At the First Presidential Debate, Hillary Proves She's Got This
Spectator: Last night’s debate was Donald Trump vs Himself. And Trump lost
TIME: Diligent Hillary Clinton Upstages Donald Trump at Crucial Moment
TIME: Hillary Clinton Was Tough and Disciplined at the Debate
Vox: Donald Trump kept lying about his role in birtherism during the debate
Vox: The first debate featured an unprepared man repeatedly shouting over a highly prepared woman
Vox: Early polls and focus groups suggest Hillary Clinton won the debate
Vox: Trump interrupted Clinton 51 times at the debate. She interrupted him just 17 times.
Baltimore Sun: Clinton-Trump debate: A bad TV night for the reality TV star who would be president
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Score one for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the first debate: editorial
Denver Post: In Colorado, debate watchers left wanting more from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
Des Moines Register: Experts: Round 1 to Clinton
Des Moines Register: Obradovich: Prepared Hillary Clinton clobbers Donald Trump in debate
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Editorial: Trump doubles down on rudeness; Clinton keeps her cool in Monday's debate


For Immediate Release, September 27, 2016

Correct The Record

CTR Statement on Tonight’s Presidential Debate: The Pretender Versus a President; Hillary Won Hands Down

Washington, D.C.–Tonight, Correct The Record President Brad Woodhouse released the following statement on the first general election presidential debate:

“The American people just watched Donald Trump’s candidacy virtually implode on live television. Trump was unhinged, uninformed, unprepared, unpleasant and in way over his head. Hillary Clinton was smart, composed and passionate about her plans to build a stronger, fairer America. With little facts or plans to rely on, Trump was forced to babble and lie his way through the entire debate. This was a devastating and deeply embarrassing night for Donald Trump. On one side of the stage we saw a pretender in Donald Trump, and on the other the next President in Hillary Clinton.”

Brad Woodhouse, President of Correct The Record

American Bridge 21st Century
For Immediate Release
September 26, 2016
Contact: Dawn Le

American Bridge Statement On Tonight’s Presidential Debate

American Bridge 21st Century President Jessica Mackler released the following statement in response to tonight's presidential debate:

"Donald Trump confirmed tonight, once again, what we already knew -- he's unfit to serve as Commander in Chief. His complete lack of substantive ideas and two-minute long tirade on birtherism aside, Trump couldn't manage to keep his temper in check for even a few moments before he lashed out. While Republicans watched with bated breath hoping "presidential" Trump would appear tonight, it became clear that "presidential" Trump simply does not exist. Trump showed himself to be angry, thin-skinned, prone to lies, and operating on a hair trigger temper -- and those qualities have no place in the Oval Office."


Trump Is An Angry, Thin-Skinned Liar (In 140 Characters Or Less)

@NolanDMcCaskill: Trump already looks bored

@joshrogin: Wow, Trump really didn't prepare. I didn't believe it. Now I do.

@DylanByers: Mexico and other countries… Ford and other companies…. He can’t come up with more specifics?

@TheRickWilson: Trump is looking daggers because he borrowed money from his daddy.

@TheRickWilson: Trump has no answers because his economic are fantasy-based word vomit.

@jameshohmann: Trump starting to look peeved.

@brianbeutler: Trump just admitted that he rooted for a housing collapse.

@daveweigel: Who could have imagined that Donald Trump would jump to take every piece of bait #debate

@jbouie: We are barely 15 minutes in and Trump is already riled up.

@seungminkim: Hillary appears very calm while Trump getting a bit testy

@ThePlumLineGS: Donald is looking thin skinned, rattled, and angry.

@dcbigjohn: the scowling angry Trump vs smiling Clinton split screen is really something

@joshrogin: Trump is now screaming "NOT" while she's talking. So much for dignified.

@elisefoley: It seems incredibly easy to get under Donald Trump’s skin.

@JessicaTaylor: Trump almost constantly talking over Clinton right now. Wonder how that's coming off to undecided women.

@nickconfessore: We're up to several Trump fibs already. And the first example of denying something he actually Tweeted.

@politicalwire: That’s quite a word salad from Trump

@Bencjacobs: Trump is just giving his stump speech tonight

@fawnjohnson: Donald Trump=sentence fragments

@TheFix: Trump is interrupting like crazy.

@brianbeutler: He interrupts her every 15 seconds.

@politicalwire: Trump is getting very, very angry… so much for that debate practice

@CahnEmily: Now @realDonaldTrump getting angry at @LesterHoltNBC

@jameshohmann: Trump continues to change his story for why he refuses to release his tax returns.

@HenryJGomez: Trump had a long time to practice the answer to this tax returns question. Swing and a miss.

@jameshohman: Doesn't the fact Trump is being audited for 15 years now only raise more questions?

@JoePerticone: Trump's most consistent position of his entire life is his hatred of LaGuardia airport

@TheFix: Notice that Trump is not pushing back on Clinton claim that he has paid no income taxes.

@CahnEmily: Trump is now saying workers who did work for him and he didn't pay didn't deserve the money. Jeez.
@jameshohmann: Trump, shorter: You're damn right I stiffed him.
@samsteinhp: Trump is explaining away why he didn’t pay people fully for their work. not a great look
@GlennThrush: Trump essentially agreed he stiffed his workers... A very very big unforced error.
@Olivianuzzi: Trump groans when Hillary says it's unfortunate he paints such a bleak picture of black communities in America.
@GlennThrush: First hour of this debate has been a referendum on Trump -- and he's abetting it
@ThePlumLineGS: Trump just *explicitly* said he did the country a great service by getting the first African American president to cough up his papers.
@FrankLuntz: Trump is tanking when trying to explain why he questioned Obama's birthplace for so long.
@mckaycoppins: Amazing that Trump didn't come prepared with an answer for this.
@daveweigel: Trump repeating the "Hillary started birtherism" thing in the most mangled way. #debate
@SopanDeb: Trump led the birther movement for 5 years. Clinton consistently denounced it & fired a low-level staffer that forwarded an email.
@jbouie: So, uh, it seems like the Trump campaign wasn't bluffing when it said he didn't prepare.
@SopanDeb: Trump just said this was wrong - but it's true: Trump did support the invasion in Iraq before hand and intervening in Libya.

Democratic National Committee
September 27, 2016

MEMO: Four Fatal Flaws for Trump Last Night

From: DNC Communications Director Adam Hodge

To: Interested Parties

Last night was a clear win for the Democrats. Secretary Clinton displayed her strength, stamina, and expertise, while Trump wilted under the pressure and ran out of gas.
It was a clean sweep for the Democratic nominee, but there were four specific moments of many from the debate that showed that Donald Trump doesn't have the knowledge, values and temperament to be president.
#1: Ducking on paying federal income taxes and releasing his tax returns
Every major party nominee since 1976 has released their tax returns, except for Donald Trump. He tried to wriggle out of it with the excuse that he’s under audit, although experts have said that an audit does not preclude someone from releasing their tax returns.
When Clinton pressed him on the fact that he hadn’t paid any income tax at all during some years, Donald Trump said “that makes me smart.” But Clinton was ready – she hit back that troops, veterans, schools, and health care all suffered because of Trump’s tax avoidance.
Trump’s tax avoidance doesn’t mean he’s smart – and it’s deeply offensive to hard-working Americans who already pay their fair share.
Here’s that exchange:

#2: Rooting for the housing crisis – “That’s called business”

Back in 2006, Trump said, “I sort of hope” the real estate market tanks “because then people like me would go in and buy.” He continued: “If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know you can make a lot of money.”
When given the chance to explain his comments, Trump had a cold and callous response: “That’s called business.”
Trump’s response was a slap in the face to every family that lost a job or their home in the Great Recession, and a reminder that we can’t go back to the policies that were in place when the financial crisis struck.
This moment underscores the fact that Donald Trump is only out for himself – further illustrated by Secretary Clinton highlighting the small business owners who had been taken advantage of by Trump.
Watch that back-and-forth here:

#3: Doubling-down on racist birther attack

Donald Trump catapulted himself into national politics by pushing a racist conspiracy meant to delegitimize the first black President of the United States.
Less than two weeks ago, he lied about the origin of that conspiracy theory, and falsely claimed he had put the issue to rest – when in reality, he had continued to push the conspiracy theory for years after the President produced his birth certificate.
Instead of apologizing, Trump doubled-down on the attack in front of the largest debate audience in U.S. history. It wasn’t just offensive – it was a huge strategic mistake.

#4: Attacking a beauty pageant contest winner for her weight & ethnicity
Trump was clearly rattled when Clinton brought up an incident where Trump had denigrated a Latina pageant winner by calling her “Miss Piggy,” and “Miss Housekeeping,” – a reference to her Venezuelan heritage.
They say that the worst thing in politics is to confirm voters’ worst suspicions about you, and that exchange reminded voters of trump’s long history of sexist attacks on women and divisive attacks on Latinos.
Unable to control himself, Trump doubled-down on the attack this morning, telling Fox and Friends that, “she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.”
Watch the debate exchange here:


September 26, 2016
Contact: DNC Press

Statement from DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile on Tonight’s Debate

WASHINGTON -- DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile issued the following statement following tonight’s debate:

"Hillary Clinton delivered a strong performance tonight, demonstrating once again that she is the only candidate READY and qualified to serve as President. The American people wanted a serious and substantive debate about the issues facing the country and they got one from Hillary. She answered the questions with clear and specific plans to unite our country and keep it moving in the right direction by building an economy that works for everyone, investing in the middle class and small businesses, and addressing the real concerns of everyday Americans. Hillary showed us how it’s done.


“In stark contrast, Donald Trump offered the same vacuous 'plans,' childish one-liners, and blatant untruths that we’ve heard time and again from the man who built his career on exploiting hardworking families. His reckless ‘policies,’ not to mention his many failed and fraudulent businesses, should give everyone pause. He dodged questions about releasing his tax returns or the returns of the Trump Foundation, which he has used as a personal slush fund. And he refused to explain his campaign’s deep ties to the Russian government. The only difference between tonight and the campaign trail is that Secretary Clinton had the opportunity to refute his hateful rhetoric and boldfaced lies. This time his gibberish didn’t get a free pass for being entertaining.”

Hillary for America
Sept. 23, 2016

Clinton Campaign: Trump Cannot Pass Debate Test If He Repeats These Debunked Lies

In a prebuttal to the first presidential debate, Hillary for America officials today released a damning list of Donald Trump's most discredited lies from the campaign so far, and said that repeating these false claims would make it impossible for him to get a passing grade in Monday's critical test before the voters. According to PolitiFact, a whopping 70% of Trump’s claims are untrue.

“Debates are about each candidate laying out their vision for America, not making things up. Donald Trump has shown a clear pattern of repeating provably false lies and hoping no one corrects him. Voters and viewers should keep track: any candidate who tells this many lies clearly can’t win the debate on the merits,” said HFA Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri.

HFA will be holding a press call TODAY at 2:00pm to preview Trump’s lies during the debate.

WHO: HFA Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri
WHEN: Friday, September 23 at 2:00pm ET
WHERE: Register here.

Trump’s Seven Deadly Lies
​ And for more, f​ind 18 pages of Trump's lies on The Briefing here.
1.  FALSE: Trump opposed the Iraq War.

Washington Post: Trump: "I was totally against the war in Iraq." // Four Pinocchios." 
As our timeline shows, Trump was not ‘totally’ against the Iraq War. Trump expressed lukewarm support the first time he was asked about it on Sept. 11, 2002, and was not clearly against it until he was quoted in the August 2004 Esquire cover story. (We even made a video documenting how this is a bogus claim.) Yet he repeatedly claims he opposed the war from the beginning — and thus, earns Four Pinocchios.”

2.  FALSE: Trump opposed intervention in Libya. Donald Trump on Libya, May 20 interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”:  I would have stayed out of Libya.” // False.
“Trump’s claim that he ‘would have stayed out of Libya’ doesn’t square with his comments at the time. In February 2011, Trump, referring to Gadhafi, said that the U.S. should go into Libya ‘on a humanitarian basis’ and ‘knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively and save the lives.’”

3. FALSE: Clinton supports open borders.

PolitiFact: Trump says Clinton wants to create ‘totally open borders.’ // False
“This is a huge distortion of Clinton’s proposals. Clinton has praised work already done to secure the border, and she said she supported a 2013 bill that would have invested billions more in border security while creating a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. Her plan calls for protecting the border and targeting deportation to criminals and security threats.”

4. FALSE: Clinton wants to get rid of the Second Amendment.

ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment” // False.
“When Trump made this same claim earlier in the cycle, Politifact rated the claim false after finding no evidence of Clinton ever advocating for the abolishment of the Second Amendment… Bottom line: there’s no evidence to support Trump’s claim.

PolitiFact: “Donald Trump falsely claims Hillary Clinton 'wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment,'” // False.
“We found no evidence of Clinton ever saying verbatim or suggesting explicitly that she wants to abolish the Second Amendment, and the bulk of Clinton’s comments suggest the opposite. She has repeatedly said she wants to protect the right to bear arms while enacting measures to prevent gun violence.”

5. FALSE: President Obama and Clinton founded ISIS.

Washington Post: “Is Obama the founder of ISIS?” // Absolutely not.
“Absolutely not. It’s like saying that Ronald Reagan is the founder of al-Qaeda because the arms he sent to the mujahideen in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion led to the creation of al-Qaeda. It’s a ludicrous claim.”

Washington Post: “Trump also claims Hillary Clinton was a “co-founder” of ISIS. Does that make sense?” // No.
“No. Within the administration, Clinton was one of the loudest forces for keeping a residual force in Iraq and for intervening in Syria, such as arming the rebels. So the criticism especially does not apply to her, since she advocated a more hawkish policy than was undertaken by Obama.”

6. FALSE: Clinton would allow 620,000 refugees into the U.S. with no vetting.

Washington Post: Trump: “This includes her plan to bring in 620,000 new refugees from Syria and that region over a short period of time.” // This is an “invented figure.”
“Trump has used this number before, but it stems from the unverified assumption that Clinton, who has called for 55,000 additional refugees from Syria, would continue at that pace for every year of her first term, on top of the Obama administration’s proposal for 100,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017. Trump then multiplies 155,000 times four years to reach 620,000 refugees. Clinton has never proposed such a “plan,” so this is an invented figure.”

Washington Post: Trump: “Under the Clinton plan, you’d be admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East with no system to vet them, or to prevent the radicalization of the children and their children.” // “It’s false...”
“Trump has repeatedly made this “hundreds of thousands” claim, usually referring to Syria, but it’s false… Trump also falsely claims there is “no system to vet” refugees. The process actually takes two more years, after vetting that starts with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and then continues with checks by U.S. intelligence and security agencies.”

7. FALSE: Trump will make Mexico pay for the wall.

NPR Fact Check: Trump: “And Mexico will pay for the wall. 100 percent.” // Mexican President “would not pay” for the wall.
“After his meeting with Donald Trump today, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto reiterated his insistence that Mexico would not pay for construction of a border wall. Peña Nieto said he made that clear to Trump during their meeting, although Trump told reporters that the issue of payment was not discussed. — Scott Horsley”

​ ###
For Immediate Release, September 23, 2016

Hillary for America
Sept. 20, 2016 fundraising email

Eric --

For more than a year now, Donald Trump has used his platform on the campaign trail to try to silence and bully anyone who looks or acts differently than him.

So here’s what I’m promising you today: When I step onto the debate stage a week from now, I’m going to use my voice, my platform, and my microphone to speak out on behalf of the Americans he’s trying to put down.

I’m going to stand up for the 11-year-old girl in Nevada, who’s worried that her parents would be deported under a Trump presidency. For the Muslim family in Queens whose young children are terrified of how their family would be treated if Donald Trump becomes their Commander-in-Chief. I’ll speak up for every American who needs someone in their corner -- not someone backing them into one.

Eric, I’ve taken part in quite a few debates in my life. But Monday’s is the most important. With so much on the line, I’m ready to give my all.

It’s going to be a historic night, and I’d love for you to be there for it. Will you add your name before tonight’s final deadline for a shot to sit in the audience as I challenge Trump? Time’s running out, the contest ends at midnight:

I hope to see you there!


Correct The Record
FROM:         David Brock, Founder, Correct The Record
TO:         Members of the Press
DATE:         September 26, 2016

Correct The Record’s Guide to Spotting Donald Trump’s Debate Lies

Trump is a serial liar. Don’t let him get away with it.

Donald Trump Is A Serial Liar

Tonight, Donald Trump will take his campaign of lies to its biggest stage yet: the presidential debate.

Reporters can't let him get away with it.

Over the past fifteen months, Trump has waged a one-man war on the truth. For Trump, lying is not just about simply spouting inaccuracies. It is literally who he is. His businesses, his biography, his policy proposals, his campaign rhetoric—they are all based on lies. Trump’s entire public persona for the past five decades is a carefully woven fiction.

This pattern of deception goes far beyond simply saying inaccurate statements. It is an all-out assault on the fact-based politics that have been the cornerstone of modern American politics. Trump’s lies are literally off the charts. PolitiFact has rated 70 percent of Trump’s statements that they fact checked lies. The previous Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, received a 42 percent false rating—a 28 percent difference. Last week alone, Trump told at least 83 lies.

This level of mendacity is unprecedented in American politics and poses a unique challenge to political journalists covering the first presidential debate. Already, the Republican nominee is spreading lies in an attempt to influence and neutralize any fact checking by the debate moderators. Trump has falsely attacked moderator Lester Holt as a Democrat (Holt has been a registered Republican since 2003) and insisted Holt should not “succumb to pressure” to fact-check during the debate.

Even without this pressure from the Trump campaign, the volume, breadth and ubiquity of Trump’s falsehoods demands a historic commitment to fact checking from media outlets. Trump’s unprecedented lying must be met with an unparalleled effort from reporters to debunk Trump’s many falsehoods. The current standard—where fact checkers and reporters will simply check the most obvious and egregious lies—leaves many of Trump’s more bizarre lies unexamined. As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has written Trump’s “lies are constant, coming in steady torrent, and are never acknowledged, simply repeated [...] keep[ing] the news media flummoxed, unable to believe, or at least say openly, that the candidate of a major party lies that much.”

It’s time to acknowledge that Trump does lie “that much”—and hold him accountable for it.

How to Identify Trump’s Lies
There are five broad categories that help demonstrate how Trump lies and what he commonly lies about. First, Trump constantly lies about his own biography. Second, he deflects criticism by criticizing his opponents of doing the same thing, only worse. Third, Trump has a penchant for inventing imaginary characters and conversations that validate his beliefs. Fourth, Trump uses easily identifiable rhetorical “tells” whenever he lies. Finally, Trump insists on making outlandish and bizarre claims without evidence or supporting information—he cannot answer, “How?”

Trump is a master mythmaker. For decades, Trump has built a specific image of himself as a 21st Century Daddy Warbucks who conquered Manhattan real estate yet remains a champion of middle class Americans. The truth? Trump depended on millions from his father to launch his business and is likely worth billions of dollars less than he claims—a subject he’s especially sensitive about. Trump has even lied about the height of Trump Tower. We usually trust politicians to tell the broad outlines of their own personal narrative—but in this case, reporters should be on the lookout for Trump’s fictitious mythmaking.

I Know You Are, But What Am I?
With little facts or specific proposals to rely on, projection is one of Trump’s go-to rhetorical strategies. Trump has a tendency to respond to every serious criticism with ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ After Hillary Clinton delivered her speech on the alt-right, Trump accused her of being a “bigot.” During the rollout of his widely-panned maternity leave plan, Trump said that Hillary Clinton had no child care plan—an outright falsehood. Projection is a clear sign that Trump is both lying and desperately looking for a way to muddy the waters.

Imaginary Friends
Decades ago, Trump invented his own spokesman “John Barron” and then impersonated him for years. Old habits die hard. Throughout his presidential bid, Trump has created a whole coterie of characters who supposedly provide him with information, shower him with compliments and give him updates about subjects as diverse as the California drought and ISIS.

One of the most troubling examples of Trump’s wayward imagination occurred earlier this year when Trump invented an ISIS advisor. On January 21, Trump claimed that a “very good soldier” told him that ISIS’ equipment was superior to the United States. On February 1, he told the same story, but this time the story featured his friend’s son who had served two tours. Other times, he notes that doesn’t know if the soldier is injured—while in some stories, he’s still in the Middle East.

Trump also has a few very simple “tells” when he lies. Trump often makes claims that are so outrageous and disingenuous that he’ll literally ask his audience to suspend their disbelief or bear with him. “Believe me,” “that I can tell you” and “everybody is saying” are all tell-tale signs that what’s coming next—or what immediately preceded—is a complete falsehood.

In Trump’s world, he is not only the smartest—he has a superhuman ability to single-handedly make Mexico build the wall, defeat ISIS, deport 11 million people, implement racial profiling and fix the economy. Trump has taken credit for popularizing the word “rigged,” identifying the California drought as a hoax and making polling a major factor in presidential campaigns. Trump doesn’t offer any real explanations of his past achievements or future plans, he just asks us to “believe” him. Tonight, it’s critical to remember that despite his bluster, Trump doesn’t have superhuman powers—and simply repeating the same falsehoods will never make any of his claims true. By simply asking “how?” Trump’s biggest boasts fall apart.

As The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold has shown in his dogged reporting on the Trump Foundation, Trump’s most basic claims often fall apart under scrutiny. Tonight, reporters must look at the stories Trump tells about himself very skeptically. Since launching his presidential campaign (and before) Trump has literally lied about his own biography, made up campaign validators and said that as president, he can do the impossible. Trump tells a dizzying number of lies and displays a disturbing pattern of deceit and deception. Instead of letting Trump get away with it, tonight journalists must counter Trump’s falsehoods with the most powerful tool they have: the truth.

American Bridge 21st Century
September 21, 2016

Ever Want To Know How To Outfox Trump?

In advance of Monday's presidential debate, American Bridge today launched a new resource, "How to Outfox Trump." Facts are inconsequential to Donald Trump, and he has no problem shifting positions and ducking not only the hard facts but also what he's said, when he's challenged on his lies. 
"How to Outfox Trump" uses videos of Trump's efforts to dodge the truth, allowing debate-watchers the opportunity to anticipate Trump's attempts to weasel out of his past positions and statements, from mocking a reporter with a disability and going bankrupt six times, to being a racist birther and supporting the invasion of Iraq.
American Bridge President Jessica Mackler issued the following statement on the project's launch:

"From his years of birtherism to his support for the Iraq War, Donald Trump hasn't hesitated to distract, distort, and outright lie about his well-documented record. Trump dances around the truth and ducks the facts when challenged, but he isn't immune to accountability, so we're here to cut through Trump's smoke and mirrors and let voters know where he really stands -- whether he remembers or not -- on the issues." 

Hillary for America
Sept. 20, 2016 fundraising email