Donald Trump Managed To Make His First Factual Claim Ever Last Night!
A big congratulations to Donald Trump, who managed to make a completely true and factual claim for the very first time since his campaign started seven months ago! No, really:
PolitiFact has rated every single statement that Donald Trump has made during his campaign “mostly true” at best, with 68 percent of his statements rated has at least “mostly false” and the majority being flat-out false or flagrant lies.
But he was correct that Vladimir Putin has a high approval rating, which he mentioned during last night’s GOP debate, in the process of calling Putin “strong” and saying that the Chinese government’s murder of thousands of pro-democracy protesters during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests shows the “power of strength.” Meanwhile, moderator Jake Tapper (and everyone else) tried to figure out how this wasn’t an endorsement of authoritarian tactics:
TAPPER: Mr. Trump, some of your Republican critics have expressed concern about comments you have made praising authoritarian dictators. You have said positive things about Putin as a leader and about China’s massacre of pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square, you’ve said: “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it, then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.”
How do you respond…
TRUMP: That doesn’t mean I was endorsing that. I was not endorsing it. I said that is a strong, powerful government that put it down with strength. And then they kept down the riot. It was a horrible thing. It doesn’t mean at all I was endorsing it.
As far as Putin is concerned, I think Putin has been a very strong leader for Russia. I think he has been a lot stronger than our leader, that I can tell you. I mean, for Russia, that doesn’t mean I’m endorsing Putin.
TAPPER: But the word strong obviously is a compliment…
TAPPER: … and many people would look at what the Chinese leaders have done and what Putin is doing as atrocities.
TRUMP: I used to think Merkel was a great leader until she did what she did to Germany. Germany is a disaster right now. So I used to think that.
TRUMP: And strong doesn’t mean good. Putin is a strong leader, absolutely. I could name many strong leaders. I could name very many very weak leaders. But he is a strong leader. Now I don’t say that in a good way or a bad way. I say it as a fact.
So, up is down, good is bad, Merkel is Mao, and the only sure thing in Donald Trump’s head is that Putin has high approval rating in Russia. Suddenly his campaign is still not making any sense at all.