Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump not only surrounds himself with conspiracy theorists, he has spent years pushing conspiracy theories himself, much to the delight of his supporters.
At times, Trump tries to remain evasive about whether he actually believes these conspiracy theories, insisting that he simply “heard” or “read” them somewhere or is just asking a question.
We found at least 58 instances of Trump promoting false conspiracy theories on everything from immigration to President Obama’s birthplace.
The number is certain to rise in the coming months.
For years, Trump has suggested that President Obama fabricated his birth certificate in order to be eligible to run for president. As evidence of this, he has cited the work of Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “Israeli Science,” the conspiracy theory clearinghouse WorldNetDaily and an unnamed “extremely credible source.”
“He cannot give a birth certificate,” he told radio host Laura Ingraham in 2011. He added: “He doesn’t have a birth certificate or, if he does, there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now somebody told me, and I have no idea whether this is bad for him or not but perhaps it would be, that where it says ‘religion’ it might have ‘Muslim,’ and if you’re a Muslim, you don’t change your religion by the way, but somebody said, ‘Maybe that’s the reason he doesn’t want to show it.’ I don’t think so. I just don’t think he has a birth certificate and everybody has a birth certificate.”
“When I hear he took an ad in the paper, his parents, these are poor people, when did you ever hear of anybody taking an ad in a paper?” Trump said in the same interview, casting doubt on the announcement of Obama’s birth in a Honolulu newspaper. “I see so much fraud in the world. An ad like that could’ve been staged. I don’t mean staged at the time. I mean could have been computer-generated five years ago, eight years ago, two years ago, it could’ve been computer-generated.”
“The Rockefeller family doesn’t buy ads in a newspaper and now you’re going to have two poor people putting an ad in a newspaper that their son was born? There’s something fishy about the whole thing. Very fishy,” he continued.
Trump went on to hail birthers as “great American people” and described himself as a “proud” birther, noting that he “went to a great college, the best” and “was a very good student” and “a very smart guy.”
“Either it’s fine, or he was born in Kenya, or, in my opinion there’s a very good chance he was born here and said he was born in Kenya,” Trump said in 2014. “Because if you were born in Kenya, you got into colleges and you got aid. Very simple.”
2) Bill Ayers Wrote ‘Dreams From My Father’
In a 2012 Fox News appearance, he explained:
He had a book, whether he wrote the book or not, but that book pushed him very hard and very strongly. And then they get into who really penned that book. It would be an interesting question for people to figure out. I don’t believe — I think somebody else had a lot to do with that book. I think he wrote the second book, which was certainly not a masterpiece. I'm very good at books, and it certainly wasn't a masterpiece.
“Bill Ayers wrote the book,” Trump said in 2011, explaining that “Barack Obama wouldn’t be president” if it weren’t for the “super-genius” Ayers. “A lot of people have said he wrote the book.”
“Now it’s coming out that Bill Ayers wrote it,” he told Ingraham in 2011.
3) Hawaii Official Was Murdered In Birth Certificate Cover-up
Detective Trump is on the case.
How amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2013
4) Obama Was ‘Born Barry Soetero’
Indeed, Trump claims that “Soetoro” was Obama’s last name since his birth.
“Look, he was born Barry Soetero, somewhere along the line he changed his name,” Trump told Sean Hannity in 2011, despite the fact that, as Eric Kleefeld points out, Soetero is the “surname of Obama’s mother’s second husband, Lolo Soetoro, whom she married four years after Obama was born.” Soetoro came to Hawaii in 1962. Obama was born in 1961.
5) Obama Never Attended Columbia
He may have been referring to the claim posed by his friend and campaign surrogate Wayne Allyn Root, a right-wing pundit who simultaneously claims that Obama never attended Columbia University and that he was radicalized at Columbia by the school’s left-wing professors.
Oddly, Trump has also said that Obama was a “terrible student” at Columbia.
He urged hackers to find the truth:
Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama's college records (destroyed?) and check "place of birth"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2014
6) Obama May Start A War To Win Re-election
Just weeks before the 2012 election, Trump predicted that Obama, upset about his “really bad” poll numbers, would “start a war or major conflict to win.”
Polls are starting to look really bad for Obama. Looks like he'll have to start a war or major conflict to win. Don't put it past him!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2012
After the election, Trump predicted that Obama would “do something really bad and totally stupid to show manhood” or “do something irrational and dangerous for our country in order to save face.”
7) Obama Is Persecuting Me
Trump tried to make himself a victim of the debunked conservative conspiracy theory that the IRS targeted conservative groups, suggesting that President Obama urged New York State Attorney General Eric Schneidermann to sue him for political reasons:
There has been a systematic targeting of the Tea Party by the Obama administration. Now Schneiderman goes after me. No coincidence.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2013
Wow, l just found out that A.G. Schneiderman met with President Obama in Syracuse on Thursday --- and sued me on Saturday! Same as IRS etc.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2013
8) Obama Will Target Conservative Websites
Conflating net neutrality with the Fairness Doctrine, Trump made the bogus claim that somehow Obama will “attack” the internet to “target conservative media.”
Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2014
9) Obama Doesn’t Want To Fight Terrorism
In one of his regular interviews with right-wing talk show host Michael Savage this year, Trump thundered that the president may not want to fight terrorism.
“It’s radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said. “We have a president that won’t even use the words and if you don’t use the words, you’re never going to get rid of the problem. We have a — maybe he doesn’t want to get rid of the problem. I don’t know exactly what’s going on.”
Savage read between the lines: “Ah ha. Now you’re going as close to the board as a hockey player can go without hitting the puck into the stands. I get it.”
10) Obama Wears An Arabic Ring
In 2012, Trump posted on Twitter a WorldNetDaily article claiming that Obama wears a secret Muslim ring.
“Why does Barack Obama’s ring have an arabic [sic] inscription?” he asked. “Who is this guy?”
Why does Barack Obama's ring have an arabic inscription? http://t.co/upa00265 Who is this guy?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2012
In the article, birther investigator Jerome Corsi claimed that Obama’s wedding ring states “There is no God but Allah” in Arabic. Corsi believes that Obama was previously secretly married to a male Pakistani roommate.
The design on Obama’s ring is actually just a series of loops.
11) Obama Is Aiding ISIS
So Obama wants to bomb ISIS in Iraq & arm them in Syria? What is he doing!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2014
Obama sent weapons through Benghazi to ISIS yet he is holding up shipments to Israel. What is he thinking?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2014
He has also claimed that the U.S. tried to stop Russia from bombing ISIS.
12) Obama Is A Muslim
Trump has tied his birther conspiracy theory to the related right-wing allegation that Obama is a secret Muslim.
“People have birth certificates,” he told Bill O’Reilly in 2011. “He doesn't have a birth certificate. He may have one but there's something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim. I don't know. Maybe he doesn't want that. Or he may not have one. But I will tell you this. If he wasn't born in this country, it's one of the great scams of all time.”
He also seized on the news that Madonna jokingly called Obama a Muslim, tweeting: “Does Madonna know something we all don't about Barack? At a concert she said 'we have a black Muslim in the White House.'”
Following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, he similarly tweeted:
I wonder if President Obama would have attended the funeral of Justice Scalia if it were held in a Mosque? Very sad that he did not go!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2016
13) Was Scalia Murdered?
Trump, naturally, was happy to raise suspicions about the justice’s death: “Well I just heard today, just a little while ago actually, I just landed and I’m hearing it’s a big topic, the question, and it’s a horrible topic but they say they found the pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow.”
14) Was Vince Foster Murdered?
Just as Trump has found Obama’s birth certificate to be “fishy,” he has alleged that the 1993 death of Vince Foster, an aide to then-President Clinton, was “very fishy.” Trump insists that he doesn’t necessarily believe that Bill and Hillary Clinton were involved in Foster’s death, merely noting that “there are people” who “think it was absolutely a murder.” TPM reports:
“He had intimate knowledge of what was going on,” Trump told the Post about Foster’s relationship with the Clintons before his death. “He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide.”
Trump also said about Hillary Clinton: “It’s the one thing with her, whether it’s Whitewater or whether it’s Vince or whether it’s Benghazi. It’s always a mess with Hillary.”
But in his typical fashion, the billionaire mogul claimed he didn’t know enough about Foster’s death to bring it up in the first place.
“I don’t bring [Foster’s death] up because I don’t know enough to really discuss it,” Trump said. “I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.”
15) Was Rafael Cruz Involved In The JFK Assassination?
In at least three separate interviews this year, Trump has claimed that Rafael Cruz, the father of his GOP presidential rival Ted Cruz, was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Trump said he got this information from the National Enquirer, hailing the supermarket tabloid as a reliable source of information. He even argued that neither Cruz denied the story (they both did).
Finally, when Cruz dropped out of the race, Trump told CNN host Wolf Blitzer that he never actually believed that the elder Cruz was involved in the assassination.
Muslims And Terrorism
16) 9/11 Attackers Had Girlfriends Who Fled To Saudi Arabia
Trump defended his plan to commit war crimes by murdering the family members of terrorists by falsely claiming that the girlfriends of the 9/11 plotters left the U.S. shortly before the attacks occurred.
Trump said in a GOP debate last year that “people were put into planes that were friends, family, girlfriends, and they were put into planes and they were sent back, for the most part, to Saudi Arabia. They knew what was going on. They went home and they wanted to watch their boyfriends on television.”
At another event, Trump made a similar but slightly different claim.
“The wife knew exactly what was happening,” he said. “They left two days early with respect to the World Trade Center and they went back to where they went and they watched their husband on television flying into the World Trade Center, flying into the Pentagon and probably trying to fly into the White House except we had some very, very brave souls on that third plane.”
As PolitiFact makes clear, the 9/11 Commission found that “not a single hijacker had a wife, girlfriend or family member in the country in the days and months before the terrorists executed their plan. Only two of the 19 hijackers were married and only one had a girlfriend. Ziad Jarrah had a girlfriend in Germany, and hijackers Marwan al-Shehhi and Abdul Aziz al-Omari were married” to women who were not living in the U.S. The commission also “found no evidence that any of these women knew about the plot in advance,” as the terrorists had “broken off regular contact with their families.”
17) Thousands Of Muslim-Americans In New Jersey Celebrated On 9/11
Trump has repeatedly asserted that “thousands and thousands of people were cheering” were cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, as “the World Trade Center came tumbling down,” making it clear he was referring to the city’s Muslim residents.
“I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down, as those buildings came down, and that tells you something,” he said last year. “It was well covered at the time.”
Trump cited as sources a blog post on the conspiracy theory outlet InfoWars, his fans on Twitter and an activist and a reporter who both contradicted his claim. His campaign also released a video that ended up debunking the claim.
Nonetheless, Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, has insisted that there is footage of the (nonexistent) celebrations but every single media outlet refuses to air it because they all want to hurt Trump.
18) 100 Percent Of Mosques Preach Hate
In March, when CNN host Chris Cuomo asked Trump if he believes that all Muslims are “part of the hatred,” Trump responded, “If you look at the mosques and you go to various places and you look at what’s going on there and it’s virtually 100 percent. Certainly you can say radical Islam is a disaster right now, it’s causing tremendous problems worldwide, not just here. But the question was asked about Islam and there’s a great hatred, there’s no question about it.”
“I think Islam hates us,” Trump said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “There is an unbelievable hatred of us.” He went on to say that it is impossible to separate radical versions of Islam from the faith as a whole.
While Trump didn’t mention how he knows this, there have long been right-wing rumors claiming that most mosques in America preach hatred.
19) Around One-Third Of Muslims Would Wage War Against America
While speaking with Fox News host Chris Wallace in March, Trump alleged that studies have found that anywhere from 27 to 35 percent of the world’s Muslims “would go to war” against the U.S.
Trump, in this case, did cite a group: The Pew Research Center.
A Pew spokeswoman told FactCheck.org, however, that the group “has not issued a survey saying that 27 percent of Muslims would go to war with the US, nor has the Center asked a question of Muslims about ‘going to war.’”
Trump later cited “an unscientific, opt-in online poll conducted by the Center for Security Policy,” a far-right anti-Muslim group, to substantiate his claim that a large segment of the Muslim community in the U.S. supports anti-American violence.
20) Philippines Massacre
On several occasions, Trump has regaled audiences with the chain-email-inspired tale of an American general in the Philippines who supposedly solved the country’s “tremendous” terrorism problem by massacring a large group of Muslim detainees with bullets washed in pigs’ blood. Trump likes to tell the story to fondly recall a better time when American leaders were “tough” and didn’t stand for political correctness and rules against committing war crimes, rules that Trump wants to change.
Aside from the fact that it is troubling to see the presumptive GOP nominee praise a massacre, the story isn’t even true.
But that hasn’t stopped Trump from telling it. In fact, he has relished the fact that journalists have called the story into question, urging his supporters to trust his historical expertise: “The press was saying it was a rumor; it’s not a rumor, it’s a true story.”
21) ISIS Tried To Attack Me
After a man tried to rush the stage of a Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio, in March, the candidate immediately claimed that the man “has ties to ISIS,” citing what Jim Dalrymple II of BuzzFeed described as “an old, fake video meant to mock the man.” For example, the “alleged ISIS video” includes “badly garbled” Arabic that “appears to say ‘Tommy D’ was trying to look ‘cool,’” and the footage was taken from a separate video where the man was at a protest.
When asked on “Meet the Press” why he was so quick to cite a “hoax” video, Trump didn’t back down: “He was playing Arabic music; he was dragging the flag along the ground; and he had Internet chatter with ISIS and about ISIS... He's dragging the flag, the American flag, which I respect.”
“All I know is what's on the internet,” he said.
22) Syrian Refugees Are Mostly Young Men
Trump has repeatedly claimed that Syrian refugees are typically “young, strong men” who “look like prime-time soldiers,” suggesting they are part of an ISIS “Trojan Horse” as there are “very few” women and children refugees.
23) Syrian Refugees Bill ISIS For Their Phones
Trump apparently believes that ISIS pays the cell phone bills of Syrian refugees, using his typical just asking the question style of speaking to wonder: “So they don’t have money, they don’t have anything. They have cell phones. Who pays their monthly charges, right? They have cell phones with the flags, the ISIS flags on them. And then we’re supposed to say, ‘Isn’t this wonderful that we’re taking them in?’”
24) Syrian Refugees Aren’t Vetted
At a Rhode Island rally, Trump warned supporters that they should be afraid of the Syrian refugees being resettled in the state:
We don't know who these people are. We don't know where they're from. We don't know where they're from. They have no documentation. We all have hearts and we can build safe zones in Syria and we'll get the Gulf states to put up the money. We're not putting up the money, but I'll get that done. But you know what? We can't let this happen. But you have a lot of them resettling in Rhode Island. Just enjoy your — lock your doors, folks.
We don't know where they come from, who they are. There's no documentation. We have our incompetent government people letting 'em in by the thousands, and who knows, who knows, maybe it's ISIS."
25) Syrian Refugees Only Sent To GOP-led States
Trump has also suggested that the federal government tries to “send [refugees] to the Republicans, not to the Democrats, you know because they know the problem,” referring to states with Republican and Democratic governors.
But as FactCheck.org notes, “nongovernmental agencies, such as World Relief and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, place the refugees, not the government, and those decisions are based on family ties, employment and other factors, not politics.” Not to mention the fact that the majority of states have Republican governors.
26) Syrian Refugees In U.S. To Number 250,000
“Our president wants to take in 250,000 from Syria,” he said last year. “Think of it, 250,000 people. And we all have heart, and we all want people taken care of and all of that, but with the problems our country has, to take in 250,000 people — some of whom are going to have problems, big problems — is just insane.”
In fact, President Obama has planned to accept only 10,000 refugees and, according to The New York Times, “the United States has let in less than a fifth of that number” as of April.
The 250,000 figure appears to come from a fake news article.
27) Syrian Refugees Are Part Of Evil Plot
In his just asking the question style of conspiracy theorizing, Trump said last year that President Obama is bringing in refugees for nefarious reasons: “Obviously some people think it’s evil intentions, I think it's incompetence, regardless, a lot of people think it’s evil intentions.”
In one speech, Trump said that Obama was deliberately ignoring terrorism for reasons we don’t know about, as one attendee shouted “He’s a Muslim!”
“I don’t know what’s wrong with Obama,” Trump said. “He wants to close his eyes and pretend it’s not happening. Why is he so emphatic on not solving the problem? There’s something we don’t know about. There’s something we don’t know about.”
28) U.S. Importing Terrorists
“This is a war against people that are vicious, violent people, that we have no idea who they are, where they come from,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in March. “We are allowing tens of thousands of them into our country now. Some of them happen to have cellphones with the ISIS flag on them. So, I think it's something that we have to be very tough and very vigilant and very smart or we will be in big trouble.”
Seeing that the U.S. accepts only 70,000 refugees from the entire world annually, PolitiFact notes that “this would mean that Trump is saying that all or nearly all refugees are terrorists, including the many who are not even Muslim and who don’t come from the Middle East.”
Not to mention that refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S. are thoroughly vetted.
29) Christians Can’t Come Into America
Last year, Trump told the Iowa National Security Action Summit that Christians are prohibited from coming into the U.S.: “Muslims can come in but other people can’t. Christians can’t come into this country but Muslims can. What’s that all about? What is that all about? Something has got to be coming down from the top. When I heard that, I couldn’t believe it. And that is one of the top people in the world on immigration having to do with this country. Muslims can come in but Christians can't, and the Muslims aren't in danger and the Christians are.”
Trump didn’t identify his “top” source, but has continued to repeat this myth.
“If you're a Muslim, you can come into the country very easy,” he said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody last year. “If you're from Europe and you're a Muslim, you can come in. But if you are from Europe and you’re a Christian, you can't come in.”
Speaking in Nevada last year, Trump said: “I heard something the other day that’s hard to believe, it’s hard to believe. Believe me. If you’re from Syria and you’re a Christian, you cannot come into this country, and they’re the ones that are being decimated. If you’re Islamic and you come in, if you, I mean, it’s hard to believe, you can come in so easily. In fact, it’s one of our main groups of people that are coming in. Now, not that we should discriminate against one or the other, but if you’re Christian, you cannot get into the country. You cannot get into the country. I thought that was unbelievable.”
There is, of course, no policy prohibiting Syrian Christians, or Christians from anywhere else, for that matter, from entering the country. While there have been far fewer Syrian Christian refugees resettled in America compared to Syrian Muslim refugees, the Syrian population has a large Muslim majority.
While Trump said he doesn’t believe in discrimination, he later proposed a temporary ban on all Muslims “from entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
30) ‘They’ve Shut Christianity Down’
“Christianity is being chipped away at in this country,” Trump said at a campaign stop in March, citing tax regulations that prevent churches from engaging in partisan electoral activity. “I mean, really, they’ve shut Christianity down.”
Trump said he would have “less difficulty” advocating a ban on Christians from entering the U.S. as he did for Muslims.
Of course, Christians continue to make up the vast majority of the American population and continue to have freedom of religion in the U.S.
31) No ‘Lobby’ For Christians
Trump believes that there is no one in politics representing Christians, telling supporters that groups like Muslims have been able to “band together better or something.”
“You actually have less power, and yet if you look at it, I was talking to someone, we probably have 250 million, maybe even more, in terms of people, so we have more Christians than we have men or women in our country and we don’t have a lobby because they’re afraid to have a lobby because they don’t want to lose their tax status,” he said.
“So I am going to work like hell to get rid of that prohibition and we’re going to have the strongest Christian lobby and it’s going to happen.”
In fact, many denominations from across the religious divide have advocacy arms, and many lobbying groups represent the Christian Left, Right and center.
32) Christmas Has Disappeared
“Remember the expression ‘Merry Christmas?’” Trump has asked. “You don’t see it anymore.”
He has claimed that “the progressives” are trying to expunge Christmas from American society and once floated the idea of boycotting of Starbucks because their seasonal holiday red cups didn’t say “Merry Christmas.”
Christians’ “power is being taken away,” he said last year in an interview with Religious Right leader Tony Perkins. “You know,” he said, “you go from one thing to the next to the point where it’s not politically correct to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to anybody, or you go to stores and you don’t ever see the word ‘Christmas’ anymore. You don’t see that term anymore.”
Aside from the fact that the so-called War on Christmas is nothing but a right-wing myth, and we are not sure what constitutional provision gives the president the power to order department stores to post “Merry Christmas” signs.
33) I Am Being Persecuted For Being A ‘Strong Christian,’ Maybe
Following a CNN debate in February, Trump insisted that he is facing a government audit because he is being targeted by the IRS and “maybe because of the fact that I’m a strong Christian.” Trump cited the audit to justify his refusal to release his tax returns.
However, in a letter released by his campaign one month later, Trump’s own lawyers debunked his claim that he was the victim of politically motivated, anti-Christian bureaucrats, explaining that the businessman had faced “continuous examination” by the IRS since 2002, “consistent with the IRS’ practice for large and complex businesses.”
Guns and Crime
34) Obama Wants To Take The Guns
While campaigning in South Carolina last year, Trump told supporters about a planned move by Obama to “take your guns away”: “You know, the president is thinking about signing an executive order where he wants to take your guns away. You hear this one?”
The next day, he once again insisted that he had “heard” from “somebody” that Obama was going to try to take people’s guns through an executive order. He never mentioned who that “somebody” was, but said he had “read it in the papers.”
While conservatives have been predicting for years that Obama is on the verge of implementing a massive gun grab using his powers as president, none of his executive orders, or ones that he has considered, have come anywhere close to taking people’s guns.
35) Hillary Wants To Take The Guns
Trump has repeatedly claimed that Hillary Clinton is coming to seize guns and bullets by eliminating the Second Amendment.
“Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, she wants to abolish it,” he said at a rally in Washington state. “Hillary Clinton wants to take your guns away, she wants to abolish the Second Amendment, she wants to take the bullets away, she wants to take it.”
Trump told the NRA convention this month that Clinton will “overturn the Second Amendment” and “release the violent criminals from jail.”
While Clinton has called for expanded background checks and a ban on assault weapons, a ban once supported by Trump, she has not advocated for the elimination of the Second Amendment or anything close to mass gun confiscation.
36) Hillary Wants To Release Violent Criminals From Jail
At the NRA conference, Trump insisted that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are determined “to release the violent criminals from jail.”
“She wants them all released,” he said. “She wants people released that you wouldn't want to walk on the street with, you wouldn't want to look at.”
However, Clinton’s proposals to reform the criminal justice system focus on nonviolent offenders, PolitiFact points out: “If anything, Clinton’s policy page bends over backward to focus her attention on ‘nonviolent,’ rather than violent, offenders. Proposals specify ‘nonviolent’ offenders no fewer than seven times. This consistent focus on nonviolent offenders undermines the notion that Clinton wants to release violent offenders at all, much less to do so willy-nilly.”
37) Fake, Racist Crime Statistics
Trump loves his racist Twitter fans, so it was no surprise to see him retweet an image last year showing racist, fabricated “statistics” comparing black and white crime rates that originated with a neo-Nazi outlet.
He defended the decision by saying in a Fox News interview that he doesn’t have to “check every statistic” while insisting that the information “came from sources that are very credible.” The source, however, was a nonexistent “Crime Statistics Bureau — San Francisco.”
Trump himself once said that “the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics [sic].”
38) Oakland And Ferguson Among The Most Dangerous Cities In The World
“There are places in America that are among the most dangerous in the world,” Trump said this month. “You go to places like Oakland. Or Ferguson. The crime numbers are worse. Seriously.”
Trump has frequently claimed that American cities are beset by crime due to immigration .
Philip Bump of the Washington Post notes that while Oakland does have a high crime rate, it is far from one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Ferguson, Missouri, meanwhile, had only “the 23rd-highest crime rate of all cities in Missouri.”
“Overall, no American city is ‘among the most dangerous in the world,’” according to PolitiFact.
39) Immigrants Are Mostly Criminals And Rapists
In his speech announcing his presidential campaign, Trump declared that most immigrants are “rapists” and people who are “bringing drugs” and “crime,” adding that “some, I assume, are good people.” He later said that many immigrants are “killers.”
Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Washington Post points out that “a range of studies show there is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans…. The Congressional Research Service found that the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants do not fit in the category that fits Trump’s description: aggravated felons, whose crimes include murder, drug trafficking or illegal trafficking of firearms. CRS also found that non-citizens make up a smaller percentage of the inmate population in state prisons and jails, compared to their percentage to the total U.S. population.”
40) Mexico Deliberately Sends Criminals To The U.S.
Trump believes that criminals are “pushed” into the U.S. by foreign governments because other countries don’t want to “put people in jail and spend a fortune taking care of them for 40 years when the United States will do it for them for nothing after they go and they kill people.”
“The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States,” Trump wrote in a press statement after his announcement speech. “They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” He lamented that the U.S. “has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world.”
“Our leaders are stupid, our politicians are stupid, and the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning, and they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them, they don’t want to take care of them. Why should they, when the stupid leaders of the United States will do it for them? And that’s what’s happening, whether you like it or not,” he said at a Republican debate.
Immigration experts say that there is no evidence that Mexico or other governments are sending criminals into the U.S.
41) U.S. Government Funds Unlawful Immigration
Not only does Trump believe that foreign governments are sending criminals into the U.S., he also believes that the U.S. government “funds illegal immigrants coming in and through your border, right through Phoenix.” He has said that the federal omnibus spending bill is the source of this funding.
However, the omnibus bill signed in 2015 did not include any appropriations for unlawful immigration. In fact, it funds the border patrol.
42) True Immigration Numbers Are Being Suppressed
While the Department of Homeland Security, the Center for Migration Studies and the Pew Research Center have said that the undocumented immigration population in America is just around 11 million people, Trump believes that this figure is a fabrication and that he has been “hearing it’s 30 million, it could be 34 million.”
Trump has said that every single undocumented immigrant must be deported.
43) Obama Manipulated Immigration Numbers
In 2014, Trump accused Obama of manipulating data on deportations:
Deportations are now at a record low. Obama manipulated the numbers to lie to the public that they were at a record high. Secure the border!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2014
The claim, touted by conservative commentators, is false.
44) Border Patrol Letting Terrorists In
Last year, Trump said that border patrol agents refuse to stop anyone from entering the U.S., including terrorists:
I saw the other day on television, people are just walking across the border, they’re walking, the military is standing there, holding guns and people are just walking right in front, coming into our country. It is so terrible, it is so unfair, it is so incompetent and we don’t have the best coming in, we have people that are criminals, we have people that are crooks, you can certainly have terrorists, you can certainly have Islamic terrorists, you can have anything coming across the border. We don’t do anything about it.
In fact, America’s undocumented population “has dropped by about 1 million” in part due to increased border security, and agents are not instructed to simply let people, including terrorists, into the country.
While he wasn’t clear in his remarks, Trump may have been referring to a law signed by President Bush in 2008 which said that “children from non-contiguous countries” apprehended at the border must be “transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for trafficking screening, and placed into formal immigration court removal proceedings.”
45) Immigrants With Ebola Crossing Into America
Speaking with radio host Steve Deace in 2014 about Obama’s “disgusting” response to the Ebola outbreak, Trump said “there’s something going on and it’s not good.”
He linked his fears about Ebola to his reasons for preferring Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King’s extreme anti-immigrant stance: “He’s opposed to amnesty, secure the border, which is another one that’s like a no-brainer that I don’t understand, there are certain things you don’t even understand how the other side can fight it and yet there are people out there, believe it or not, that don’t want to secure our border. Now, especially with Ebola, how about when that starts happening down in that area and people just walk into the country?”
46) CDC Lying About Ebola
While only two people contracted Ebola in the U.S. during the 2014 outbreak, Trump insisted that Ebola was a tremendous crisis in America. He even tweeted that the Centers for Disease Control were lying to the public:
Ebola is much easier to transmit than the CDC and government representatives are admitting. Spreading all over Africa-and fast. Stop flights— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2014
He also repeatedly claimed that Obama was badlymishandlingthesituation, calling him “nuts” and “stupid” and demanding his resignation. “President Obama has a personal responsibility to visit & embrace all people in the US who contract Ebola!” he tweeted.
He even questioned “psycho” Obama’s mental state:
I am starting to think that there is something seriously wrong with President Obama's mental health. Why won't he stop the flights. Psycho!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2014
47) Vaccines Cause Autism
For years, Trump has alleged that autism became an “epidemic” due to childhood vaccinations. He said in 2007: “My theory, and I study it because I have young children, my theory is the shots. We’ve giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children.” In 2014, he pledged that he would promote this theory from the White House if he were elected president.
While a 2013 CDC study “found no connection between the number of vaccines a child received and his or her risk of autism spectrum disorder,” a finding backed up by other studies and accepted by medical institutions, Trump has continued to cite uncheckable personal anecdotes to defend his view, saying in one Republican presidential debate that “just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.”
“It is totally insane,” he said in 2012 about vaccines, “a baby cannot handle such tremendous trauma.”
Trump insists he doesn’t oppose vaccinations in principle but only wants them spaced over longer periods of time, something that would actually bemuchmore harmful to children. (For example, the recent Disneyland measles outbreak was linked to children whose parents decided to delay their shots).
Nonetheless, Trump said he has been “proven right” about the issue and that “the doctors lied.”
48) Climate Change Hoax
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
“This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop,” he tweeted, arguing that the “planet is freezing” and facing “record low temps.”
His criticisms of climate science, however, didn’t stop him from requesting aid from the Irish government to build a wall to protect his golf resort from the effects of climate change.
49) Voter Fraud Myth
Back in January, Trump declared that America’s “voting system is out of control.”
“You have people, in my opinion, that are voting many, many times,” he said. “They don’t want security, they don’t want cards.”
Several months later, Trump told NBC host Chuck Todd that noncitizens are voting in U.S. elections because “you have places where people just walk in and vote.”
50) Obama Won With Voter Fraud
The polls have shown that DEAD PEOPLE voted for President Obama overwhelmingly and without hesitation - he must be doing something right!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2013
Maybe some of the dead voters who helped get President Obama elected can be brought back to life after signing up for ObamaCare.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2013
He didn’t cite any source to corroborate his claim, but allegations of votes being cast in the name of dead people are typically based on clerical errors rather than actual fraud .
51) Obama Lying About Health Insurance Figures
Following the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, uninsured rates have reached record lows. But Trump, seemingly citing his gut feeling, believes the numbers were manipulated to help Democrats before the 2014 election:
The ObamaCare enrollment numbers are a lie.They will be ‘readjusted’ by the White House at an opportune time, probably after ’14 election— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2014
52) Obama Made A Deal With Saudi Arabia To Win Re-election
In a 2012 video blog, Trump said that “President Obama made a deal with the Saudis to flood the markets with oil before the election, so he can at least keep it down a little bit.”
He predicted that if Obama won reelection, gas and oil prices would skyrocket: “You’re going to see numbers like you’ve never seen if he wins. Let’s hope he doesn’t win. Remember I said it — if he [Obama] wins, oil and gasoline through the roof like never before. I believe a deal was made. It’s a sinister deal, but let’s see whether or not I was right.”
There is no evidence that Obama made such a deal with the Saudis and gas prices have remained low in his second term.
53) Fox News Doing Saudi Arabia’s Bidding
During his since-patched-up feud with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, Trump tweeted a photoshopped image of her standing with a Saudi prince and a woman in a niqab, suggesting that Kelly was going after Trump on behalf of the Saudis.
54) The Washington Post Is Out To Get Trump
In an interview with Bill O’Reilly this month, Trump said that he is the subject of critical stories from the Washington Post because its owner, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, is “worried about me, and I think he said that to somebody, it was in some article, where he thinks I would go after him for anti-trust, because he's got a huge anti-trust problem because he's controlling so much. Amazon is controlling so much of what they're doing, and what they've done is he bought this paper for practically nothing, and he's using that as a tool for political power, against me and against other people. And I'll tell you what, we can't let him get away with it.”
55) Cover-up Of 42 Percent Unemployment Rate
“Don’t believe those phony numbers,” Trump said in February regarding the unemployment rate. “The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”
Trump has repeatedly touted the 42 percent figure to show that the unemployment rate is “a phony number.”
While Trump is correct that the unemployment rate does not factor in all Americans, his figures are astronomically higher than country’s jobless rate, and seem to be predicated on the notion that every single American, including stay-at-home parents, students and retirees, are all looking for jobs.
Trump has accused Hillary Clinton of lying after the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, when she said that a video depicting the Prophet Mohammad had provoked anti-American protests and violence around the world.
However, although more information later came to light, intelligence and media sources at the time did mention that assailants were motivated by the video’s appearance, as did the ringleader of the attack.
After Trump brought up the Whitewater faux-scandal in the same breath as the Vince Foster conspiracy theory, his campaign accidentally revealed to Politico that he plans to go after Clinton by bringing up the 1970s land deal. Republicans have spent years attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton over Whitewater, even after Clinton-hunter Kenneth Starr said that he found no evidence of wrongdoing. Other GOP-led investigations also “failed to produce any evidence with which to charge the Clintons of any crime.” TPM notes:
The Whitewater controversy originated as a failed real estate venture that Hillary and Bill Clinton were involved in during the late 1970s and mushroomed during the Clinton presidency into a whole series of highly politicized and loosely connected scandals, subscandals, and pseudoscandals. Protracted investigations by special prosecutors and Congress of the many side dramas that came to be known collectively as Whitewater consumed much of the Clinton years. Several members of the Clintons’ circle were convicted for various levels of involvement, but the Clintons were ultimately cleared of wrongdoing.
Whitewater, Benghazi and Vince Foster’s death will hardly be the only Clinton conspiracy theories touted by Trump.
58) Rubio And Cruz Eligibility
Trump has cast doubt on the presidential eligibility of not only Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen, but also Marco Rubio, who was born in Miami, Florida.
As Garrett Epps writes in The Atlantic, Trump did so in the same evasive way that he floats other conspiracy theories:
Trump’s challenge to the U.S. Constitution is only one subchapter of that story; but the damage he is doing is real, and he’s not finished yet.
Consider that last weekend, Trump began to deploy his birther libel — first wheeled out against Barack Obama and then Ted Cruz—against Marco Rubio. His claims are only increasing in scope. Obama, Trump claimed, was not born in the United States. (He was.) Cruz was born (to an American citizen mother) in Canada. Trump says that means he’s not a natural-born citizen. (He is.) No one questions that Rubio was born in the United States. His parents were lawful permanent residents. The Constitution, on this point at least, is blessedly clear. To be born in the United States is to be born a citizen. Trump doesn’t question that. Not quite. Not yet. But late last week, he retweeted a supporter who suggested that Rubio is ineligible for the White House. When George Stephanopoulos asked him why he had done that, Trump responded: “Because I’m not sure. I mean, let people make their own determination.”
This is the way that Trump insinuates lies and libels into the discussion. It’s not me, he feigns, others have questions about Rubio, I’m just saying it could be a problem, and maybe we should look into it. Similarly, after repeating a supporter’s invective against Cruz, Trump shrugs:Hey, I didn’t make the indecent and sexist comment about Cruz. What can I do? My supporters are passionate. But that was just the start. By the Iowa caucuses, he was calling the Texas senator “the Canadian anchor baby.” Rubio can expect the same treatment.
Trump, for his part, says he was simply asking the question.