The Atlantic

One Press Conference, Two Audiences

Viewers who watched it themselves saw a rambling, misleading performance. But those who relied on conservative cable newscasts or talk radio hosts got a very different impression.
Source: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

On Thursday, Donald Trump gave a press conference that was rife with untruths and evasions. Let’s begin with specific examples of demonstrable falsehoods, so that readers who are favorable to the president won’t have to trust my characterization:

  1. Bragging about all the electoral votes he won, Trump said, “We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” That is false. As CBS News notes, “In 2012, President Obama defeated his GOP rival, Mitt Romney, with 332 electoral votes. In 2008, Obama won the election against Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, with 365 electoral votes. In 1996, President Clinton defeated Republican Bob Dole with 379 votes. In 1992, Clinton won against President George H.W. Bush, the incumbent, with 370 electoral votes. In 1988, Bush won the presidency with 426 votes.” And Trump even misstated how many votes he won. It was 304.
  2. “Let me tell you about the travel ban,” Trump said, referring to the executive order that his press secretary, Sean Spicer, heatedly said wasn’t a travel ban. “We had a

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