Donald Trump has a complicated relationship with the truth. And by complicated, what I really mean is, he lies. In fact, since Trump was sworn into office in January 2017, The Washington Post found he’s made 4,229 “false or misleading claims,” and counting.
As Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election heats up — and more of Trump’s associates continue to find themselves in the cross-hairs of prosecutors — the White House’s current occupant has been sounding increasingly shook, taking to Twitter to slam the Department of Justice, Democrats, and of course, his own personal boogeyman, the media.
Now, for some yet unknown reason, Trump’s latest target is award-winning journalist, Lester Holt.
“What’s going on at CNN is happening, to different degrees, at other networks—with NBC News being the worst,” the former reality TV host wrote Thursday morning. “The good news is that Andy Lack(y) is about to be fired(?) for incompetence, and much worse. When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!”
Holt interviewed Trump in May 2017, just days after he fired former FBI Director James Comey. Though the White House initially claimed Comey was let go because of his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, Trump confessed to Holt that he got rid of Comey because of “the Russia thing.”
It’s unclear why Trump accused Holt of “fudging” their interview more than a year after it took place (and he didn’t offer any proof either), but several people on Twitter, including Congressman Ted Lieu, pointed out that an extended clip of their conversation has been posted online since May 2017.
As a former prosecutor, I know that when defendants make incriminating admissions on tape, they often argue the tape was fudged. They invariably lose because people trust their eyes & ears. The Lester Holt interview with @POTUS has been online since May 2017. Watch it. https://t.co/o2zJdXUCBt
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) August 30, 2018
More than a year later, Trump is suddenly claiming that NBC “fudged” his interview with Lester Holt, in which Trump admitted he fired Comey over Russia.
The full interview is available online. What exactly was fudged? https://t.co/YUUtBQThlf
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) August 30, 2018
Others wondered if Trump’s rant could be hinting at a deeper problem within his embattled administration.
Can't help wonder: Why today? This is the 1st time Trump has (falsely) suggested any impropriety over his Lester Holt interview, which aired 15 months ago—an interview in which he said he thought about "this Russia thing" when he fired Comey. Why make that false claim today?
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 30, 2018
Another day, another groundbreaking black man to malign. Today it’s Lester Holt’s turn… Trump accuses him of “fudging” the Russia interview… So now, in addition to wiretaps and birth certificates, black men have the power to put words in people’s mouths? 🤭 #ThursdayThoughts
— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) August 30, 2018
Trump’s outlandish claim was so off-the-wall even Fox News, his favorite network, debunked his assertion.
Fox News debunks Trump claim that NBC 'fudged' his televised confession to Lester Holt pic.twitter.com/uFjB6NcsW0
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) August 30, 2018
Holt has yet to respond to Trump’s statement, but he doesn’t have to say much because the tapes don’t lie. And unless your name is Rudy Giuliani, you still believe the truth is the truth.