Donald Trump sat down with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Monday night for a wide-ranging interview that tackled widespread protests, Black Lives Matter, the African-American vote and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the hour-long conversation, the impeached president made some of his wildest claims to date.
At points in the interview, Ingraham could be seen attempting to clarify the assertions Trump was making, saying during one response that it felt like he was spouting conspiracy theories. Still, that did not stop the Fox favorite from proceeding with talking points that ranged from racist to simply ridiculous (i.e. “I’ve done more for the Black community than any president in the history of the United States”). We’ve rounded up just a few of the most eye-popping claims he made below.
1. Trump compared the Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times as his children watched on, to a golfer who “chokes” in a tournament by missing an easy putt:
I mean, couldn’t you have done something different? Couldn’t you have wrestled him? You know, I mean, in the meantime, he might have been going for a weapon, and, you know, there’s a whole big thing there, but they choke. Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot putt.
Jacob Blake barely escaped with his life. Saying that his assailant “choked” denigrates the seriousness of the situation and erases the trauma that his shooting has induced.
2. Trump claimed Joe Biden will destroy the suburbs and endanger housewives by putting Cory Booker in charge of building low-income housing projects in suburban neighborhoods:
I know the suburbs. Look, Westchester was ground zero, OK, for what they were trying to do. They were trying to destroy the suburban, beautiful place. The American dream, really. They want low-income housing, and with that comes a lot of other problems, including crime. May not be nice to say, but —
Rating: Racist and False
This is a dog whistle that Trump sounds constantly. During the 2020 election cycle, it has become one of his go-to speaking points. Biden has promised to reinstate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) mandate, which was first instated as part of the 1968 Fair Housing Act. In 2015 it was modified under the Obama Administration to require that localities analyze housing discrimination and segregation in their areas and come up with plans to tackle the findings. Early this year, current HUD Secretary Ben Carson suspended the 2015 rule indefinitely. Cory Booker has also noted that he has not been asked to be the HUD secretary and has called the inclination racist in the past.
3. Trump claimed opponent Joe Biden could not calm the civil unrest because he is not in control of anything. Instead, unnamed people in “dark shadows” were pulling the strings for him and were part of a plot to take down the Republican National Convention:
People that you’ve never heard of. People that are in the dark shadows. People that no. People that you haven’t heard of. They’re people that are on the streets. They’re people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that. They’re on a plane.
When Ingraham asks for clarification on what sounds like a conspiracy theory he says, “I’ll tell you sometime, but it’s under investigation right now, but they came from a certain city, and this person was coming to the Republican National Convention, and there were like seven people on the plane like this person, and then a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage.
Rating: Ridiculous and False
There are a number of reasons why this claim is false, but the most glaring one is that he says the person who got on the plane “with thugs” did so this past weekend, headed to the RNC. The Republican National Convention took place the week prior. He also says the flight was full of people “wearing dark uniforms” and in the next breath says there were seven people on the plane “like this.” He’s also unable to provide any details or hard facts to back up his claims, saying instead he’ll tell Ingraham at another time.
4. Trump claimed Black Lives Matter protesters wanted to “burn down storefronts, hurt people, beat people and kill people”…
[Trump supporters] want to protest, and they get criticized. The other people run through the streets, burn down storefronts, hurt people, beat people, and kill people, kick people in the face — that would have happened to Rand Paul, by the way, and his wife, except that you had two and then ultimately four very good policemen who took a big beating.
Trump conflates the identities and purposes of peaceful protestors and looters and rioters. Black Lives Matter advocates for justice for men and women who are victims of state-sanctioned violence. However, agitators, some of which have been Trump supporters, have come out to marches under the guise of peaceful demonstrators to sow discord and chaos among the movement.
5. Trump claimed the polls have been “so good” for him:
Don’t forget, Biden wasn’t going to come out of his basement until the election. Now, he had to because the polls are so good for me. Now he had to because the polls are different, so all of a sudden he’s in Pittsburgh. He wasn’t going to leave his basement.
Multiple polls have shown that Joe Biden leads Donald Trump overall, and in six key battleground states.
6. Trump claimed protestors were attempting to knock down the Washington monument:
I signed in an executive order, 10 years in jail if you knock down a statue or monument. You haven’t heard one thing about it. You haven’t — we wouldn’t have — they were going after Thomas Jefferson, they were going after Lincoln and they were going after the Washington Monument, if they could knock that one down. They were going after everything.
7. Trump said Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization filled with thugs:
Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization. You remember pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon? That was the first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter. I said, that’s a terrible name. It’s so discriminatory, it’s bad for Black people, it’s bad for everybody. And all of a sudden it becomes like sort of — although now, if you look, it’s gone way down because people are tired of this stuff, what’s going on, the Black Lives Matter. If you look at what’s going on with the bats and the — they’re — a lot of thugs.
Trump suggests advocating for Black lives constitutes as “thug” behavior and has often made the correlation between the organization and violence. BLM’s mission is to “create a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.”
8. Trump suggested that Obama was in some way responsible for the police brutality protests that happened during his administration:
You know, people forget. Look at all of those horrible race riots you had during Obama. Ferguson’s just one that comes to mind, but you had them all the time. Look at all of what happened with Brown and this one and that one. Look at all of the problems you had under Obama. It was a disaster. It was actually worse than anything. This is a much different situation.
The demonstrations that took place during the Obama administration were a call for change and an end to police brutality. Years later little has changed so the calls remain. What’s different is that Trump has greenlit the abuse by law enforcement. Amid the backdrop of a deadly virus the chaos brought upon by police brutality and unjust killings has created dueling pandemics.
9. Trump claimed he’s done more for the Black community than any president in the history of the United States:
The Black community has been so used to going and pressing the Democrat lever, and what have they got out of it? They’ve got nothing. Obama didn’t give them criminal justice reform, I did. Obama didn’t give them Opportunity Zones, I did. Obama didn’t do all of the things — didn’t save — Obama could have saved the Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He didn’t do anything for them. He didn’t do anything for them. I’ve done more — and I said it in the speech, some people would say, you shouldn’t say it, it’s too aggressive. I said, what’s aggressive? I’ve done more than any president in the history of our country, except for maybe Abe — and I say maybe — maybe Abraham Lincoln.
Rating: Ridiculous, False and Racist
While Trump did sign the First Step Act, and often takes credit for criminal justice reform because of it, he was not the author of the bill that was first introduced and passed in Congress. In addition, criminal justice reform can not and will not be solved with one piece of legislation or a handful of pardons. Also, his repeated praise for his alleged efforts in reforming the criminal justice system suggests that the Black community and Black voters have a very narrow focus when it comes to being treated equal in the United States.
On the note about HBCUs, Trump has continued the funding that was already in place for these institutions. Still, under Trump’s watch, HBCUs have fallen in peril and because of the pandemic, many face an uncertain future.
10. Nancy Pelosi does not want Americans to receive another round of stimulus checks:
Well, I’ll tell you — I can tell you what is happening, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to give any stimulus, we should have it. It wasn’t the people’s fault that China gave us this virus. China gave us the virus, whether it was through incompetence or on purpose.
Under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi, House Democrats passed the HEROES Act in May. The legislation, had it passed in the Senate, would have allowed Americans to receive an additional $1,200 stimulus check to help them financially as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep people out of work. That proposal was a step back from the $2,000 monthly recurring payment that was previously suggested by a number of Congressional Democrats. Senate Republicans, however, waited until the end of July to counter the legislation. Democrats and Republicans have yet to find a compromise but both agreed on a $1,200 stimulus payout.