5 (Plus) Times Trump Admitted He Had Lied

Earlier this month, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of her boss, Donald Trump, “I can definitively say the president is not a liar.”

Unfortunately, there’s nothing definitive about Trump’s honesty. Heck, Trump himself often belatedly admits to previous lies. Here are some of examples of occasions when Trump backtracked on dishonest claims:

1. The Comey Tapes

When former FBI director James Comey agreed to give testimony to Congress about his meetings with the president, Trump sent a tweet strongly implying that he had tapes of their conversations at the ready.

Weeks later when Congress, the press and even Comey himself encouraged Trump to release any tapes he may have of their interactions, Trump finally acknowledged that he did not have any recordings after all.

Incidentally, Trump has boasted that it was smart for him to intimate that he had recordings since it kept Comey’s testimony honest – the same testimony that Trump insisted was full of lies. However, legal experts argue that this threat could constitute witness tampering, which could contribute to subsequent obstruction of justice charges.

2. Obama’s Citizenship

Last September, Trump appeared for the briefest of press conferences to say, “President Obama was born in the United States, period.” He then left the stage without answering journalists’ questions.

They obviously had questions, though, considering that Trump had spent years riling up the far right into believing the president was not born in America. He had even claimed he had investigators looking into this issue who “cannot believe what they’re finding.” That would indicate evidence was forthcoming, but no such evidence was ever presented.

Trump may have put his speculation to rest when it became politically expedient, but even then he had trouble telling the truth completely – he simultaneously insisted that birth conspiracy theories originated from Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign. (Again, there was no evidence for that claim.)

3. Drain the Swamp

At a rally where Trump supporters were chanting “Drain the swamp!” Trump decided to come clean about his own feelings and commitment to the sentiment.

“Funny how that term caught on, isn’t it? I told everyone I hate it. I hated it! I said, ‘Oh, that’s so hokey. That’s so terrible.’ I said, ‘All right, I’ll try it.’ So like a month ago, I said ‘drain the swamp’ – place went crazy. I said ‘woah.’ Then I said it again. Then I started saying it like I meant it, right?” Trump said.

Surprisingly, the acknowledgment barely seems to faze the crowd in attendance who have come to use the slogan as a war cry.

It’s not as if we needed Trump to admit he was using the phrase insincerely for campaign purposes, though. As soon as he started naming the usual lobbyists and Wall Street CEOs as his political appointees, it was clear that Trump’s only real goal was to make the swamp even swampier. He’s assembled the richest cabinet in history and also acknowledged he wouldn’t hire a poor person to be in his administration.

4. Locking Hillary Up

That’s not the only campaign promise Trump confessed was part of a con. A month after the presidential election, Trump supporters continued the Hillary Clinton-focused chant of “Lock her up!” Whereas Trump and his team used to encourage that noise, Trump was suddenly changing his tune.

“No, it’s okay,” Trump said. “Forget it. That plays great before the election. Now, we don’t care, right?”

That’s a pretty gutsy way to come clean about his real intentions. He must be really confident that he can say whatever he wants without ramifications from his followers because that crowd most definitely did want to see Clinton prosecuted and locked up for something.

Maybe it’s all just because Trump is hoping to see similar “mercy” for the investigations into his alleged wrongdoing.

5 (and 6, 7, 8, 9… etc.)

The biggest collection of Trump recanting on his previous lies occurred a decade ago in court. Trump sued a man who wrote a book about him, claiming the author had lied, so the defendant’s attorney put Trump on the stand to prove that many of his boasts about himself weren’t true.

Under oath, Trump was forced to backtrack on some of his previous assertions 30 times. Some of the highlights:

  • Trump claimed to have been paid over one million dollars to give a speech at the Learning Annex; under oath he admitted he only received $400,000.
  • Trump claimed to have never borrowed money from his father’s estate; under oath he admitted he had borrowed a “small amount” against his dad’s estate: $9 million.
  • Trump claimed he had over 22,000 employees; under oath he admitted he was generously counting all the employees of subcontractors and not people actually on his payroll.
  • Trump claimed a membership to his golf course cost $300,000 per person; under oath, he was forced to admit that documents showed members paid $200,000.
  • Trump claimed to own a 50 percent stake in a particular Manhattan real estate project; under oath he admitted he only had a 30 percent stake.

The takeaway message from this testimony is that Trump lies almost compulsively about things that really don’t need to be lied about and can be verified elsewhere. It’s a habit that’s clearly continued into his political life, and a primary reason the American public needs to be wary of the things he says.

Photo Credit: Michael Vadon

129 comments

David C
David C11 months ago

continues today, thanks

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Doree Taylor
Doree T11 months ago

This all goes on an on!

Today he his 'wink & nudging' his constituency like it's a big joke -- with his admission that he 'just made up' info he didn't know in his meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, of March 14, 2018.
This is what we get, for letting our toddler brat ever get away with it, from the get-go. But, WHY would anyone ever CONTINUE to pretend this is acceptable?

I guess we do all fly by the seat of our pants at times, but the other part of the time come prepared the best we can - and never NEVER just 'make shit up', if we have ANY integrity at all. How is it that we are STILL actually allowing this half-cocked nut-job to go out into the world, as our representative?!?!?!

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Elaine W
Elaine W11 months ago

Poor Sarah. She looks more and more unhappy every time I see her at a press conference. Tough work defending the indefensible.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R11 months ago

Thank you for posting...your opinion.

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Angel W
Past Member 11 months ago

everything is a lie from his fat ugly mouth

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Marie W
Marie Wabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing

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Vivianne Mosca-Clark
Vivianne M1 years ago

I can't trust lies......... so I can't trust trump.

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Karen H
Karen H1 years ago

I know some Trump fanatics who tried to get everybody to vote for him. When anyone commented on one of his lies, the supporters said, "He never said that! It's a lie by the media!" One friend told them, "He said it in a campaign speech. Go online, find the speech and listen." They only hear what they want. Can't believe their savior is a liar.

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David C
David C1 years ago

thanks

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Patricia H
Patricia H1 years ago

Philippa P said ''Trump wouldn't know the truth if it walked up and bit him on the ass.'' I certainly hope that the truth's bite is venomous.

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