16 lies in 60 minutes: Every misleading claim Trump made during prime-time CBS interview

James Crump
·5 min read
President Donald Trump speaks during an interview conducted by Lesley Stahl in the White House, Tuesday 20 October 2020 ((Associated Press))
President Donald Trump speaks during an interview conducted by Lesley Stahl in the White House, Tuesday 20 October 2020 ((Associated Press))

President Donald Trump made 16 misleading claims during his prime-time 60 Minutes interview that aired on Sunday.

Fact-checkers at CNN tallied 16 mistruths during the interview that saw the president storm out early at the 38 minute mark, after being asked tough questions by host Lesley Stahl.

President Trump released the full 38-minute unedited version of the interview on his Facebook page on Friday, while an edited version aired on CBS on Sunday evening.

Despite being challenged repeatedly by Stahl, the president made 16 misleading claims in the full 38 minutes he posted, with 10 of them related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to CNN.

Mr Trump claimed that the daily amount of Covid-19 cases in the US is rising “because we're doing so much testing,” and added that the country has “turned the corner” with the pandemic.

At least 31 states saw a rise in coronavirus daily cases last week, as hospitalisations across the US increased, meaning that although testing has seen a rise, so has the amount of people getting ill from the virus.

Fatalities from the virus is also increasing, as more than 1,100 deaths were reported due to Covid-19 on Wednesday, which was the highest daily total since early September.

President Trump also claimed to Stahl that “2.2 million people were supposed to die” during the pandemic, but the report from the Imperial College in London that he was referring to said that would only be the case if the government took no action, according to CNN.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 8.6 million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 225,239.

Watch: Everything that happened during President Trump's '60 Minutes' interview with Lesley Stahl

The president also falsely claimed that he implemented a travel ban “early” at the start of the pandemic, and denied calling Dr Anthony Fauci, who is a part of the coronavirus task force, an “idiot.”

Although he put restrictions on travel from Europe and Asia in late February, more than 40,000 travelled to the US from that region between him implementing the restrictions and 4 April, according to CNN.

In a call last week with campaign staff, Mr Trump did not directly call Dr Fauci an “idiot,” but said: “People are tired of hearing Fauci and these idiots, all these idiots who got it wrong.”

He then falsely claimed that “everybody behind me had a mask” at a recent Arizona rally, and said that both Pennsylvania and North Carolina are under lockdown.

Several of the people behind him at the rally were pictured not wearing face coverings, and although both states have restrictions, neither is under lockdown.

The president then boasted about 11.4 million jobs being created in the US over the last five months, but did not mention that 22.2 million people have also lost jobs during the same period, due to the ongoing pandemic.

President Trump attacked both his Democratic challenger Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama during the interview, and said that the former vice president will bring “low-income housing projects into suburbia.”

Mr Trump was referring to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which was regulation during the Obama administration that the president got rid of. It did not mandate low-income housing be built in suburban areas and was brought in to tackle housing discrimination.

He also said he was joking when he said at a recent rally: “So can I ask you to do me a favour. Suburban women, will you please like me?” Although he may have been joking, he made no indication of it at the time.

Mr Trump also falsely claimed that he had “terminated” Obamacare, but CNN reported that key elements of the Affordable Care Act remain, even though the president has reduced the penalty of not obtaining health insurance to $0.

The president claimed that the public has seen his new healthcare plan, but Mr Trump has not yet released one, as he himself mentioned several times during the interview.

He then baselessly claimed that Mr Obama and Mr Biden have spied on his campaign, but there is no evidence to support this comment.

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer was also a target for Mr Trump’s misleading comments during the interview, as he claimed that residents of the state are “not liking her so much” as she has them “locked down.”

Ms Whitmer lifted the state’s stay-at-home order on 1 June, and although Michigan still has coronavirus restrictions, most services are available, just at a limited capacity.

He also said that he did not shout “lock her up” in reference to Ms Whitmer, but CNN reported that after the crowd at his rally shouted the line, he replied: “Lock 'em all up.”

Trump Walks Out on '60 Minutes' — Full Interview

Earlier this month, 13 militia members were arrested and charged over a plot to kidnap Ms Whitmer and “try” her in Wisconsin before 3 November’s national election.

Last week, the Washington Post reported that President Trump is making more than 50 misleading claims a day in the lead up to 3 November’s election.

When Mr Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president on 27 August, the Post’s fact-checker team had counted 22,247 misleading or false claims in just 1,316 days since he became president.

His figures for the last couple of months are still being collated, as during his increased public appearances Mr Trump has started making misleading claims at an increased rate.

Over the last few months he has been averaging more than 50 misleading claims a day, and the Post reported that he is on schedule to have made 25,000 since taking office by 3 November’s election.

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