Trump's 'firehose of lying’ during ABC News townhall busted by brutal CNN fact-check
Donald Trump at a “The President and the People” town hall (screengrab)

During an ABC News townhall event on Tuesday night, September 15, President Donald Trump answered questions from U.S.-based voters as well as from moderator George Stephanopoulos. Not surprisingly, much of what the president had to say was misleading — and CNN’s Daniel Dale gave Trump a comprehensive fact-check after the event.

Dale, speaking rapidly, told CNN host Don Lemon, “There was just so much lying.” And he went on to cite example after example.

Dale told Lemon, “He said Democrats won’t protect people with preexisting conditions; that is nonsense, as a voter told him. Democrats created those protections. He insisted he didn’t praise China on the virus; he did so repeatedly, we know that.”

Dale added that Trump “claimed” that former Vice President Joe Biden, “said, in March, that the [coronavirus] pandemic was ‘totally overexaggerated.’"

"I can find no evidence that Biden ever said that," Dale said.

In fact, Biden wrote an op-ed for USA Today that was published on January 29 and warned how dangerous the COVID-19 coronavirus was. In his op-ed, Biden warned, “The outbreak of a new coronavirus, which has already infected more than 2700 people and killed over 80 in China, will get worse before it gets better. Cases have been confirmed in a dozen countries, with at least five in the United States. There will likely be more.”

In other words, Biden hardly downplayed the severity of COVID-19 as Trump claimed during the September 15 townhall. The former vice president publicly warned, in a major publication, that a deadly storm was on its way.

Dale went on to cite some other lies and distortions that came from Trump during the townhall, telling Lemon, “Trump said that he fired [former Defense Secretary] James Mattis; Mattis resigned. He said that protesters took over 20% of Seattle; it was a six-block area — nowhere close to 60%.... He said he essentially repealed Obamacare by getting rid of the individual mandate — not even close to true. Medicaid expansion, preexisting condition protections, other stuff, remains.”

The CNN reporter added, “He did his usual false boasts about so-called bans on travel from China and Europe; they were not complete bans. He said stocks are owned by, quote, ‘everybody’ — just about half of Americans own stocks. He repeated his nonsense about testing causing cases [of COVID-19] — testing merely reveals and helps fight cases. He said that Biden has agreed to Bernie Sanders-style socialized healthcare — [Biden] fought Sanders on that issue. [Biden] has very much not agreed to a Sanders-style plan. And Don, this is a preliminary list…. There was just a firehose of lying from the president.”