President Trump is expected to hand out his “fake news” awards on Wednesday, and will likely use the term he popularized to bash journalists attempting to cover his White House.
Mystery around the potential ceremony has led to speculation about who could be singled out, though some have suggested that the real winner of the prize should be the commander-in-chief himself.
As the President reportedly climbs above 2,000 false and misleading statements over the past year, here is a look at times when he has been accused of his own “fake news” since the inauguration.
The Trump presidency got off to a false start last January, with then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s first appearances focusing on the relative size of the inauguration crowds.
Despite side-by-side photos showing a bigger audience for Barack Obama’s ceremony in 2009, Spicer said that Trump’s “was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.”
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway used the moment to trumpet Spicer’s use of “alternative facts,” though the spokesman said in September that he regretted his crowd kerfuffle.
Comey tapes and Trump Tower wiretap
Trump’s most famous uses of the term “fake news” have centered around the investigation into alleged Moscow election meddling, and potential collusion by his campaign with Russia.
His charge seems increasingly thin given that multiple members of his campaign such as Michael Flynn have now pleaded guilty to federal charges in the probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
But beyond his general insults, Trump also insinuated in May that he may have recordings of conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, whose memos suggested that the President told him to back off an investigation into Flynn before his firing.
The House Intelligence Committee set a deadline in late June to turn over any such tapes, and the White House admitted that they did not exist.
Trump also tweeted in March that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower in October 2016.
Intelligence services reportedly received surveillance orders against campaign figures Carter Page and Paul Manafort, though there is no evidence to suggest that Trump Tower was wiretapped or that any conversations under surveillance involved Trump.
Comey denied the claim in March, and the Department of Justice issued a formal rejection of the claim in September.
Calling soldiers’ families
The back-and-forth around Trump’s call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, killed during an October operation in Niger, saw a series of false claims.
The White House claimed that Trump’s inauguration had the largest audience ever. Above, photos taken around the same time of the day at the inaugurations of Barack Obama (right) and Trump (left).
The President hit back at a Florida congresswoman’s assertion that he told Johnson’s family that he “knew what he signed up for,” though that account was later confirmed by the family.
Widow Myeshia Johnson also said that Trump was struggling to remember her husband’s name, though he countered that he “spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation.”
Trump also said that “if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls,” though Obama and other U.S. presidents regularly made calls to the families of fallen service members.
U.S. is “highest taxed nation”
Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. is the highest taxed nation in the world, peddling the statement as far back as May 2016.
Data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show that the U.S. does not lead the world in taxation, with Luxembourg and the the Scandinavian countries all collecting in excess of $25,000 per capita and the U.S. close to the average at $14,800.
Many European countries are also place far more taxes as a portion of gross domestic product, with the U.S.’s 26% of GDP far below the average of 34%. U.S. individual tax rates also generally pale in comparison to rates in Europe, where many people pay more than 50% of their income.
Trump’s statement holds up better when saying that U.S. corporate tax is the highest in the developed world, though even the U.S.’s rate of 35% was middling among rich nations when the “effective” rate of 22% that companies paid after deductions was taken into account.
The tax bill passed last month cut the base corporate rate to 21%, and also shifted individual income tax brackets lower.
Trump, a man for all seasons, recently shared a winter-time version of false information, suggesting that climate change isn’t real because of the blasts of cold that have buffeted the East Coast.
The President, who is moving the U.S. out of a landmark climate deal agreed by every other country, said in December that the country could “use a little bit of that good old Global Warming.”
His pre-New Year’s remark echoed his previous assertions that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese” to undercut American manufacturing.
The vast majority of scientists have shown through studies that climate change is real, man-made and includes effects beyond global warming.