Prior to this past election, a common term used to describe something that’s verifiably untrue was “a lie.” With Trump now officially the President of the United States, however, calling things outright lies is thing of the past. Instead, Whitehouse officials and aides to the President have opted for a better term – Alternative Facts. They’re basically the same thing as lies, of course, but “alternative facts” sounds a bit less harsh and could easily fool anyone not familiar with common sense or basic thinking skills, such as your average Trump supporter.
In this alternate reality filled with alternate facts, Trump and his minions have tried to pass off some unbelievable lies, or rather, “alternative facts” to the public. Despite damning photo evidence to the contrary, as well as first-person accounts of information being blatantly non-factual, Trump and company keep spinning out alternative facts almost on the daily, giving many horrified Americans the sense that we’re all on the receiving end of one of the most epic trolls in U.S. history.
What sort of outlandish alternative facts has Trump pushed on us so far? Keep reading to find out.
Attendance at Trump’s Inauguration Was at an All-Time High
Anyone who’s paid any attention to Trump already knows the man thinks he’s the greatest thing to ever grace this planet, and he’s not going to stand idly by and let people say otherwise. One of the most glaring examples of this was his recent insistence that his inauguration was larger than that of President Obama, a fabrication proven false by multiple photos across the Media, showing a sparse crowd, at best. In response to the photos and Media claims that the crowd was rather small, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference and announced that the inauguration of President Trump, in fact, had a larger crowd than any inauguration in history. He went on to claim that the Media purposely showed photos taken before everyone had arrived. When later questioned by Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press” about Spicer’s claims, Trump aide Kellyanne Conway insisted that Sean Spicer simply gave “alternative facts,” not a falsehood. And so birthed the now popular phrase we all love/hate so much.
In addition to the crowd at the inauguration, Trump also claimed television viewership of his inauguration was higher than ever, which was another blatant alternative fact. According to Nielsen Ratings, Trumps inauguration got 31 million views, compared to 41.8 million for Reagan in 1981 and 37.8 million for Obama in 2009. In fact, Trump’s inauguration viewership ranks fifth, falling below the second inauguration of Nixon, the inauguration of Carter, the first inauguration of Reagan and the first inauguration of Obama. These are all verifiable facts, of course, but Trump and company still insist their own version of reality is the real one.
Voter Fraud by Immigrants is Why Trump Lost the Popular Vote
There’s no doubt that Trump won the electoral vote, but Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly three million votes, which had to be a pretty big blow to Trump’s gigantic ego. Trump, not being one to let anyone think he’s less popular than he thinks he is, now adamantly claims the reason Clinton won the popular vote isn’t because people liked her better, but because of voter fraud committed by undocumented immigrants. In fact, he went so far as to sign an executive action to start an investigation into voter fraud. Is the idea that voter fraud caused Trump to lose the popular vote just another alternative fact? You bet it is.
Even republicans are denying that voter fraud had anything to do with Trump losing the popular vote. House Speaker Paul Ryan said there’s no evidence to support the idea, and Senator Lindsey Graham went even further by saying the allegations undermine American democratic institutions. While voter fraud does occur, incidences are rare and small in number. The idea that millions of instances of voter fraud took place on election day, by undocumented immigrants, at that, and went entirely unnoticed until now is not just highly unlikely, it’s statistically impossible.
Despite the obvious issues with Trump’s allegations, we can’t help but wonder why he cares so much about not winning the popular vote to begin with. He won the electoral vote, after all, and is now President of the United States. Apparently winning just isn’t enough for Trump.
Trump Wrote His Own Inaugural Address
Just a few days before the inauguration, Trump aides told the public that Trump was writing his own inaugural address, by himself. That is, without the help of speechwriters. To accompany this announcement, Trump posted a photo to Twitter depicting him with what appears to be a Sharpie and a legal pad, “writing” his speech. Did Trump really write his own inaugural address? Of course not. This was yet another alternative fact spouted to the public in order to make Trump look like he’s more awesome than he actually is.
On Inauguration day, however, The Wall Street Journal reported that much of the speech was written by two of Trump’s top advisers – Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller – according to a White House official. So why the alternative fact before inauguration day? After all, it’s not unheard of for a president-elect to hire speechwriters or have outside help when writing an inaugural address, and doing so has never dampened the public’s opinion of the incoming president.
The actual fact is, there is no good reasoning behind it. This is just another example of how easily Trump will lie to the public in order to inflate his own ego and give the public a skewed image of who he really is.
The Media is Biased and Full of Lies
While there are certainly plenty of fake news sites masquerading as real news these days, Trump has set out to make sure Americans think ALL news is fake news. Why? Because Trump tends to land himself headlines fairly often, and a good majority of those headlines aren’t exactly flattering. In response to the Media portraying Trump, well, exactly as he is, he’s declared a war on the Media, claiming all of the news is fake and biased. Because of course he has.
From gag orders to threats of litigation, Trump has not been shy about proclaiming to the world that the Big Bad Media is simply out to get him and paint him as a terrible guy. Of course, none of that could be because he actually is a pretty terrible guy. The unflattering news articles and headlines could only be lies, according to this ongoing alternative fact.
On his first full day as President, Trump visited the CIA headquarters to speak in front of the CIA Memorial Wall. There, he delivered a speech in which he told the CIA that he has a running war with the media, claiming that “They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. And they sort of made it sound like a had a feud with the intelligence community.”
But, where would the media get the idea that Trump had a problem with the CIA? Oh. Right. From Donald Trump, himself, of course.
Trump’s CIA Speech Got a YUGE Standing Ovation
If you listen to Trump, his speech to the CIA garnered a standing ovation, and everyone loved it. It was a tremendous speech! He even claimed his was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl, and his ovation was at least as big as that one. But, as we all know, just because Trump says something is true doesn’t mean there’s actually any truth to the claim at all. We’re still living in the time of “alternate facts,” after all. So, what really happened at that speech?
Well, first of all, Trump never told the CIA officers to sit down when he began his speech, and protocol says they remain standing until told to sit. So, already this is less of a standing ovation and more of a “just stand for the whole speech” moment. And, to the point about his “standing ovation” being the biggest since Manning won the Broncos the Super Bowl, well, we only need to look at the numbers. The number of people at the Super Bowl was just over 71,000. The number of people at Trump’s speech was around 400. You don’t even need to be good at basic math to figure out that his “standing ovation” didn’t come anywhere close to that at the 2016 Super Bowl.
Unless, of course, we’re working with “alternative math” here, as well.