If you thought there could be nothing new under the sun, take a moment to enjoy the spectacular moment of bliss in which human doormat Chuck Todd finally couldn’t take Donald Trump’s relentless lies and called him out, leaving Trump screeching incoherently. It’s an instant classic.
Amid slipping poll numbers, Trump was on a Sunday morning media blitz when he phoned into Meet the Press with the typically docile Todd. Instead of getting five minutes to spread more lies, Trump was immediately confronted about his pathetic lies about Muslim Americans cheering the terror attacks on 9/11 from New Jersey.
Todd explained to Trump that his claim has been universally debunked by reporters from nearly every major news outlet in existence. In fact, even back in 2001 multiple reports noted that the idea that thousands of Muslims were cheering in America was false. Trump was left relying on a single paragraph from a single Washington Post article – whose reporter had already clarified was being completely misread by Trump.
Instead of admitting he was wrong, Trump claimed he had heard from “hundreds” of people recently that also saw Muslims cheering in New Jersey. He, of course, couldn’t provide any information that would allow reporters to fact-check their stories, however. Instead, he insisted Todd take it on faith. The NBC host wasn’t buying it.
“People were saying?” Todd asked in astonishment. “If I said, ‘Well, people have said Mr. Trump’s not worth $10 billion, and people were saying,’ you would say that’s crazy. You wouldn’t make a business deal based on retweets and based on hearsay.
You’re running for president of the United States. Your words matter. Truthfulness matters. Fact-based stuff matters.”
For Trump and his supporters, facts really don’t matter. It’s enough to feel that tinge of xenophobia and conclude that it must be based on something other than stereotypes and bigotry.
While Trump has frequently lied throughout his campaign (at last count he has 15 “Pants of Fire” lies to his name, but the day is young), his lies about Muslims cheering the attacks on the World Trade Center are particularly galling for several reasons. First, it is so obviously false. To continue to insist that this happened means Trump is either so astoundingly dense that no amount of reality gets in or he’s being intentionally deceptive. But more importantly, Trump is promoting an ugly stereotype meant to paint American Muslims as “terrorist sympathizers.” It’s disgusting rhetoric that could lead to innocent people being targeted based on lies Trump refuses to apologize for.
Todd is an admittedly odd person to call Trump out on his lies. He once claimed that it wasn’t his responsibility to fact-check the people he was interviewing, after all. But it’s refreshing to see Trump get hit so hard with facts. It probably won’t dissuade his fanatical fans, but it sure makes Trump look unelectable to the wider public. For that, we do owe Todd a bit of gratitude. Let’s hope he doesn’t squander it.
Feature image via NBC News