By Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Carrie Dann
November 23, 2015
We've been around the political block long enough to know that almost all presidential candidates exaggerate, dissemble, take statements out of context and, yes, lie. But from the start of Donald Trump's presidential campaign (remember Mexican rapists?), he has taken this to a level we haven't seen before in American politics. Consider just these two examples from the weekend. First, Trump said on Saturday in Alabama: "I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering." In fact, as the New York Times writes, "No news reports exist of people cheering in the streets, and both police officials and the mayor of Jersey City have said that it did not happen. An Internet rumor about people cheering in the streets, which said it was in Paterson, not Jersey City, has been denied numerous times by city and police officials." But when ABC pressed Trump on his statement, he stood his ground. "It did happen. I saw it... It was on television. I saw it." Second, Trump retweeted a graphic claiming -- falsely -- that African Americans are responsible for the killing of most blacks and whites in America. "That is not true, the Washington Post notes. "According to data from the FBI, most whites are killed by whites, as most blacks are killed by blacks. There's an obvious reason for that: Most people are killed by someone they know."
And it's on the explosive subjects of religion and race
It's hard to disagree with the assessment of our colleague Benjy Sarlin: "Let's not sugarcoat what's going on. The GOP frontrunner is spreading hateful falsehoods about blacks and Muslims."
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