In a speech in September 2014, United States President Barack Obama said that ISIL was neither "Islamic" (on the basis that no religion condones the killing of innocents) nor was it a "state" (in that no government recognises the group as a state), while many object to using the name "Islamic State" owing to the far-reaching religious and political claims to authority which that name implies. The United Nations Security Council, the United States, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Russia, the United Kingdom and other countries generally call the group "ISIL", while much of the Arab world uses the Arabic acronym "Dāʻish" (or "Daesh"). France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims, and Islamists. The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats'." Retired general John Allen, the U.S. envoy appointed to co-ordinate the coalition; U.S. Army Lieutenant General James Terry, head of operations against the group; and Secretary of State John Kerry had all shifted towards use of the term Daesh by December 2014.
Some view the nature and frequency of Trump's falsehoods as having profound and corrosive consequences on democracy. James Pfiffner, professor of policy and government at George Mason University, wrote in 2019 that Trump lies differently from previous presidents, because he offers "egregious false statements that are demonstrably contrary to well-known facts"; these lies are the "most important" of all Trump lies. By calling facts into question, people will be unable to properly evaluate their government, with beliefs irrationally settled by "political power"; this erodes liberal democracy, wrote Pfiffner.More Info
Trump launched his political career in 2011 as a leading proponent of "birther" conspiracy theories alleging that Barack Obama, the first black U.S. president, was not born in the United States. In April 2011, Trump claimed credit for pressuring the White House to publish the "long-form" birth certificate, which he considered fraudulent, and later saying this made him "very popular". In September 2016, amid pressure, he acknowledged that Obama was born in the U.S. and falsely claimed the rumors had been started by Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign. In 2017, he reportedly still expressed birther views in private.More Info
The connections between Trump associates and Russia have been widely reported by the press. One of Trump's campaign managers, Paul Manafort, had worked from December 2004 until February 2010 to help pro-Russian politician Viktor Yanukovych win the Ukrainian presidency. Other Trump associates, including former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and political consultant Roger Stone, have been connected to Russian officials. Russian agents were overheard during the campaign saying they could use Manafort and Flynn to influence Trump.Members of Trump's campaign and later his White House staff, particularly Flynn, were in contact with Russian officials both before and after the November election. On December 29, 2016, Flynn talked with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions that had been imposed the same day; Flynn later resigned in the midst of controversy over whether he misled Pence. The Washington Post reported that Trump had told Kislyak and Sergei Lavrov in May 2017 he was unconcerned about Russian interference in U.S. elections.More Info
Trump has a history of insulting or demeaning women through comments on appearance or bodily functions, comparisons to animals, or other sexist language. Trump's behavior became a campaign issue when he was questioned about it during the Republican Party presidential debate by Fox News journalist and debate host Megyn Kelly on August 6, 2015. Trump brushed off Kelly's question, implying she was treating him unfairly, but then on CNN the following day stated about Kelly, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever." The comment was widely viewed as referring to menstrual blood. Trump denied the comment was about menstruation and insisted that what he said was appropriate. Trump incurred bipartisan condemnation for his comments.More Info
Before and throughout his presidency, Trump has promoted numerous conspiracy theories, including the Barack Obama "birther" theory, the Clinton body count theory, conspiracy theories related to the Trump–Ukraine scandal and QAnon. A July 2020 video asserting conspiracy theories about coronavirus by Stella Immanuel, a Texas physician, was retweeted by Trump before it was removed from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube because it violated their rules on misinformation. At a press conference on July 28 he was asked why he would trust Immanuel, considering the context of her claims about "alien DNA" and its supposed use in medicine. Trump defended Immanuel saying, "I thought she was very impressive, in the sense that, from where she came – I don't know what country she comes from – but she said that she's had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients. I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her." When pressed further about the conflict with existing official medical information about the virus, Trump ended the briefing abruptly.More Info
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