Some research suggests Trump's rhetoric causes an increased incidence of hate crimes. During the 2016 campaign, he sometimes urged or praised physical attacks against protesters or reporters. Since then, some individuals or their attorneys have cited Trump's rhetoric as a defense for their hate speech or violent actions. In August 2019 it was reported that a man who allegedly assaulted a minor for perceived disrespect toward the national anthem had cited Trump's rhetoric in his own defense. It was also reported in August 2019 that a nationwide review conducted by ABC News had identified at least 36 criminal cases where Trump was invoked in direct connection with violence or threats of violence. Of these, 29 were based around someone echoing presidential rhetoric, while the other seven were someone protesting it or not having direct linkage.
Despite the frequency of Trump's falsehoods, the media have rarely referred to them as "lies". The word suggests an attempt to deceive, hence if used could be construed as conveying an opinion as to the intent behind the statement. The word is fraught with political peril and has usually been avoided out of respect for the presidential office. Nevertheless, in August 2018 The Washington Post declared for the first time that some of Trump's misstatements (statements concerning hush money paid to Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal) were lies. Former Secretary of State for George W. Bush, Colin Powell, who had never used the word in reference to any previous president, said in June 2020 that Trump "lies all the time".More Info
Some of Trump's falsehoods are inconsequential, such as his claims of a large crowd size during his inauguration. Others have had more far reaching effects, such as Trump's promotion of unproven antimalarial drugs as a treatment for COVID‑19 in a press conference and on Twitter in March 2020. The claims had consequences worldwide, such as a shortage of these drugs in the United States and panic-buying in Africa and South Asia. The state of Florida obtained nearly a million doses for its hospitals, even though most of them did not want the drug. Other misinformation, such as Trump's retweet of unverified videos of a far-right British nationalist group in November 2017, serves a domestic political purpose, promoting policies on immigration and border security. As a matter of principle, Trump does not apologize for his falsehoods.More Info
In August 2019, a whistleblower filed a complaint with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community about a July 25 phone call between Trump and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump had pressured Zelensky to investigate CrowdStrike and Democratic presidential primary candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, adding that the White House had attempted to "lock down" the call records in a cover-up. The whistleblower further stated that the call was part of a wider pressure campaign by Giuliani and the Trump administration which may have included withholding financial aid from Ukraine in July 2019 and canceling Vice President Pence's May 2019 Ukraine trip. Trump later confirmed having withheld military aid from Ukraine and offered contradicting reasons for the decision.More Info
The second volume of the Mueller Report dealt with possible obstruction of justice by Trump. The report did not exonerate Trump of obstruction inasmuch as investigators were not confident of his innocence after examining his intent and actions. Investigators decided they could not "apply an approach that could potentially result in a judgment that the President committed crimes", as they could not indict a sitting president per an Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion, and would not accuse him of a crime when he cannot clear his name in court. The report concluded that Congress, having the authority to take action against a president for wrongdoing, "may apply the obstruction laws". Congress subsequently launched an impeachment inquiry following the Trump–Ukraine scandal, albeit it ultimately did not press charges related to the Mueller investigation.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
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