WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump and Twitter were confused last week about the truth and consequences when the social media giant flagged the president’s tweets for spreading false information and possibly inciting violence.
The episode caused Trump to infuriate and threaten to retaliate against the platform he constantly uses to point out or outline policies, report, criticize, and spread conspiracy theories and disinformation.
And in the same week that Twitter Trump passed his groundless innuendo about a broadcaster, the organization continued to juggle fraught questions about freedom of expression and when and how to gag a president.
On and alongside social media, Trump stretched or shredded the facts while trying to make the most of a death toll in the United States that exceeds 100,000 of the coronavirus, misrepresented his predecessor’s drug price record, and played with it. dangerous idea to take insulin just because.
Here’s a look back:
TRUMP: “For all the political hacks out there, if I hadn’t done my job right, and asked, we would have lost 1 1/2 to 2 million people as opposed to the 100,000 plus that looks like the number.” – tweet Tuesday, before the number of known deaths has passed 100,000.
THE FACTS: This view comes from his ego, not science, and circumvents the fact that the US has experienced many more known illnesses and deaths from COVID-19 than any other country. Well-documented failures in US tests and containment gaps in the crucial early weeks contributed to the severity of the crisis.
Early in the U.S. outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the death toll could have reached or exceed 2 million if steps had not been taken to manage the disease. That is, if public health authorities, governors, mayors, the president and the public have done nothing.
An idleness course was never an option, and federal officials never predicted such an unprecedented death toll. Trump’s tweets overlook that the US response – its weaknesses and strengths – never revolved around him.
TRUMP versus TWITTER
TRUMP, on Minneapolis protests and riots: “I can’t wait to see this happen in a great American city, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak radical left-wing mayor, Jacob Frey, brings his act together and bring the city under control, or I’ll send in the National Guard and get the job done … just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him the army is with him all the time, some difficulty and we’ll be in control take over, but when the looting begins, the shooting begins. “- Tweets Friday.
THE FACTS: His promise to steer the vital context of the National Guard, although that’s not the bigger problem here.
The Minnesota governor had already activated the state’s National Guard in response to the chaos. It was unclear to Trump whether he planned to allow the federal government to include National Guard personnel in other states for law enforcement in Minnesota.
U.S. law prohibits federal use of the National Guard or active duty troops for domestic law enforcement. That prohibition can only be exceeded under extreme circumstances. The Pentagon on Friday took the rare step of ordering the military to prepare several active U.S. military police units to be deployed to Minneapolis when asked.
The bigger problem was Trump’s comment that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” That phrase from the violent frontlines of the civil rights era evokes a brutal police response caused by her and can be construed as a threat to Trump looters shots Trump later said that was not what he meant and that he is not known was with the origin of the sentence.
Twitter said the tweet’s closing sentence “violates our policy regarding the glorification of violence based on its historical context” and “could inspire similar actions today.” People had to click on the warning to access the hidden tweet. When Trump’s tweet was repeated on the White House account instead of his, Twitter flagged it the same way.
Trump later said he did not refer to his comment as a threat, but as an observation that looting leads to people being shot. “I don’t want this to happen,” he tweeted.
The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who begged for air when a white police officer pressed his knee to the back of his neck.
TRUMP: “So ridiculous to see Twitter trying to argue that Mail-In ballots are not subject to FRAUD. How stupid, there are examples and cases everywhere. Our election process will be seriously affected and a joke around the world. – tweet Thursday.
TRUMP: “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) That Mail-In ballot papers will be anything but substantially fraudulent. Mailboxes are robbed, ballots are falsified and even illegally printed and signed fraudulently. – tweet Tuesday.
THE FACTS: No, there are no examples and cases ‘everywhere’. Voting fraud is rare.
Two tweets from Trump prompted Twitter to take the extraordinary step of including fact-check announcements, which infuriated the president.
Trump has appointed a committee after the 2016 elections to explore his persistent theory that voting fraud is rampant. But the bottom fell out. The panel was dissolved without producing any findings.
Some election studies have reported a higher incidence of email voting fraud compared to personal voting, but the overall risk is almost imperceptible. The Brennan Center for Justice said in 2017 that the risk of voting fraud is 0.00004% to 0.0009%.
“Trump is just wrong about mail-in-balloting, which has” enormous “potential for fraud,” Richard L. Hasen, an election expert at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, recently wrote in a opinion. “While certain parts of the country have seen their share of scandals in the absence of votes, problems are extremely rare in the five states that rely primarily on postal voting, including the heavily republican state of Utah.”
Trump’s pursuit of personal voting also goes against the CDC guidelines urging Americans to avoid crowds and keep them six feet apart. Federal guidelines “encourage mail-in voting methods if allowed in the jurisdiction”, given the coronavirus threat.
Trump himself voted by mail in the Republican primaries in Florida in March.
TRUMP: “The Governor of California sends ballots to millions of people, everyone … who lives in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. … This is going to be a testified election. Really not! “- tweet Tuesday.
THE FACTS: Not true that Californians get ballots no matter who they are. Only registered voters in California receive ballot papers.
TRUMP, wondering about taking insulin even though he doesn’t have diabetes: “I don’t use insulin. Should I be? Huh? I never thought about it. But I know a lot of people are very affected, right? Unbelievable. – notes Tuesday at Medicare event.
THE FACTS: To be clear, taking insulin if you don’t have diabetes can kill you.
In people with diabetes, the pancreas cannot make insulin, which is why they often need multiple doses per day. But that same insulin, in overdose or by non-diabetics, can lead to hypoglycemic coma, which can have various outcomes, from confusion and dizziness to death.
Urged by the President to speak with the wisdom of taking insulin when he is not diabetic, surgeon general Jerome Adams cautiously corrected him. He told Trump that his body makes all the insulin it needs.
Trump then stopped musing about the idea, except to say he thought he had “actually asked a very good question.”
TRUMP: “Much interest in this story about Psycho Joe Scarborough. So a young marathoner happened to pass out in his office, hit her head on his desk, and died? I think there is much more to this story than that? – May 24 Tweet.
TRUMP: “So many unanswered and obvious questions, but I won’t bring them up now! Will law enforcement eventually do that?” – tweet Tuesday.
THE FACTS: He’s spreading an unfounded conspiracy theory about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former Florida Republican congressman, and a woman who had worked on his staff decades ago. There are no “unanswered” questions after an autopsy report ruled the 2001 accident, despite Trump’s dark musings.
After Lori Klausutis was found dead at the Fort Walton Beach convention office in Scarborough, an autopsy revealed that she had an undiagnosed heart condition and a coroner concluded that she passed out and hit her head when she fell. The coroner said the head injury caused death and that no one was beating her.
Scarborough was in Washington when Klausutis died in Florida, a month after he announced he was leaving.
Trump’s fake tweets prompted Timothy Klausutis to ask Twitter to remove messages about his late wife for causing pain to her family; Twitter declined to do this.
KAYLEIGH McENANY, White House press secretary, referring to the former CIA director, “It was John Brennan who was in front of Congress and said the Steele file – paid for by Hillary Clinton, paid for by the DNC – that document had no role. played the role in opening the Russia probe, when in fact we know that; when we actually know it was the first step. Newsletter Tuesday.
THE FACTS: It is clear from the timeline that the file did not initiate investigations into Russia’s interference in the US elections and contacts with Trump officials.
The FBI started the investigation in July 2016, well before the agents had ever seen the file. The FBI opened the investigation on the basis of entirely different information: that an employee of a Trump campaign would have heard that Russia had dirt on Trump opponent Hillary Clinton.
The file contains unsubstantiated reports of Trump’s personal behavior. It did play a role in the requests the FBI made to oversee another campaign assistant, Carter Page, but it’s not as if the file sparked the investigation in Russia.
More generally, McEnany insisted on an unsupported conspiracy theory that the FBI investigation was tainted with partisan bias and hatched by Democrats.
TRUMP: “In the past, Obamacare prevented insurance companies from competing to offer lower costs for seniors. There was no competition, there was nothing, and they walked away with what happened, and the seniors were terribly hurt. – Medicare event Tuesday.
THE FACTS: President Barack Obama’s health law has actually lowered the elderly’s own prescription costs. And it didn’t stop insurers from competing to offer lower costs.
The law reduced what the elderly had to pay back then by gradually closing the ‘donut hole,’ a notorious funding shortfall in Medicare’s popular ‘Part D’prescription drug plan.
A 50% discount Obamacare received from drug manufacturers on branded drugs yielded an average savings of $ 581 for older adults with high drug costs in 2011, according to an analysis by Medicare’s nonpartisan office of the actuary at the time, for The Associated Press.
The law also ordered Medicare to include more of the costs of generic drugs, saving another $ 22.
On Tuesday, Trump announced that next year, most older adults will access prescription plans that limit monthly copays for insulin to $ 35, for an average savings of $ 446 per year.
Addressing the funding shortfall helped Obamacare Medicare recipients with high drug costs in general, not just patients who had to take insulin to control their diabetes.
There is no evidence to support this claim that Obamacare has hindered competition from insurers.
“Given the large number of Medicare prescription drugs available to seniors, it is unclear how the Obama administration has prevented insurers from competing with each other,” said Tricia Neuman, a Medicare expert with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. .
Neuman cited statistics for 2012, midway through the Obama years, when the average number of Medicare Part D drug plans in regions ranged from a low of 25 to a high of 36 – more than enough to facilitate healthy competition.
TRUMP: “So we’re getting it back – $ 35 a month … So it’s a huge cut – I think 60.70%. No one has seen anything like this for a long time. Sleepy Joe can’t do this – I can tell you.” – Medicare event Tuesday.
THE FACTS: Joe Biden suggests doing much more, whether he could do it as president or not.
The Democratic presidential candidate supports Medicare to enable prices to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers, limit price increases to inflation, and limit starting prices for new drugs that face no competition.
As a 2016 candidate, Trump had also supported the Medicare negotiations. But he didn’t pursue that idea as president, although the Congressional Budget Office estimated it could lead to significant savings for taxpayers and consumers.
Congress is deadlocked over legislation to cut drug costs, including a two-tiered Senate bill backed by Trump that would serve to limit price increases for drugs already on the market. But it wouldn’t allow Medicare to negotiate prices.
Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Robert Burns in Washington and AP News researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.
EDITOR’S NOTE – A look at the veracity of claims made by political figures.
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