Trump Begs the Question: “The News Is Fake Because So Much of the News Is Fake.”

On the bright side, Donald Trump is a blessing to teachers of speech and logic. At yesterday’s stunning, rambling press conference, the President of the United States provided a textbook illustration of begging the question:

QUESTION: I just want to get you to clarify this very important point. Can you say definitively that nobody on your campaign had any contacts with the Russians during the campaign? And on the leaks, is it fake news or are these real leaks?

TRUMP: Well the leaks are real. You’re the one that wrote about them and reported them, I mean the leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it and the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake. So one thing that I felt it was very important to do — and I hope we can correct it. Because there’s nobody I have more respect for — well, maybe a little bit but the reporters, good reporters [emphasis mine; “Full Transcript: President Donald Trump’s News Conference,” CNN, 2017.02.16].

X is true because X is true. Textbook.

42 Responses to Trump Begs the Question: “The News Is Fake Because So Much of the News Is Fake.”

  1. The begging the question part doesn’t bother me as much as “These are real leaks that produced fake news.”


  2. Darin Larson

    Cory, I thought that when he said the news is fake because so much of the news is fake was one of his more cogent arguments. So many of his other statements were total non sequitur. It is like he gets distracted in the middle of his own sentence and goes off on another tangent.

    However, non sequiturs and begging the question are better than when he lies about having won the greatest electoral college victory since Ronald Reagan. When confronted on the inaccuracy of this statement, he claims he was talking only about Republicans. When confronted about the inaccuracy of this, he blames someone else for giving him this information. How can he seriously not know that his electoral college victory was a relatively narrow win? Is he a dim bulb or is his narcissism such a blinding force in his head that he cannot absorb facts that go against his own self-proclaimed greatness?

  3. Just say no to drugs, clearly there is something as wrong with this dude as there was with a feller in Germany in the 30’s and 40’s. The question should be, is it pills or something else? We know that he is on a powerful drug to save his scalp, that is one thing. Whatever else he is taking to counteract the first one seems to be why he slurs his words.

  4. I think he should be tested for Alzheimer’s or dementia, or to determine if he is a pathological narcissist.

  5. Donald Pay

    Trumpist falacy:

    X is real.
    Trump says X is real.
    A reports X is real.
    Trump dislikes A, therefore X is not real.
    Trump says he never said X is not real.

  6. Roger Cornelius

    The irony of 45’s fake news claim is that Russian fake news was planted in the America media to help get him elected.
    I was watching CNN when this unscheduled news conference came on, 45 woke up yesterday morning and decided that for no particular reason he would have a press conference.
    CNN’s Jake Tapper kindly referred to this presser as “unhinged”. Like Tapper, I watched this disturbing exchange with an uneasy feeling that the leader of the free world was in a full meltdown.

  7. ” I don’t mind bad stories. I can handle bad stories better than anybody.” President Trump

    Yeah, right.

  8. mike from iowa

    Drumpf didn’t mind leaks at all when campaigning. Matter of fact he kinda suggested his friend Putin might find some more leaks for him.

    Drumpf’s pick for Labor is the dude that drew up the sweetheart deal for Jeffrey Epstein-Drumpf’s buddy and co-conspirator in Drumpf’s alleged under age girl rape case.

  9. The problem is that the illegal leaks are practically the only reliable sources of information. If the leaks are plugged, we are left with only those ‘alternative facts.’

  10. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    We live in a scary time, where the “Right” in America have decided to call money free speech, want to criminalize the freedom of assembly, no longer see us as a nation of immigrants, and are attempting to increasingly marginalize and belittle the free press as “fake news.”

    No external threat can be as ominous as this pending storm from “The Enemy Within,” and it is incumbent upon us who care, and care to notice, to begin to “Resist!” And we must do it in peace, but we must also be relentless….

  11. I am glad you put Right in quotation marks. Remember that, despite the volume and fervency of the populist mouth-breathers dominating the republican scene at the moment, there are some of us who aren’t insane, may disagree with you on some things, and are still willing to work together for the betterment of the country.

  12. Porter Lansing

    “Donald Trump has benefited from leaks more than the CEO of Depends.” @PaulBegala

    @Jerry – President Trump takes Adderall for his ADHD. All his odd quirks are side effects of the drug.

  13. Thank you for referencing the logical fallacy correctly. (Now I can go back and read the article.)

  14. I think Trump meant that the leaks were true in that they really happened, but some of what was reported in regards to them were inaccurate.

  15. Is Pinnochio nose getting bigger.

  16. mikeyc, that's me!

    It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Reminds me of the Nixon years.

  17. Darin Larson

    Republican US Representative Ted Yoho was asked about Trump tweeting that the news media was the “enemy of the American people.” Rep. Yoho said Trump “has a certain style and people are getting used to that and I’m glad to see him go back to the basics. When things kind of get out of hand or the turmoil that you were talking about when you see that, go back to the basics.”

    Apparently for Trump, going back to the basics is to attack the newsmedia as well as anyone providing negative information about his administration. Going back to the basics also appears to include campaign style rallies with photo ops and people cheering his greatness. As a narcissist, Trump runs on the praise of others.

  18. mike from iowa

    Drumpf’s approval rating dropped to 38% and he went full Nazi on the press being the enemy of the people on Twitter.

    I am proud to say this guy is nutz and I will keep saying that until he gets the help he is screaming for.

  19. I was a fan of that young Cuban fellow. Is he still available?

  20. Dicta, where are these middle of the line Republicans? Are they out putting their unicorns to pasture? Are there any in Washington? Where were they during the DeVos confirmation vote? Tillerson? How about Bannon? Are you comfortable with him having his hand down Trump’s pants? Does nobody have a problem with the flood of lies coming out of Trump’s mouth? Where were these sane Republicans during the primary? Why do these lunatics keep work their way to the top in the GOP? What was do wrong with Rubio? Heck, even Jeb seemed pretty sane. And it would have made it tougher to bring up the whole W. thing considering he and Obama seem to have become such good friends. Then people like Boehner, who I belive would have been willing to work with Democrats if he would have been allowed, get thrown under the bus. McCain? Republicans love to bash him. I would love to have the opportunity to vote for a Republican president someday, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

  21. Porter Lansing

    Good one, Mike. #grins

  22. So, if the leak about Flynn was untrue, why would it be considered a “lie” to the VP and a FIRING offense? How did Flynn “lose the confidence” of the Prez if the leak was b.s.? Oh, the leak was TRUE? Well, then, that is a horse of a different color. There is sooo much smoke and a few flames. We just have to figure out where they are coming from! Agent Orange is coming unhinged and is back on the campaign trail today spreading what farmers usually spread in the spring. Are we gonna buy it just because he has that magic “R” by his name?

  23. mike from iowa

    I ask you, Porter- how many more kids would eat carrots if they could have the alternative kind? :)

  24. Porter Lansing

    Many more, sir.

  25. Douglas Wiken

    For Trump, real news is fake and his fake news is real news. It is just plain disgusting to listen to his BS. I wonder if those who voted for him believe his trash just because they don’t want to admit they made a huge blunder thinking he would do something for the forgotten.

  26. If all news is fake news, then why would anyone believe his news? He has not spoken the truth in the last several months. Where are the jobs?

  27. mike from iowa

    Did you all hear about the terror attack in Sweden yesterday? Drumpf did, but the media- not a word. In fact, someone forgot to let Sweden in on the fake news from Drumpf. Them stealth attacks are starting to pile up.

    You’ll be laughing out the other side of your mouth when them false news terror strikes hit home.

    In funnier news, Obama averaged yearly travel expenses was just over 12 million bucks. In his first month alone-Drumpf racked up over 11 million bucks in travel expenses. Gotta love fiscal responsible wingnuts.

  28. mike from iowa

    Wingnuts is amazing. Priebus stated unequivocally that not a single member of Drumpf’s campaign had any contact with Russians.

    So is he saying Flynn wasn’t part of the campaign for Drumpf or did he mean to infer more than one when he said not a single member contacted Russians?

    Clinton said he did not have sex with Miss Lewinski- not once. I took that to mean he did it more than once, but I’m a suspicious sort by nature. Plus if the ? in court was if he had sex one time and he said no because he did it 2 times, technically he didn’t perjure himself.

  29. Yakla, Why was this American killed and so many wounded? Why were children killed? Why was so much equipment lost? Why was this such a failure?

  30. Trump is a spoiled half-wit, but he is an expert on fake news because hired Steve Bannon, the king of fake news, as his chief adviser and placed him on the NSA. Trump is an expert on how the 2016 election was rigged, because his operatives worked with the Ruskies to rig it despite losing the popular vote by 3 million American votes. He is an expert on liars and cheaters because he’s a compulsive liar who maintained a fortune cheating people out of their money.

    I truly wish my statements here were wrong or exaggerated, but they hold up without needing to do much research.

    What is scary are the members of South Dakota’s congressional delegation and everyone else who support Trump and this evil authoritarian regime. President Agent Orange isn’t a threat unless he’s given support by people who ought to know better.

  31. 96 Tears gets a lot of relevant info in one post.

  32. 96Tears, you’re absolutely right. Trump’s errors do not require fervent partisan interpretive gymnastics; they are obvious and objective falsehoods (Sweden?!?) and fallacies. We now need our Republican leaders (the real Republicans, the ones who’ve been in the party for years fighting for something better than the current kakocracy) to step past their own partisanship and acknowledge the objective fact that the man in the Oval Office is not intellectually or morally capable of carrying out the duties of President of the United States.

  33. mike from iowa

    Ivanka Trump ✔ @IvankaTrump
    America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers.

    Tolerance for all religions except Muslims, maybe? Jews still waiting to hear Drumpf’s plan to protect Jewish places of worship.

  34. mike from iowa

    Colorado Senator basically accused a newspaper of printing fake news, they respond with threat of a lawsuit against wingnut pol. Speaking words of wisdom LET IT BE. Sue the crazy SOB!!!

  35. Mike, that’s an interesting story:

    I can see the argument: if a legislator says I run a “fake news” website, that legislator is attacking my reputation and livelihood with a false statement. But would that argument stand up in court? Would it subject Trump and his followers to similar lawsuits? And would the courts argue that media outlets, like politicians, are “public figures” for whom the libel bar is higher?

  36. mike from iowa

    I have no answers, Cory, but I would like to see this run its course. Wingnuts never seem to be afraid to smear people in public. Drumpf does it quite often. There are some limits on free speech.

  37. I’m happy to see the phrase “begging the question” used accurately. I’m not thrilled when we’ve reached a point where “this logical fallacy doesn’t bother me as much as this other logical fallacy.”

  38. All fallacies are created equal? ;-)

  39. Don Coyote

    @cah: Except the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel is offering up opinion and speculation as fact.

    “Only provably false statements of fact can be defamatory. “Fake news” is not a provably false statement of fact — as Jay Seaton admits in the very column in which he threatens to sue over it, it’s a general pejorative. Moreover, whether a statement is factual is always analyzed in the statement’s full context. Here, the full statement of Sen. Scott’s tweet made it clear he was deriding the story for speculating about his reasons for delaying the bill without full information, not claiming that the Daily Sentinel was fabricating a fact. In other words, the context made it even clearer that the term “fake news” was being used to offer an opinion about the paper’s speculation and bias, not to accuse it of falsifying a specific fact.”

  40. Hmmm, I will wait to see what the Murdo Coyote’s opinion is.