Sun | Sep 23, 2018

GOP Congress grapples with 'alternative facts' from Trump

Published:Wednesday | January 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM


Congressional Republicans are discovering that with Donald Trump in the White House, they may be spending a lot of time answering for false claims from their president.

Eager to dive into a packed legislative agenda in a new era of GOP governance, Republicans instead found themselves confronting questions yesterday about Trump's claim that he would have won the popular vote but for three million to five million ballots cast by immigrants in the country illegally.

No evidence supports that assertion, which Trump made in a private meeting with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders at the White House on Monday night. Trump has also made incorrect claims about crowds at his inauguration and his feud with the CIA in the four days since taking office.




Some Republicans came to Trump's defence, blaming the media for stirring controversies, while others, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, sought to distance themselves from Trump's views and then quickly move on. But for many lawmakers, Trump's comments raised the frustrating prospect that even as they face daunting policy challenges starting with repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's health care law, their new president could knock them constantly off track.

Trump should "get to the serious business of governing," said Rep Charlie Dent, R-Pa. "The election is over."

The election may be over, but Trump and his administration have stuck with a strategy that he once described as "truthful hyperbole". In public appearances and private meetings, the president has repeated several falsehoods from his campaign and transition period. Campaign aide Kellyanne Conway described the inaccurate remarks as "alternative facts" in a Sunday interview with NBC's 'Meet the Press.'

Critics simply call them lies.