no, neither Trump nor Coulter went ‘birther’ on Ted Cruz

Another day, another baseless attack on Donald Trump. This morning’s news? Trump, according to news reports, apparently claimed Ted Cruz is not a ‘natural born citizen’ (and thus ineligible for office of POTUS). (The headlines claiming this are countless, so no need to show the images here, but here’s just one example, from a Rubio defender at National Review):

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 10.13.42 AM

Except a 30-second Google search would show Trump said no such thing. Here’s what he actually said (per CNN).

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.11.27 PM

Nowhere does Trump say HE believes Cruz is ineligible. He simply makes the point that OTHERS do (which is factually indisputable — check Twitter and there are thousands of ‘Cruz is ineligible because he was born in Canada’ folks, going back years) and that it could present a problem for Ted.

This didn’t stop the media from trying another line of attack — that Trump was contradicting himself.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 1.37.26 PM.png

But where is the contradiction there?

The Plan-C attack was “Well, Trump is bringing this up/trying to make an issue of it!” Except that’s false, too. The discussion originated during his Washington Post interview, and the Post’s own write-up concedes that the interviewer is the one who brought up the subject.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.21.29 PM.png

Trump-supporter and conservative pundit Ann Coulter then put out some tweets which were ALSO distorted as going ‘birther’ on Cruz. Now, it may well be that Coulter believes Cruz is ineligible (we don’t know) but, at least in those tweets, she never said either way. This is the Coulter tweet in reference, from this morning following the Trump reports:

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 1.22.13 PM

Soon, dishonest headlines (not only continuing the falsehood that Trump said Cruz was ineligible but that Coulter had, too) made the rounds:

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 1.31.02 PM

Now, if you  have a low IQ and/or were never taught reading comprehension, you read Coulter’s tweet to mean she’s saying Cruz is ineligible. The rest of us read that tweet as it is plainly written: Coulter is criticizing the NYT (rightly so) for its (incorrect) matter-of-fact assertion that the Constitution clearly states Cruz is eligible (the truth is — and, FTR, I personally believe Cruz is eligible — that the Constitution does not clearly define ‘natural born citizen’ nor have the courts ever issued a definitive ruling. So it remains a matter of interpretation). In other words, Coulter was saying the NYT was wrong (it was) in claiming the matter is settled law — she was not making a claim, at least not in that tweet, either way, as to whether or not Cruz is eligible.

But that didn’t stop folks on Twitter from thinking they’d ‘caught’ her in a massive contradiction, comparing her tweet this morning to a 2013 tweet. This screenshot quickly made the rounds, and continues to do so. See here:

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.45.31 PM

Or here:

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 1.27.40 PM.png

Or here:

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 1.28.56 PM

In the rush to attack Trump and his supporters, and in the rush to portray them as liars who contradict themselves, does no one at least stop to READ?


no, Donald Trump did NOT say he’s in favor of a registration/database of all Muslims in the U.S.

This morning I woke up to the latest attack on Donald Trump — this time claiming he “absolutely” wants all Muslims to register in a database.

Apparently, no one actually stopped to watch the actual video from which this false claim derives.

It takes two minutes. Video link here.

I’ve transcribed it. The scene is Trump is coming off the stage, likely exhausted and flustered, and a reporter is amongst a crowd of autograph seekers.

REPORTER: “Should there be a database system who tracks the Muslims that are in this country?”

TRUMP: “There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems. And today you can do it. But right now we have to have a border, we have to have strength, we have to have a wall. And we cannot let what’s happening to this country happen [again? inaudible].”

REPORTER: “Is that something your White House would like to implement?” [NOTICE: What is “that”? The reporter kept it vague. Why? Gee, I wonder! Journalism 101 on how to get a “gotcha” quote from a politician where your question isn’t clear and while they’re distracted.)

TRUMP: “Oh, I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.”

REPORTER: “What do you think the effect of that would be? How would that work?”

TRUMP: “It would stop people from coming in illegally. We have to stop people from coming into our country illegally.” [So, explain to me how Trump is referring to a registration of “all Muslims”, much less “all Muslims” in the U.S., when, whatever he is referring to, he says would be about stopping people “from coming in illegally”?]

REPORTER: “But more specifically how do you actually get them registered in the database….?”

TRUMP: “It’s would be just good management. What you have to do is good management procedures. And we can do that.”

REPORTER: “I mean, do you go to the mosques and sign these people up and into the system?”

TRUMP: “Different places. You sign em up at different places. But it’s all about management. Our country has no management.”

REPORTER: “Would they have to legally be in this database?”

TRUMP: “They  have to be – they have to be, let me just tell you: that the key is people can come to the country but they have to come in legally. Thank you very much.”

So even when concluding, Trump is talking about illegal immigration and registrations/databases pertaining to THAT — not to “all” Muslims and certainly not all all Muslims “in the U.S.” At the very least, he and the reporter seem to be talking past each other. Trump makes it clear TWICE that he’s referring to illegal immigration and yet somehow this has turned into “Trump wants every Muslim in the U.S. to be registered in a database.”

Another point worth noting is, considering the loud atmosphere, Trump (and any reasonable person), I believe interpreted the question to be about Muslims “coming into” rather than “in” the U.S. (which also would then perfectly explain why he mentions immigration and thinks that’s what the reporter is asking about). In other words, that the question was: “Should there be a database system who tracks the Muslims that are coming into [vs “in] this country?” Especially since it makes sense to ask about Muslims “coming in” in light of the fact that THAT’s what the current controversy is about (the Syrian refugees). Consider how that changes the “controversial” nature of his answer, particularly, when, well, immigrants are ALREADY IN A DATABASE.




for those who still hold on to the naive belief that all humans are ‘essentially good’

Two recent stories remind us most of are, but some of us aren’t: