After Debunking Another 9/11 Claim, Washington Post's Kessler Says Fact-Checking Donald Trump Is Too Easy

Glenn Kessler: “With Trump, The Statements He Makes Are Often So Absurd That You Can Instantly Find Out Why It's Wrong, And How It's Wrong”

From the December 6 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:

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Citation From the December 6, 2015, edition of CNN's Reliable Sources

BRIAN STELTER (HOST): Is that the truth or a Trumpism? Well, some of the hijackers were in relationships, but many were not. And this morning, we could find no corroborating evidence that hijackers' wives flew to Saudi Arabia right before the attack. Joining me now for more on this, Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post's Fact Checker columnist. Glenn, I want to talk to you broadly about what it's like to fact-check Trump, but first, do you have any evidence for this idea that the hijackers' wives all left the country before the attack?

GLENN KESSLER: No, not at all. Clearly, Donald Trump didn't read the 9/11 Commission Report, that indicates few married relationships among the hijackers. One had a girlfriend that he communicated with, and she was shocked afterwards to find out what had happened. So, there's absolutely no evidence to support that statement.


KESSLER: [W]hat Donald Trump does is he actually. you know, insists that he is right, and then goes on to say that because people are tweeting at him, that he's right, of course he's right, even when there's no factual basis for any of his statements.

STELTER: So, using the tweets to reinforce him. So, for you, you're not trying to change his behavior. You're trying to make sure the viewers and the voters know the truth, is that true?

KESSLER: That's right. Fact checks are not written to change political, politicians' behavior. Fact checks are intended to inform voters, and they can do with that information what they wish. In the case of Trump, it's actually not that great fun fact-checking him.


KESSLER: You know, a good fact check is like a mystery story where you spend a lot of time to try to unravel how the politician had, you know, concocted this particular statistic in a way that was misleading. With Trump, the statements he makes are often so absurd that you can instantly find out why it's wrong and how it's wrong. And, you know, it's not that interesting, frankly.


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