Trump’s brazen and false Thad Cochran excuse

In an interview airing Thursday morning on “Fox and Friends,” President Trump yet again wrongly claimed that a hospitalized senator was preventing Republicans from passing their health-care bill, even though they have the votes.

This is hardly the first time Trump has made a blatantly false claim — he has made more than 1,000 wrong or misleading ones as president — but this one is notable for its brazenness, how self-serving it is, the number of falsehoods contained within and its repetition. Trump said it no fewer than six times Wednesday (when the “Fox and Friends” interview was recorded), making clear this is a talking point he has decided upon.

All of this makes it basically impossible to believe this is an innocent mistake. And if it’s not, it’s massively cynical.

Here are the six claims, with the first two coming on “Fox and Friends” and the four others in a Q&A with reporters at the White House:

  1. “The health-care bill didn’t go down. We have the votes, but reconciliation is a disaster. But as you know, it ends on Friday. So we don’t have enough time, because we have one senator who’s a ‘yes’ vote — a great person, but he’s in the hospital. And he’s a ‘yes’ vote. So we can’t do it by Friday. So we have the votes.”
  2. “We have the votes to get it done. You can’t do it when somebody is in the hospital.”
  3. “I just wanted to say, though, on health care, we have the votes for health care. We have one senator that’s in the hospital. He can’t vote because he’s in the hospital. He can’t vote because he’s in the hospital. We have two other votes that are coming and we will have them, but the problem is we can’t have them by Friday because of reconciliation ends on Friday, so we’ll have to do it in January or February. But I feel we have the votes; I’m almost certain we have the votes. But with one man in the hospital, we cannot display that we have them. Plus, some people want to go through a process just to make themselves feel better….

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