CNN's Stelter Lumps Bush 'Mission Accomplished' in With Clinton 'Lies'

On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, while introducing a segment about how to deal with a President Donald Trump when he "lies" about something, host Brian Stelter dubiously included a clip of former President George W. Bush from his April 2013 speech declaring that the U.S. had "prevailed" in Iraq as an example of Presidents telling "lies" alongside deliberate presidential deceptions like Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman," Barack Obama's "If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance," and Richard Nixon's "I'm not a crook."



Coming off a commercial break near the end of the show, Stelter began:

Welcome back. Let's tell some truths about lying because the way Donald Trump lies has some people rethinking some of the basic premises of journalism, like the assumption that everything a President says is automatically news. When President-elect Trump lies so casually, so cynically, the news isn't so much the false thing he said, it's that he felt like he could just go ahead and say it, go ahead and lie to you. That's the story. Why does he bend and flex and twist and warp and distort the truth?

He then set up a series of soundbites from past Presidents as he added:

Personally, I'm curious because I think Trump does it differently than past Presidents. His lies are different and deserve scrutiny. I mean, look, for as long as people have been talking, people have been lying, right? Look at these presidential one-liners. They are infamous.

Then came clips of five previous Presidents:

FORMER PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: Well, I'm not a crook.

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Read my lips: No new taxes.

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: I did not have sexual relations with that woman-

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: In the battle of Iraq, the United States and her allies have prevailed.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance. Period.

The infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner was shown momentarily as part of the George W. Bush clip in which he was seen announcing that America's allies had "prevailed" against Iraq. But there is no reason to believe he knew that there would be an extended war in Iraq when he declared victory, so the inclusion of the clip suggests the CNN team were scraping to find something that could be characterized as a "lie" so that George W. Bush could be included alongside deliberate deceptions by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Even the inclusion of George H.W. Bush's "no new taxes" pledge is debatable since he might have intended to oppose tax increases at the time, but caved in and broke the promise after he was left with a Democratic Congress that was pressuring him.

Similarly, the far left has been waiting eight years for President Obama to keep his promise to close Guantanamo Bay within his first year in office, but, since he probably was naive enough to actually want to do it at the time, this would not fit the definition of a "lie" either.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, December 4, Reliable Sources on CNN:

11:48 a.m. ET
BRIAN STELTER: Welcome back. Let's tell some truths about lying because the way Donald Trump lies has some people rethinking some of the basic premises of journalism, like the assumption that everything a President says is automatically news. When President-elect Trump lies so casually, so cynically, the news isn't so much the false thing he said, it's that he felt like he could just go ahead and say it, go ahead and lie to you. That's the story. Why does he bend and flex and twist and warp and distort the truth?

Personally, I'm curious because I think Trump does it differently than past Presidents. His lies are different and deserve scrutiny. I mean, look, for as long as people have been talking, people have been lying, right? Look at these presidential one-liners. They are infamous.

FORMER PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: Well, I'm not a crook.

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Read my lips: No new taxes.

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: I did not have sexual relations with that woman-

FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: In the battle of Iraq, the United States and her allies have prevailed.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance. Period.

STELTER: All of those cases are a little bit different, but, normally, when Presidents fib, it's hard to prove the fib at the time. And later, when the truth does come out, as it always does, Presidents pay a price. Certainly, President Obama paid a price for saying, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." Politifact called that the "lie of the year" back in 2013. Will President Trump pay a price for lying, too? Or is something broken? Will voters just shrug it off? Let me show you an example: something small but revealing from Trump's rally on Thursday.

PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: We won in a landslide. That was a landslide. And we didn't have the press -- the press was brutal.

STELTER: "Landslide" is obviously untrue. It's not possible to lose the popular vote by 2.5 million and win in a landslide. This was rightly fact-checked all over the place just like many of Trump's campaign exaggerations. Of the statements checked by Politifact during the campaign, 70 percent were rated "mostly false" or "pants on fire." This is how Trump deceives people differently than past Presidents have.


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NBDaily 2016 Presidential Iraq Middle East Health Care Medical Insurance Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN Reliable Sources Video George W. Bush Richard Nixon Brian Stelter Bill Clinton Barack Obama George H. W. Bush