Donald Trump's press conference on Wednesday was the first time the president-elect had met the media since July 26.
As such, it was a freewheeling affair with reporters attempting to cram multiple questions into one sentence, and Trump routinely changing the subject. Trump also spouted his usual boasts ("I will be the greatest jobs producer that God has ever created"), swipes at the media (calling Buzzfeed "a flaming pile of garbage" that would "face consequences"), and made a number of references to himself in the third person.
But beyond all of that, it is a verifiable fact that President-Elect Trump repeatedly said things that directly contradicted known facts, his own statements, and statements made by his staff and family. These sort of lies have been a fundamental element of Trump's campaign since his first speech, and it has only gotten worse since then. The fact-checking site Politifact rated a full 84% of Trump's statements at only half-true at most, with just over half being completely false.
While its impossible to know if Donald Trump is intentionally lying, ATTN: spotted at least three obvious moments where Trump flagrantly disregarded facts and statements he should be well aware of.
1. "[T]he Democratic National Committee was totally open to be hacked. They did a very poor job. They could’ve had hacking defense, which we had [...] they tried to hack the Republican National Committee and they were unable to break through."
This is a direct contradiction not only of the intelligence report that Trump was briefed on, but of FBI director James Comey's testimony the day earlier. Comey told a Senate hearing that Russian hackers had indeed penetrated the RNC's server and gained "limited access" to RNC servers.
Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told ATTN: last week that "the Russians are some of the most capable cyber-actors in the world, and if they want to get into an organization, they can do it," and that "although the Trump campaign likes to claim that the Republican National Committee was better protected, I don't think that's true.
2. "I’m also very much of a germaphobe, by the way, believe me."
Trump said this as part of his defense that he didn't take part in the act of sexual urination that he's accused of in the explosive (and unconfirmed) intelligence dossier Buzzfeed released on Tuesday. While Trump has previously called the custom of shaking hands "barbaric" and a "curse of American society," he's also explicitly denied being fearful of germs.
When asked by the Hollywood Reporter in August 2015 specifically whether he's a germaphobe, Trump replied "I'm not germophobic. [...] I go through and shake hands and do what I have to do, and people like me and I like them. In Iowa, I must have shaken 2,000 hands — and those were only the ones that were next to me."
While this might only seem like a personal preference and a chance to score a cheap laugh, it's more than that. These statements provide a perfect example of Trump directly contradicting something he'd previously said to advance a beneficial narrative. In 2015, it was better for Trump to say he wasn't germophobic, while in 2017 it's better for him to say that he is.
3. "So I tweeted out that I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia."
The president-elect has insisted that he has no financial interest in Russia, nor does Russia have any financial interest him. Despite major stories about the connections between him, his staff, and Russian finance, he has stuck to this, repeating it both on Twitter before the press conference and during the event.
Trump is reported to have been meeting with Russian oligarchs as recently as 2013. While the exact nature of his Russian business deals are unknown, there's one person who has all but confirmed a steady flow of cash from Russia into the Trump Organization: his son, Donald Trump, Jr.
The Trump heir told a real estate conference in 2008 "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
How much money? What assets? Who is sending it? Since Trump has thus far refused to release his tax returns, the American public cannot know for sure - allowing Trump's contradictory statements dominate the narrative.