Speed Reads

Birther Madness

Chris Christie's howler about Trump's birtherism earns brutally curt retort from The Washington Post

CNN's Jake Tapper asked Donald Trump adviser Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) on Sunday about Trump's long promotion of the lie that President Obama was born outside the U.S. Christie falsely said that Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, had "recently admitted" that the "birther" issue is one "that Mrs. Clinton also injected into her campaign in 2008 in a very quiet and direct way" (Solis Dolye said just the opposite), then told a whopper so egregious that Tapper called him on it.

After Tapper noted that Trump "kept up this whole birther thing until Friday. That's five years," Christie responded: "No, but, Jake, that's just not true. It's not true that he kept it up for five years." "Sure, he did," Tapper said. "It wasn't like he was talking — no, Jake, it wasn't like — it wasn't like he was talking about it on a regular basis until then."

"This will possibly be our shortest fact check ever," wrote Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.

"This is why Americans hate politics," Kessler said. "A sitting governor goes on national television and when he is called out for an obvious falsehood, he simply repeats the inaccurate talking points over and over." The Post awarded Christie "Four Pinocchios," then dropped this unusually frank parting shot: "This is such bogus spin that we have to wonder how Christie manages to say it with a straight face. Regular readers know we shy away from using the word 'lie,' but clearly Christie is either lying or he is so misinformed that he has no business appearing on television."