Mistakes Were Made
August 11, 2020

President Trump oddly but consistently says the 1918-19 flu pandemic began in 1917, but the White House clarified Monday night that Trump just misspoke when he claimed the Spanish Flu pandemic probably ended World War II, which started in 1939 and ended in 1945.

"The closest thing is in 1917, they say, the great pandemic," Trump told reporters Monday evening, talking about the COVID-19 pandemic. "It certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people, probably ended the Second World War. All the soldiers were sick. That was a terrible situation."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the deployment of U.S. forces to Europe's battlefields in World War I helped spread the Spanish Flu, but Germany's surrender in 1918 followed years of heavy battlefield losses on all sides.

Trump's erroneous comments about world wars and the Spanish Flu's start date came in response to a question about whether he would have called for his predecessor's resignation if more than 160,000 Americans had died of a communicable disease on his watch. Trump, who did call for President Barack Obama to resign after one American doctor was allowed to return to the U.S. after contracting Ebola, said no. Peter Weber

October 15, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden in a new interview concedes he exercised "poor judgment" in serving on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Biden spoke with ABC News in an interview Tuesday about his work with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil and gas company where he served on the board. He has faced criticism from those who say he was inappropriately profiting from his father's position while the former vice president was overseeing Ukraine policy, as well as unfounded allegations of illegal activity from President Trump, whose request that Ukraine's president investigate Biden sparked an impeachment inquiry.

In the interview, Biden concedes that "in retrospect," he used "poor judgment" in getting "in the middle of something that is a swamp in many ways." He also admits he "probably" wouldn't have gotten the position if his last name wasn't Biden, although he defended his qualifications and again denied anything allegations of illegality, saying he did "nothing wrong."

"Did I make a mistake? Well, maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah," Biden said. "But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not." He also said it was a mistake in that he "gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father." Biden denied ever discussing his work with Burisma with his father outside of one "brief exchange."

This interview aired the morning of the fourth Democratic presidential debate, though whether any of Biden's opponents will seize upon this criticism or dismiss it as a distraction remains unclear. Brendan Morrow

May 14, 2019

Critics of Beto O'Rourke's Vanity Fair cover story made some valid points, the former Texas congressman says.

O'Rourke during a Tuesday appearance on The View was faced some tough questions from Meghan McCain about the profile of him published shortly before he announced his presidential campaign in March. McCain, in particular, highlighted his Vanity Fair quote, "Man, I'm just born to be in it," as well as a comment that he "sometimes" helps raise his kids, asking if he can "get away with more" because he's a man.

The 2020 Democrat conceded that he has "been privileged" and that the Vanity Fair cover was problematic because it "reinforces that perception of privilege." He also said he especially regrets the way the "born to be in it" quote came across, saying he was trying to express "that I felt my calling was in public service," not that he was born to be president, because "no one is born to be president of the United States of America, least of all me."

O'Rourke also agreed he "deserved" criticism over his comment about "sometimes" raising his kids, saying his wife made him realize it sounded "flip" and adding, "I have a lot to learn and still am."

After jumping into the race with impressive fundraising totals, O'Rourke has recently lagged in the polls, and The Associated Press reports he's planning a "reintroduction" of his campaign, with this appearance on The View being a part of that. Watch O'Rourke's comments on The View below. Brendan Morrow

August 15, 2018

When reporters asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday about allegations that President Trump used the N-word and it was captured on tape, Sanders said she "can't guarantee" such a tape doesn't exist, and then she pivoted to jobs. "When President Obama left after eight years in office — eight years in office — he had only created 195,000 jobs for African Americans," Sanders claimed, incorrectly. "President Trump in his first year and a half has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years."

On Tuesday night, Sanders acknowledged her mistake on Twitter: "Correction from today's briefing: Jobs numbers for Pres. Trump and Pres. Obama were correct, but the time frame for Pres. Obama wasn't. I'm sorry for the mistake, but no apologies for the 700,000 jobs for African Americans created under President Trump." The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) took responsibility for her error. According to government statistics, The Washington Post reports, nearly 3 million jobs were created during former President Barack Obama's two terms in office. Politico's Ben White has the graph:

The CEA explained that it looked at jobs numbers from Obama's election in 2008, during the peak of the Great Recession, and Trump's election in 2016. "The selection of dates is somewhat unusual because it takes into account job gains or losses before Trump and Obama took office," the Post notes. "In any event, economists generally regard a president's ability to shape employment trends as limited." Peter Weber

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