lies! lies!
November 18, 2019

Mina Chang, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, resigned on Monday, just a few hours after NBC News asked her spokeswoman about several false claims Chang made about her nonprofit and education.

In her resignation letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chang said she was "unfairly maligned, unprotected by my superiors, and exposed to a media with an insatiable desire for gossip and scandal, genuine or otherwise." She also said her resignation is actually "a protest," and not "surrender, because I will not surrender my commitment to serve, my fidelity to the truth, or my love of country."

NBC News reported last week that she embellished her résumé, claiming among other things that she was a "graduate" of a program at the Army War College, when she actually just attended a four-day seminar. Chang also showed people a Time cover with her face on it, which a magazine spokesperson said was "not authentic."

Since that report, NBC News uncovered more falsehoods. Chang said in 2012, she won a CBS Humanitarian of the Year Women That Soar award, but it was actually a Dallas, Texas, honor, and the ceremony aired on a local CBS affiliate. Chang also said she earned a degree in international development from the University of Hawaii, but that program does not exist. She visited Afghanistan in 2015, saying it was a humanitarian mission facilitated through her nonprofit Linking the World, but NBC News reports the trip was paid for by a defense contractor, no aid was delivered, and she lied about the people she met. Read more about these tall tales at NBC News. Catherine Garcia

May 28, 2019

Former FBI Director James Comey understands why "it's tempting for normal people to ignore our president when he starts ranting about treason and corruption at the FBI," but now is the time to pay attention and "call out his lies," he wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday night in The Washington Post.

Trump is a "liar who doesn't care what damage he does to vital institutions," Comey said. Trump has accused the FBI of being corrupt and committing treason, saying agents spied on his campaign, but "stubborn facts" prove otherwise.

Comey writes about Russian interference in the 2016 election, and how the Trump campaign knew about meddling but never notified the FBI, with the bureau finally learning about it from an ambassador. The investigation was conducted discreetly, because if "there was nothing to it, we didn't want to smear Americans," Comey said. "If there was something to it, we didn't want to let corrupt Americans know we were onto them. So, we kept it secret. That's how the FBI approaches all counterintelligence cases."

The FBI did not "spy" on anyone, and investigators were able to show they had probable cause to get a federal court order to conduct electronic surveillance on a former Trump campaign adviser believed to be acting as an agent of the Russian government, Comey said. This was never revealed, "despite the fact that it was late October and a leak would have been very harmful to candidate Trump," he added. "Worst deep-state conspiracy ever." Comey predicted that once the investigations into the investigators are over, "you will find the work was done appropriately and focused only on discerning the truth of very serious allegations. There was no corruption. There was no treason. There was no attempted coup. Those are lies, and dumb lies at that." Catherine Garcia

December 26, 2018

While speaking to U.S. service members at the al-Asad airbase in Iraq on Wednesday, President Trump spread two falsehoods about military pay.

First, Trump asked the gathered troops if anyone there was "willing to give up the big pay raise you just got," and declared that service members hadn't received a raise "in more than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one." Trump also claimed he spoke with "plenty of people" who told him he could make the pay raise "smaller," at "3 percent," "2 percent," or "4 percent," but he said he told them, "No, make it 10 percent."

PolitiFact reports that since at least 1961, military service members have received a pay raise every year, with the only exception being 1983, and then only due to a technical glitch (they did get a raise during the fiscal year, just not the calendar year). This year's increase was 2.4 percent, the biggest since 2010 — but smaller than the raises in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Over the last eight years, the annual pay increases have ranged from 1 to 2.1 percent. Catherine Garcia

November 6, 2015

Ben Carson's claim that he once received a full scholarship to West Point Military Academy came into question Friday afternoon when Politico suggested the campaign had admitted Carson "fabricated" the story. Now Carson's campaign is hitting back, saying they did nothing of the sort.

"The Politico story is an outright lie," Carson's communications director Doug Watts told The Daily Caller. Watts maintained that Carson never claimed he had actually applied or been admitted to the school and therefore the campaign had not actually "admitted to anything."

That depends on how you look at it:

Carson, whose steady rise to the top of presidential primary polls has started to draw media scrutiny his way, is depending on a loose interpretation of the word "scholarship." There is no tuition at West Point; there is no equivalent of a "scholarship" as generally understood at most universities. In his memoir Gifted Hands and in anecdotes about the offer, Carson never says that he "applied," only that some "scholarship" came his way after a meeting with [Gen. William] Westmoreland and "congressional medal winners." [The Washington Post]

Or, as Watts put it to The Daily Caller, "[Carson] was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors. They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC [...] I would argue strongly that an appointment is indeed an amazing full scholarship."

Carson later clarified to The New York Times, "It was, you know, an informal 'with a record like yours we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point.'" Jeva Lange

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