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Trump campaign aide Kimberly Guilfoyle

Screenshot from RNC 08-24-2020/ The American Independent

Republicans told countless lies over the past four days of the 2020 Republican National Convention, speaking as if the pandemic that's killed more than 180,000 people in the United States is over, suggesting Donald Trump oversaw an economic expansion in the middle of the worst recession the country has faced since the Great Depression, and blaming Democrats for violence on Trump's watch.

A handful of those lies were so false and confusing they are worth singling out and debunking.


Here are eight of the most brazen claims.

Lara Trump falsely attributing a quote to Abraham Lincoln

Lara Trump, the wife of first son Eric Trump, was one of a number of Trump family members who spoke during the convention.

In her speech, she attributed a quote to the late President Abraham Lincoln that Lincoln never actually uttered.

"Abraham Lincoln once famously said: 'America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves,'" she said Wednesday night.

Lincoln, however, did not "famously" say that. That fake quote comes from a viral Facebook post, according to Politifact.

That post skews an actual quote from an address Lincoln gave before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, in January 1838.

"At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad," he said. "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."


Kimberly Guilfoyle calling her Puerto Rican mother an immigrant

Guilfoyle, a former prosecutor, Fox News contributor, and the current girlfriend of Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., gave a bizarre, angry speech on the first night of the GOP convention, in which she yelled several demonstrably false claims and suggested that her mother, who was Puerto Rican, was an immigrant.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory. The people who live there are American citizens and have been citizens since 1917.


Madison Cawthorn claiming James Madison signed the Declaration of Independence

Madison Cawthorn, a North Carolina Republican who is poised to become the youngest member of Congress in November, expressed his admiration of Founding Father James Madison, whom he claimed "was 25 when he signed the Declaration of Independence."

Madison did not sign the Declaration of Independence.

Cawthorn later claimed he had simply "ad libbed" the line in error. However, according to reporter Ben Jacobs, that falsehood was included in Cawthorn's prepared remarks, which were sent to reporters by the Trump campaign ahead of the speech.


Rep. Elise Stefanik claiming Trump's impeachment was 'illegal'

Stefanik (R-NY), who once fashioned herself as a moderate Republican but has since become a top defender of Trump, falsely claimed that Democrats ran an "illegal impeachment sham."

That is false.

Impeachment is a process enshrined in the Constitution. Presidents can be impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors," an undefined term that effectively gives Congress the ability to impeach a president for an array of misbehavior.

Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December, after pressuring Ukrainian officials to investigate his political rivals by withholding critical military aid to the country.


Jack Brewer claiming Trump never called white supremacists 'very fine people'

Jack Brewer, a member of Black Voices for Trump who was charged earlier this month with insider trading, tried to rewrite history this week, lying about Trump's response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

"Are you going to allow the media to lie to you by falsely claiming that he said there were 'very fine white supremacists' in Charlottesville? He didn't say that. It's a lie," Brewer said at the convention.

Trump did, in fact, say there were "very fine people on both sides" of that rally, during which white supremacist protesters chanted "Jews will not replace us" and fought the removal of racist Confederate monuments. One of the white supremacists was later convicted of murder after he drove his car through a peaceful crowd of anti-racism protesters, killing one woman and injuring several others.

Burgess Owens saying his father fought against socialists in World War II

Owens, a GOP House candidate from Utah who plagiarized passages of a book he wrote in 2018 and also has ties to the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory, said Republicans were fighting "the same socialism my father fought against in World War II."

The United States did not fight against socialists in World War II. The United States fought against the Nazis, who despite their name being short for "National Socialists" were in fact fascists.

"The right needs to stop falsely claiming that the Nazis were socialists," Ronald Granieri, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed in February.

"The Nazi regime had little to do with socialism, despite it being prominently included in the name of the National Socialist German Workers' Party," Granieri wrote. "The NSDAP, from Hitler on down, struggled with the political implications of having socialism in the party name. Some early Nazi leaders, such as Gregor and Otto Strasser, appealed to working-class resentments, hoping to wean German workers away from their attachment to existing socialist and communist parties."

Richard Grenell claiming Trump 'charmed' German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Grenell, who served as U.S. ambassador to Germany before Trump named him acting director of national intelligence, said in a speech that he had previously "watched President Trump charm the Chancellor of Germany."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has a well documented disdain for Trump. On Friday morning, after being told about Grenell's claim, Merkel appeared shocked by the assertion.

"He what? Me?" she said.

Trump falsely claiming for the 150th time that he signed Veterans Choice

Trump asserted this week that he passed Veterans Choice, a piece of legislation that allows veterans to get care at non-VA providers.

"We also passed VA accountability and VA Choice, our great veterans. We are taking care of our veterans," Trump said in his speech.

Trump has told this lie over 150 times, according to CNN, but it isn't true. Former President Barack Obama signed Veterans Choice into law in 2014.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.