After White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had doubled down on President Trump’s claim that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election, MSNBC’s Katy Tur provided a real time fact check that debunked the White House’s false claim.
Video of Spicer doubling down on Trump’s voter fraud claims:
Spicer said, “I think there’s been studies that came from Pew in 2008 that showed fourteen percent of people who voted were not citizens. There are other studies that have been presented to him. It’s a belief he maintains…The President does believe that, I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him.”
Katy Tur of MSNBC real time fact checked Spicer:
Here's @KatyTurNBC with an instant fact-check after Spicer said Trump believes millions voted illegally “based on studies and evidence” pic.twitter.com/Eb10dxtmqd
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) January 24, 2017
Tur said, “We want to do a little bit of fact checking on that statement because the White House now is referring to the same research that the campaign referred to, and the transition had referred to. One was a Washington Post commissioned study which The Washington Post itself debunked, and the other one was a Pew study from 2012, which is actually from 2008, which said that approximately 24 million. One in every eight people are on voter registrations in the United States that no longer valid, and they are significantly inaccurate. Listing people who had died in the past, obviously, on the voters. It doesn’t mention anything about undocumented immigrants, so their basis of evidence isn’t quite correct at all.”
MSNBC wasn’t alone. CNN headlined their story, “Trump believes millions voted illegally, WH says — but provides no proof”.
The way Tur and MSNBC handled Spicer’s false claim should be the journalistic norm in dealing with this White House. Fact checking is a must. No one should take anything this administration says at face value, and if the White House is going to use the airwaves to say things that are demonstrably false, television networks have an immediate responsibility to provide the facts.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association