Some in the media are still afraid to call Trump's lies what they are. Stephanie Ruhle isn't one of them.
Trump spent much of the Tuesday night rally with Rep. Marsha Blackburn doing what he does best: telling lies. MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle did not hesitate to call him out for it. And she blasted Republican leaders for failing to do so.
Ruhle kicked off her segment fact-checking Trump’s Nashville rally by pointedly saying, “I’m going to use the word ‘liar.'” She added that “he lied to the people in that arena, and to America. Several times.”
As she told guest William Kristol, “I get it. This is classic Trump, and the fact-checking machine is working overdrive today, busting all of these lies he told.”
But she had a crucial question.
“Where is the Republican Party?” Ruhle asked Kristol. “Mainstream Republicans who watch that and listen to it? There’s no fake news media here. These are straight-up lies the president of the United States told the American people. Where’s Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell?”
Kristol agreed that it’s “a very good question.”
Trump’s most egregious lie was his nasty attack on House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, whom he called “the MS-13 lover” because she criticized Trump for labeling immigrants who cross the southern border “animals.” Trump would later claim he was referring only to the gang members, but he made no such distinction in his initial remarks.
Ruhle also busted Trump for claiming that no one would have believed that 3.3 million jobs could be created in 18 months, when there were actually 3.9 million jobs created in the 18 months prior to Election Day 2016. And by referencing Election Day, Trump was trying to take credit for some of the 15.8 million jobs that were created under President Obama.
Further, she called Trump out for his claim that “wages, for the first time in many years, are finally going up.” In fact, wages have been going up since 2014.
Ruhle also noted that Trump said construction had begun on his border wall, even though there have only been repairs to existing fences. And Trump again claimed Mexico will pay for the wall, a lie that was exposed long ago.
Trump claimed that black Americans have been overwhelmingly voting for Democrats for “over a hundred years,” when in fact, black party identification was about even through the mid-1940s, and did not tilt above 60 percent until 1964. And as Ruhle pointed out, until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, black Americans were often prevented from voting at all, and women have not had the vote for 100 years.
And Trump also tried to claim that America “is respected again as a country,” when the reality is that our standing in the world has fallen by 18 points since President Obama left office.
Kristol noted that there are a few examples of Republicans pushing back at Trump, citing Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who completely demolished Trump’s “spying” conspiracy theory this week.
But for every rare Republican who feels forced into pointing out a Trump lie, there are a hundred who lie right along with him, and leaders who block any effort to hold Trump accountable.
But journalists like Ruhle are more than willing to pick up their slack.