WASHINGTON — The string of insults, misstatements, exaggerations and outright falsehoods emanating from the White House began just after sunrise.
In the space of a few hours, President Trump on Tuesday took credit for averting a war with North Korea, charged without proof that President Barack Obama had secretly granted citizenship to thousands of Iranians as part of nuclear disarmament negotiations and appeared to suggest that customers of the motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson were psychic.
He called a sitting congresswoman “crazy” and “corrupt.” He branded the National Security Agency’s handling of millions of telephone call records “a disgrace” — and suggested it was connected to the special counsel investigation into whether his campaign worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 elections.
“Witch Hunt!” he wrote at the end of that tweet.
The posts on Twitter spanned a range of foreign and domestic issues, and seemed to hew to two clear themes: Attacks on Mr. Trump’s perceived rivals, and trumpeting of what he considers his proudest achievements in the face of public criticism.
This is partly true.
“Many good conversations with North Korea — it is going well!” Mr. Trump tweeted, one day after a series of reports that the North is chugging forward with nuclear testing, despite its “denuclearization” pledge. “In the meantime no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining.”
Then, with Trumpian flair, he added: “If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!”
Mr. Trump is at least partly right: There have been no missile or nuclear tests since November, a “freeze” that many, including some Democrats, said was a necessary first step toward removing North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
But a freeze and denuclearization are completely different things. Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, retains all of his capabilities, meaning he can resume testing at a moment’s notice. That has left many in Asia — particularly in South Korea and Japan — not only considerably short of thrilled, but on edge.
The president’s tweet appears to have been inspired, at least in part, by commentary on Fox News, his cable news outlet of choice. In an on-air interview a few hours earlier, a national security expert said that the reports of North Korea’s covert activities were “fluff,” and the fact that Mr. Kim had not used missiles was proof of progress.
On Monday night, Fox News aired a segment about a report in the Iranian newspaper Etemad. The newspaper had quoted an Iranian cleric and member of parliament who said Mr. Obama granted the citizenship as a favor of President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. On Tuesday morning, a news reader repeated the assertion during “Fox and Friends,” one of Mr. Trump’s favorite broadcasts.
There is no evidence that such a side deal to the nuclear accord existed.
Current and former Department of Homeland Security officials on Tuesday said they could not verify the claim, but spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified in contradicting the president.
A Homeland Security spokesperson declined to comment and referred questions to the State Department. A State Department spokesperson referred questions back to the Department of Homeland Security.
Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to Mr. Obama at the time the Iran nuclear deal was reached, called the visa report as “just a big lie. It’s not true.”
The story fit the narrative Mr. Trump has used to justify withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran: That the agreement was weak, ineffective and gave large concessions without sufficiently blocking threats from Tehran.
The president took liberties with the facts about Harley-Davidson, the iconic American motorcycle company that decided to move its production overseas in a potent symbol of the dangers of Mr. Trump’s protectionist trade policy.
“Now that Harley-Davidson is moving part of its operation out of the U.S., my Administration is working with other Motor Cycle companies who want to move into the U.S.” Mr. Trump said.
He did not specify which other companies, and the White House could not immediately name any to which he was referring.
“Harley customers are not happy with their move — sales are down 7 percent in 2017. The U.S. is where the Action is!” he said in the post.
Mr. Trump has said before that Harley-Davidson’s customers will punish the company for its move, but there is no evidence to date that they are already doing so. The president was apparently referring to the decline in the company’s worldwide 2017 sales, which was 6.7 percent, not 7 percent.
But the company’s decision to move its production was made last month, so the sales drop last year could not have been a result of it.
In fact, the company’s sales in the United States have been declining for several years, which is part of the reason it is moving some of its manufacturing abroad as a way of protecting its international sales from retaliatory tariffs. Harley-Davidsons sold in the United States will still be made in the United States, despite Mr. Trump’s suggestions otherwise.
This is misleading.
The president suggested a nefarious motive for the National Security Agency’s purge of call and text records it should never had received.
On Monday night, a guest host on the Fox Business show “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” tied the N.S.A. disclosure to “the investigations and the political biases that the deep state has, particularly, in this case, against Donald Trump becoming president.”
Glenn S. Gerstell, the National Security Agency’s general counsel, said in an interview that because of several complex technical glitches, one or more telecom providers — he declined to say which — had responded to court orders for targets’ records by sending logs to the agency that included both accurate data and also some numbers of people the targets had not been in contact with.
As a result, when the agency then fed those phone numbers back to the telecoms to get the communications logs of all of the people who had been in contact with its targets, the agency also gathered some data of people unconnected to the targets. The National Security Agency had no authority to collect their information.
The “deep state” — a term that Mr. Trump has used — refers to the idea of a secretive cabal of unelected government bureaucrats, particularly in law enforcement and intelligence agencies, to subvert the president and the will of the people.
In a Monmouth University poll in March, roughly three-quarters of respondents said they believe a deep state exists and is secretly directing national policy.
The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, however, backed the intelligence community on Tuesday in its latest examination of the agencies’ assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. The senators called agencies’ judgments well supported and their tradecraft strong.
By the day’s end, recognizing that his earlier tweets had gained some negative attention, the president posted a few more. They included at least one grammatical error: “pour,” which he later corrected to “pore.”
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