Trump Suddenly Recalls He Didn't See a Nonexistent Video of a Thing That Didn't Happen

Illustration for article titled Trump Suddenly Recalls He Didn't See a Nonexistent Video of a Thing That Didn't Happen

Donald Trump, a cirrhotic cheetah liver dusted in gold leaf, claimed Thursday that he saw a video of a completely bananas thing. A day later, he has recalled that no, he didn’t see that video, because it’s not real. This feels like progress, in a way?


This week, Trump, in a rare moment of agreement with the rest of the GOP, has repeatedly made claims that the U.S. paid Iran $400 million in exchange for hostages, violating this country’s longstanding policy of not paying ransoms. President Obama says that the payment, made in January, was actually part of a deal to resolve a decades-old arms dispute. (He also said the press was told about it at the time and just didn’t pay attention.)

At two rallies, Trump claimed that a video exists of a U.S. plane bringing Iran $400 million, and that he has seen it. His memories of this video—which is not real—were very detailed. From CBS:

In Daytona Beach, Florida on Wednesday, Donald Trump spoke in detail about seeing video of “money pouring off of a plane” in Iran, referring to the $400 million cash payment the U.S. sent to Tehran. The video, he said, was shot in Iran by the Iranian government and released as a ploy to embarrass the U.S. He described it as shot at a “perfect angle, nice and steady,” and that it could only be the work of Iranian state media.

Trump said he would never forget seeing that video he didn’t see because it’s not real:

“I’ll never forget the scene this morning and remember this, Iran — I don’t think you’ve heard this anywhere but here — Iran provided all of that footage, the tape of taking that money off that airplane, right, $400 million in cash. How does a president do that? How do you do that?” Trump said.

Every media outlet in the world noted that that video didn’t exist and Trump couldn’t have actually seen it. MSNBC even noted that in a nice chyron, part of an ongoing, quite beautiful pattern of news stations calling Trump on his horseshit live and in real time:


Today, Trump realized he didn’t see that, tweeting the closest thing to a correction he will ever achieve.


I feel like this went well, actually.

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.



Has anyone yet said to his face, “you’re lying” or ask “were you lying then, or now?”? So far I’ve not heard anything like that, and it’s starting to piss me off.