President Trump has been pretty quiet on Twitter lately. Maybe he’s turned a corner? Maybe this is the presidential pivot? Maybe the White House staff hid his phone?
Well, he broke that illusion Thursday morning when he once again tweeted a blatant lie, one that is easily disproven.
Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2018
In the tweet, Trump says that 45.6 million people watched his State of the Union address on Tuesday. So far, so good. That number checks out.
But then he claims that’s the “highest number in history.”
This is something a simple Google search easily unravels. Multiple statistics tracking sites and viewership records show that Trump’s first State of the Union was somewhere in the middle of the pack. The largest on record for viewership is George W. Bush’s 2003 speech, which attracted 62 million viewers.
The one lie was so brazen, so obviously untrue, so recognizably false that even Fox News felt it necessary to correct Trump.
#SOTU TV Viewers:
1993: 66.9M* (largest TV audience)
*Not an official SOTU pic.twitter.com/OZlUHmGQp4
— Fox News Research (@FoxNewsResearch) February 1, 2018
Now we know that all it takes for Fox News to call out the President’s constant stream of misinformation is a stark, black-and-white lie. Progress!
Trump has long been obsessed with any number associated with him being the absolute best, highest, or largest possible. This viewership claim easily mirrors Sean Spicer’s bold lie about attendance for the inauguration. We’re sure it won’t be the last.
So, well done, Fox. Way to find your way over to the side of facts.