It’s undeniable that President Trump likes to go off-script (last week, he literally tossed away a script before he started ad-libbing), and that sometimes results in him saying things that are exaggerated for comic or rhetorical effect (but always taken literally by the media) or that could have used one more pass by the fact-checkers.
One example: this week, in talking about the migrant caravan moving through Mexico, Trump said that about 80% of the women traveling that dangerous route from Central America to the US were raped.
Naturally, that was the cue for the media and the liberal Twitterverse’s collective heads to explode. He was accused of fear-mongering, falsifying, and “disgustingly” throwing around an exaggerated rape statistic without the facts to back it up. (Gee, imagine someone doing that!)
What did Trump get wrong? Only one thing: the women he referred to were safe from attack precisely because they were traveling with a thousand-strong caravan for protection – and the reason the caravan made news is because that’s so incredibly rare.
So where did Trump get the 80% figure? Would you believe…the Huffington Post? In a 2014 article with the oddly familiar-sounding headline, “80% Of Central American Women, Girls Are Raped Crossing Into The US,” that bastion of liberal journalism reported: “80 percent of women and girls crossing into the U.S. by way of Mexico are raped during their journey. That’s up from a previous estimate of 60 percent, according to an Amnesty International report.” So in attacking Trump for quoting that statistic, it appears to be the liberal media, not Trump, who are shamefully downplaying the risk of rape to female illegal immigrants for political purposes.
Incidentally, in this case, HuffPo actually seemed to have a solid source. But in general, if liberals want to make the case that quoting the Huffington Post is proof that you don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m okay with that.