The Corner

Tale of the Tape: Times Catches Trump Fibbing on China Tariff

In the row over tariffs and trade policy at last night’s debate, Donald Trump denied a New York Times report that he had proposed imposition of a 45 percent tariff on China. When confronted about it, he said he’d been misquoted, sniping, “It’s the New York Times, they’re always wrong.”

The Times has now publicly released about four-and-a-half minutes of audio from its interview with Trump to demonstrate that he said precisely what the paper reported he said. It’s about 40 seconds from the end of the clip. (He uses tax and tariff interchangeably, saying, “I would tax China…. I would do a tariff” and, ultimately, that “the tax should be 45 percent.”)

There’s an amusing bit around the two-minute mark, too. Despite the paper’s being “always wrong,” Trump relies on a Times report for the proposition that a recent currency devaluation by China is the largest in 20 years. He says the Times wrote it as “two decades,” which The Donald thought “sounds eloquent,” adding, “That’s why there’s good writers at the Times.” 

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