In The Biz of Facts: ProPublica Drops the Mic On Spicer World


Thankfully, the independent, investigative, non-profit, in-the-public-interest, multiple-Pulitzer-winning news hounds at ProPublica - motto: We're Not Shutting Up - are here to insist that facts still matter, even in our currently Orwellian alternative world. Alas, Press Secretary Sean "Pants On Fire" Spicer seems to have missed the memo. At Monday's press briefing, he dismissed a damningProPublica story charging that the Grifter-In-Chief recently, quietly revised his so-called trust to allow him to take or make money from it without telling taxpayers or anyone else. Confronted with the report, Spicer huffed he was "not aware that there was any change," and then gratuitously dissed the Wall-Street-Journal-founded source with, "Just because a left-wing blog makes the point of something changing, doesn’t mean it actually happened."

After the ProPublica folks got back off the floor from laughing, they decided to fact-check Spicer, whose job performance is so sketchy one observer has predicted, "In less than a year, Sean Spicer's to the public will be 'Welcome to Pizza Hut - would you like a booth or a window seat?' In their story, ProPublica had outlined Trump's initial trust agreement, allegedly aimed at distancing himself from his sordid empire of hotels, golf courses and branding deals but widely condemned as insufficient to avoid conflicts of interest.

On Feb 10, they alone reported, that trust language was changed to allow Trump to draw or make money from any of his 400 businesses without disclosing it to anyone. "The Trustees shall distribute net income or principal to Donald J. Trump at his request," it now reads, "or whenever his son and longtime attorney deem appropriate.” In other words, grifters gonna grift: Unannounced, Trump can now legally take money from the trust stemming from, say, golf course profits, with those funds then going directly into his bank or brokerage account.

Confronted with Spicer's denial of these facts, ProPublica launched a raucous Tweetstorm starting with, "The Trump trust doc was revised & signed Feb. 10. Here you go, @seanspicer" and helpfully explaining, "Since we’re actually in the biz of facts, we figured we’d respond w/ a few..." Over 14 Tweets, they laid them out: They posted the changes made to the document, posted chronological images of those changes, and otherwise offered a barrage of damning facts supporting the moral put forth by one supporter: "Do not come for ProPublica unless you are ready for ProPublica to come for you." Just for good measure, the Tweetstorm ended with several references to actions they'd likewise taken to call out President Obama on unfulfilled promises. "What we do is hold people in power accountable, no matter who they are, or what names they call us," they said. "We do it with facts."

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