Republican political candidate Donald Trump doesn’t bother to check the accuracy of what he tweets to his nearly five million followers.
The provocative real estate mogul admitted as much in an exchange Monday with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly. The host of “The O’Reilly Factor” questioned Trump about a Sunday tweet that exaggerated the rate of black-on-white violence.
Politifact debunked the numbers, reporting that the graphic wildly distorts the number of black-on-white homicides (according to the FBI’s crime statistics, 15 percent of whites were killed by blacks last year — not the 81 percent purported in the post, which cites a nonexistent source).
“Bill, I didn’t tweet. I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert, and it was also a radio show,” Trump responded, noting he can’t be expected to fact-check every statistic.
O’Reilly said critics eager to paint Trump as a racist would cite the fake crime statistics as evidence.
“Don’t put your name on stuff like this, ’cause it makes the other side, it gives them stuff to tell the ill-informed voter that you’re a racist,” O’Reilly said, according to a Washington Post transcript of the exchange. “You just handed them a platter.”
Trump has demonstrated a certain cavalier attitude toward the facts.
Consider Trump’s disputed claim to have watched “thousands of people cheering” in New Jersey when the World Trade Center towers collapsed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The candidate doubled down on the assertion in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos.
“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering the World Trade Center came down,” Trump said. “I know it might not be politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down — as those buildings came down.”
“The police have said it didn’t happen,” Stephanopoulos said.
A number of publications and politicians have said it’s just not true, including the Democratic mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop, and the former New York State Governor and Republican presidential hopeful George Pataki.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.