Covering Donald Trump is great for ratings, and Trump is unusually willing to appear on cable television at basically all times, which is convenient for the cable networks. But cable news has often struggled with how to cover Trump accurately given his habit of constantly saying things that aren't true or don't make sense.
Today, CNN took a big step forward with this chyron:
This goes back to March, when Donald Trump was talking about the security situation in Northeast Asia.
He'd suggested earlier that the United States was spending too much money on stationing soldiers in South Korea and Japan, which are both high-income developed countries that can afford to defend themselves against North Korea.
This led to the suggestion that Korea and Japan should develop their own nuclear arsenals — obviously a big change from current American foreign policy, which tries to discourage the spread of nuclear weapons. It's also a politically sensitive issue in Japan, which is the only country that's actually been hit with nuclear weapons. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said flatly, "It is impossible that Japan will arm itself with nuclear weapons."
Today at a rally in Sacramento, Trump said, falsely, that Hillary Clinton was lying when she said he had proposed this.
"She made a speech, she’s making another one tomorrow, and they sent me a copy of the speech" Trump said. "And it was such lies about my foreign policy, that they said I want Japan to get nuclear weapons. Give me a break."
In fact, Trump very explicitly said this. Here he is in an April interview with Chris Wallace:
TRUMP: It’s not like, gee whiz, nobody has them. So, North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea.
WALLACE: With nukes?
TRUMP: Including with nukes, yes, including with nukes.