Fact check: No, Pence did not compare President Trump to MLK Jr.

· January 21, 2019  
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Mike Pence on CBS
@_waleedshahid | Twitter

This was a banner weekend for fake news. First, BuzzFeed News got a “bombshell” story on the Mueller investigation so wrong that Mueller’s team issued a response disputing BuzzFeed’s reporting. Next, a group of MAGA hat-wearing Catholic high school students at the March for Life were subjected to a two-minute hate after the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and other MSM outlets wildly mischaracterized a video supposedly showing the kids harassing a Native American man. Nothing of the kind happened. In fact, it was the kids who were being harassed and it seems the Native American man lied to the media about what happened.

Now, Newsweek, RawStory, and others are claiming Vice President Mike Pence compared President Trump to Martin Luther King Jr. in an interview on Face the Nation. That is fake news.

Newsweek’s headline reads: “Mike Pence compares Trump to Martin Luther King Jr. on eve of MLK Day: Both ‘inspired us to change.” And that narrative prompted outrage:

You get the idea. Mike Pence is the worst human being alive not named Donald Trump because he “compared” Trump to Martin Luther King Jr. Now, here’s what Pence actually said after CBS’ Margaret Brennan asked him if Trump’s proposal to trade a three-year DACA extension and temporary protected status for refugees to reopen the government with partial wall funding is “genuine”:

I think what we saw the president do yesterday was say, “I want to set the table for us resolving this issue” in a way that achieves his objectives to secure the border, end the humanitarian security crisis, end the government shutdown, but also to bring together the Democrats’ priorities to accomplish that. That’s what the American people expect us to do.

And honestly, you know, the hearts and minds of the American people today are thinking a lot about it being the weekend where we remember the life and the work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King was, ‘Now is the time to make real the the promises of democracy.” You think of how he changed America, he inspired us to change through the legislative process, to become a more perfect union. That’s exactly what President Trump is calling on the Congress to do, come to the table in a spirit of good faith. We’ll secure our border, we’ll reopen the government, and we’ll move our nation forward as the president said yesterday to an even broader discussion about immigration reform in the months ahead. [Emphasis added.]

Pence did not say Donald Trump is “exactly like” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He did not compare Trump to Dr. King at all. Pence said that Trump is “calling on the Congress” to “make real the promises of democracy,” as Dr. King put it, by coming to the table and negotiating a deal to reopen government. Pence, in other words, is asking Congress to legislate: to act like the lawmaking body of a democratic republic, compromise, and govern well.

To represent Pence’s comments as comparing Trump to Dr. King is straight-up fake news. You would have to intentionally misread or mishear what Pence is saying to come away with the take that he’s disrespecting Dr. King’s legacy by comparing him to Trump.


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Author: Chris Pandolfo

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.

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