HACKS at CNN ‘Fact Check’ Nikki Haley’s Praise of George Washington

On Tuesday afternoon, CNN host Brianna Keilar demonstrated that Republican Nikki Haley is in her sights to be dinged well before a likely run for President as she devoted a segment to promoting a lame fact check on the former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador.

Picking up on a perfectly reasonable tweet Haley sent out praising George Washington on Presidents’ Day, Keilar portrayed it as an egregious example of misinformation. After noting that she is “getting heat from historians,” she then read Haley’s tweet:

 

 

George Washington turned an army of ragtag troops into an unstoppable force that defeated the British and secured America’s Independence. As President he oversaw the creation of our Constitution and showed the world what it looks like to govern by the people and for the people.

The CNN host — who is set to replace Alisyn Camerota as co-host of CNN’s New Day in a couple of months — then undermined Haley’s tribute to Washington by adding: “Only problem is, that’s not at all how things went down, and presidential historian Alexis Coe called her out on it.”

Even though there is nothing unreasonable about cheering on someone’s success by lauding them as “unstoppable,” Coe began by arguing that General Washington Continental Army should not be described as such:

I mean, it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s just 480 characters and a whole lot of errors. So, from the very beginning,, the Continental Army was not unstoppable. As we know, it was almost eight years of fighting the Revolution, and the British had the most powerful navy in the entire world. We barely had some boats. There were many times when it look like we were going to lose. We were definitely not unstoppable.

She then took aim at a Haley confusingly blurring Washington assuming the presidency with the creation of the Constitution because the Constitution had already been adopted by the time he assumed office in 1789. Here’s Coe:

Then, she said that George Washington was the President and, you know, oversaw the Constitution. That’s simply not true. The Constitution created the presidency. And then Washington was, of course, our first President. The Constitutional Convention was 1787, the presidency 1789.

But Coe did not mention that, when the Constitutional Convention was held in 1787 to create the document, Washington was elected to preside over the proceedings, so he did at least have a role in its creation even if Haley mis-stated his connection.

The presumably liberal historian then moved on to nitpick over Haley incorporating a quote from President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address from 1863, describing it as the “kicker” of the tweet, as she added: “And then, the kicker the way that she ends by quoting, you know, ‘by the people, for the people.’ Washington had been dead for many decades by the time Abraham Lincoln says that in the Gettysburg address.”

But, in the Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln suggested that the U.S. government that was formed in 1789 was, in fact, a government that was “by the people” and “for the people,” so Haley was simply agreeing with Lincoln’s description of the country’s founding.

Keilar then lauded her guest’s analysis as she wrapped up: “Alexis, that was amazing. Thank you just for walking us through that and fact-checking us. It’s quite the tweet, and it’s quite the fact check.”

The lame fact check is reminiscent of the time the same network brought on a cocky English teacher to correct the grammar of a letter she received from the Donald Trump White House, and covered the story twice, when, in fact, it turned out that the letter was correctly written, as Fox News pointed out.

This episode of CNN Newsroom with Brianna Keilar was sponsored in part by Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

CNN Newsroom

February 16, 2021

2:44 p.m. Eastern

BRIANNA KEILAR: Nikki Haley — the former ambassador to the United Nations and a potential GOP candidate for President in 2024 — is getting heat from historians for a tweet that she sent out on Presidents’ Day, attempting to pay tribute to America’s first President. Haley wrote this:

George Washington turned an army of ragtag troops into an unstoppable force that defeated the British and secured America’s Independence. As President he oversaw the creation of our Constitution and showed the world what it looks like to govern by the people and for the people.

Only problem is, that’s not at all how things went down, and presidential historian Alexis Coe co-called her out on it. She co-wrote a biography, You Never Forget Your First, and she’s with us now to talk about this. So just don’t fact check the tweet for us.

ALEXIS COE, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I mean, it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s just 480 characters and a whole lot of errors. So, from the very beginning,, the Continental Army was not unstoppable. As we know, it was almost eight years of fighting the Revolution, and the British had the most powerful navy in the entire world. We barely had some boats. There were many times when it look like we were going to lose. We were definitely not unstoppable. 

Then, she said that George Washington was the President and, you know, oversaw the Constitution. That’s simply not true. The Constitution created the presidency. And then Washington was, of course, our first President. The Constitutional Convention was 1787, the presidency 1789. And then, the kicker the way that she ends by quoting, you know, “by the people, for the people.” Washington had been dead for many decades by the time Abraham Lincoln says that in the Gettysburg address.

KEILAR: Alexis, that was amazing. Thank you just for walking us through that and fact-checking us. It’s quite the tweet, and it’s quite the fact check.

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