Meme-buster: Trump's non-existent 1998 People interview

If you're anything like me, you have friends dumping mental garbage on your Facebook feed. Maybe it's a fake quote by Buddha or Founding Father laid atop a serene or historic photo to give it intellectual gravitas. Maybe it's a graphic intended to not tell the truth , but mislead the gullible. If you run across a "meme" you'd like debunked, send me an email.

For now, let's bust our first meme!

Donald Trump said Republicans are the 'dumbest group of voters' in 1998 People interview?

Credit: George Mathis

Credit: George Mathis

I ran across this one as voters headed to the polls in New Hampshire. As you can see, Trump is alleged to have said "If I were to run, I'd run as a Republican. They're the dumbest group of voters in the country. They love anything on Fox News. I could lie and they'd still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be teriffic."

Hmmmm .... that SOUNDS like something Trump might say. He suggested Iowa voters are stupid. And he likes talking about terrific numbers.

But did he really say this?

Not a chance. says Trump never uttered anything like the meme suggests in People magazine in 1998. He appeared in the magazine, but usually in reference to his divorce from Georgia girl Marla Maples.

Since he's threatened to run for president many times, Trump discussed which party he'd align himself with quite a bit in the late 1990s.

In the Sept. 30 edition of the Wall Street Journal, Trump, in a self-penned opinion piece headlined " America needs a president like me, " said: "Let's cut to the chase. Yes, I am considering a run for president. … Unlike candidates from the two major parties, my candidacy would not represent an exercise in career advancement. I am not a political pro trying to top off his resume. I am considering a run only because I am convinced the major parties have lost their way. The Republicans are captives of their right wing. The Democrats are captives of their left wing. I don't hear anyone speaking for the working men and women in the center."

In an Oct. 8, 1999, interview with Larry King on CNN , the conversation went like this:

"I’m a registered Republican. I’m a pretty conservative guy. I’m somewhat liberal on social issues, especially health care, etc, but I’d be leaving another party, and I’ve been close to that party."

King: "Why would you leave the Republican Party?"

"I think that nobody is really hitting it right. The Democrats are too far left. I mean, Bill Bradley, this is seriously left; he’s trying to come a little more center, but he’s seriously left. The Republicans are too far right. And I don’t think anybody’s hitting the chord, not the chord that I want hear, and not the chord that other people want to hear, and I’ve seen it."

Most memes are fun, but many are flat-out lies. Photoshop is a great program, but in the wrong hands it can get out of hand pretty quickly.