Trump: "I Had Never Even Heard Of Club For Growth" - Fact Check: False

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Politicians need to have thick skin in order to be able to be successful. We have been witness to President Obama for the last eight years. He behaves more like a tantrum throwing three year old than the leader of the free world whenever he is criticized. The current front runner for the GOP nomination (based only on polls as not a single vote has been cast) is even worse than Obama. There is nobody with thinner skin than Donald Trump.

The criticism, whether it is mild or harsh evokes the same reaction. Trump will blubber and whine about the perceived slight to whomever he is speaking with at the time and then takes to Twitter to lambaste his critics which makes his little army of Trump Twitter Trolls, happy.

The Club For Growth has been one of Donald Trump’s favorite targets.  He started going at them when they started criticizing his past policy positions, particularly on taxes. Trump’s whining has been non-stop since The Club For Growth Action started running the following ad:

Trump at first ran to his lawyers and had them send a cease and desist letter to CFG with the threat of suing them if they did not stop running the ad. This letter (which Donald Trump has not made public) from the attorneys for CFG answer Trump’s baseless charges. Trump went on to claim he was being “extorted’ by CFG because they asked him for a donation of $1 million after a meeting with him (A donation of that size, while it looks outrageous is a typical ask for somebody in Trump’s income range).

When bellowing about them was not enough. Trump thought more deception and distortions were in order. In a interview with Breitbart.com on November 5 of this year, Trump said the following:

“I had never even heard of the Club For Growth—which is fine, it doesn’t make it bad—and what happened is he [McIntosh] came up to my office, asked me for a million dollars and he came through somebody that I know,” Trump told Bannon. “I said, ‘a million dollars for what? What am I doing? We could be rich, but don’t have to be stupid.’ And he said, ‘well, we’re the Club For Growth.’”

First, that Trump never heard of The Club For Growth is completely false. This is from Politico in 2011: 

It’s at least the second call Trump has made to a public critic this week — earlier, he phoned Chris Chocola, the former congressman and head of the Club for Growth, the anti-tax group that’s devoted days to eviscerating the developer over his past statements and positions. Chocola told MSNBC he wasn’t swayed.

And from ‘Hardball’ in 2011:

MATTHEWS: Another switch-a-roo. Who do you make of that, Congressman?

CHOCOLA: Well, it‘s just more of the same. It‘s more of this continuing show. There‘s no question that his idea before would be devastating to our economy. Capitalists and capitalists (ph) is mobile. People would move out of this country. They would move their capital out of this country. He says he‘s evolved. Actually, I talked to Mr. Trump today. He told me he‘s evolved on this. I‘ll let him be the one to explain it. But you know, I think you need to have consistency. You need to have core beliefs. We don‘t see that— [in his candidacy.]

Secondly, the “somebody that I know” Trump is referring to is his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. He called The Club for Growth and requested the meeting. Trump’s insinuation is CFG wanted the meeting and then in a moment of desperation, asked him for a $1 million donation when in fact, Trump said he wanted to help them.

Reached for comment, CFG spokesperson Doug Sachtleben said:

“Donald Trump is a liberal. On taxes, health care, bailouts, and the abuse of eminent domain, his views have lined up with Democrats. But, to run as a Republican, he’s been trying to pass himself off as an economic conservative. Unfortunately for Donald, it didn’t work when he sought the Club’s approval in 2011, and it didn’t work again in 2015 when he said he would contribute to the Club. His inability to tell the truth about his campaign to win over the Club for Growth is just another example of why Trump is the worst kind of politician.”

Trump should know better. It’s one thing to gloss over your record. It’s quite another to tell flat out falsehoods and not expect to be called on them.