It was a bombshell piece of information that hit the airwaves late on Tuesday, July 2. After taking the matter all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and seeing a final ruling delayed due to the Chief Justice wanting a more acceptable explanation of why a citizenship question should be on the 2020 census when none has been there in decades, according to headlines from coast to coast, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the Department of Justice were dropping their quest.
Collectively, conservatives across the nation dropped their jaws and began gnashing teeth in confusion while leftists and liberals celebrated. Much in the way of bandwidth and ink was expended with the news: TRUMP AND HIS TEAM CAVED!
And then came the boss’s statement on the matter carried over his absolutely favorite communication tool.
The News Reports about the Department of Commerce dropping its quest to put the Citizenship Question on the Census is incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE! We are absolutely moving forward, as we must, because of the importance of the answer to this question.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2019
And most of the country fell for it.
The source for the story was a DOJ attorney – no name or location – claiming that the census sheets would be printed up without the citizenship question on them. That claim in and of itself was rather curious as the real deadline to start printing the questionnaires is in October. Since this is all happening in early July, that is plenty of time for the Commerce and Justice Departments to answer the Supreme Court on why the question is needed.
We all should have smelled a rat.
But somehow shocking news like this always seems to be taken at face value. And now that just about everyone on both sides of the issue reacted with jubilation or despair depending upon their perspective, we get IT’S FAKE NEWS from the president.
So where did the story come from? ABC News claimed a source confirmed for them that it happened. Was there a leak? Did a never Trumper make it up?
These are questions that remain.