Donald Trump Has A Huge Factual Error In His Tom Cotton Endorsement

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Donald Trump thinks that Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was a Rhodes Scholar. Donald Trump is wrong.

The reality television star and real estate mogul gave his endorsement to Cotton, the GOP U.S. Senate aspirant in Arkansas, with a tweet on Thursday touting the congressman’s credentials.

“A vet and Rhodes Scholar, @TomCottonAR will be a strong Senator. A man of integrity dedicated to liberty. AR, vote Cotton in November!” Trump tweeted.

It didn’t take long for Politico’s Jake Sherman to fact-check Trump, pointing out that Cotton was not actually a winner of the prestigious scholarship.

A Cotton spokesperson confirmed to TPM that Trump was wrong.

“Not sure where you got that from,” Sherman tweeted at Trump.

One place Trump did not get it from: the biography on Cotton’s official House of Representatives website, which details the congressman’s time at Harvard and in the U.S. Army but makes no mention of a Rhodes Scholarship.

There was a man named Thomas Cotton who landed the Rhodes Scholarship in 1965, but he was from Texas — unlike Rep. Cotton, who, as his biography makes clear, “is a sixth generation Arkansan and a native of the congressional district he now represents.”

Perhaps Trump got his misinformation while keeping tabs on his nemesis Bill Maher.

On an episode of “Real Time” that aired last year, the playwright Anna Deavere Smith referred to Cotton as a Rhodes Scholar. The Daily Beast’s John Avlon, who was on the HBO program’s panel that night, concurred.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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