- The Washington Times - Friday, August 16, 2019

President Trump said at a New Hampshire rally Thursday he has been named Michigan’s Man of the Year, making it at least the seventh time he has claimed to receive an accolade that doesn’t appear to exist.

Mr. Trump’s claim came as he was praising Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel — former head of Michigan’s GOP — for her help in the 2016 presidential election.

“I used to complain and you know I just — I’d go [to Michigan] and I’d say, ‘They’re stealing your car business,’” Mr. Trump said. “I go for years. In fact, five or six years before I even thought about running, for whatever reason they named me man of the year in Michigan. I said, how come? I didn’t even understand it myself, but I was named man of the year. I wasn’t even political. That was years before I did this, but I was always complaining that our car business is being stolen.”

Mr. Trump added that 32 percent of the U.S. auto production has been lost to Mexico and it “all left the state of Michigan.”

“We are bringing it back at a level that nobody has ever seen before — our car business,” the president said.

Despite the president’s claims, searches for a “Man of the Year” award in Michigan do not turn up a state-sponsored honor with that name. In similar searches of specific groups and nonprofit organizations, Mr. Trump’s name is not listed as an honoree. 

The Detroit News maintains annual lists of “Michiganians of the Year,” but the president is not on that, the Huffington Post reported in November 2016, when Mr. Trump apparently first made the boast, dating the supposed accolade to 2011.

Describing his comments accepting the award, Mr. Trump said, “All I talked about is what Mexico and these other countries are doing to us. And especially what they’re doing to Michigan. That’s all I talked about. And I was criticized. They said, ‘Donald, speak about something else.’ I said, ‘No. What’s happening is horrible.’”

Mr. Trump also made the claim during a Michigan summit in 2017 and during a Wisconsin rally in April.

MLive.com, a local news website in the state, also combed through eight newspaper archives and said it could not find any award matching Mr. Trump’s claim, and added the Michigan Chamber of Commerce also came up empty.

The president was the runner-up for Time’s Man of the Year in 2015, he received a similar award by the United Services Organization (USO) in 2002 and from World Net Daily in 2015. None of these awards was given out in Michigan or involved the automotive industry.

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