Whopper of the Week: Donald Rumsfeld

Don Rumsfeld, meet Dick Cheney.

“I don’t believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons.”

Defense SecretaryDonald Rumsfeld, at a hearing of the Senate’s appropriations subcommittee on defense, May 14

“We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”

Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC’s Meet the Press, March 16

Discussion. Chatterbox pays tribute to New York Times plagiarist Jayson Blair by lifting this week’s Whopper pretty much wholesale from the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. In Chatterbox’s defense, Milbank’s “Verbatim” feature at the bottom of his “White House Notebook” column is itself a shameless knockoff of Slate’s Whopper format.


Got a whopper? Send it to To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.

Whopper Archive:
May 19, 2003: Un-Whopper: Ari Fleischer Tells Truth!
May 2, 2003: Peggy Cooper Cafritz
April 17, 2003: Eason Jordan
March 7, 2003: John Kerry
Feb. 28, 2003: Ari Fleischer
Feb. 14, 2003: Bill O’Reilly
Feb. 7, 2003: Saddam Hussein
Jan. 31, 2003: Karl Rove
Jan. 23, 2003: Bill Frist
Jan. 17, 2003: Naji Sabri
Jan. 10, 2003: Rod Paige

(Click here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2002 and here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)