In the weeks since he lost the election to Joe Biden, Trump has promoted an endless stream of baseless claims and conspiracy theories, incited an attempted coup on the US Capitol building, was banned from Twitter and became the first-ever president to be impeached twice.
It's hardly the way that a president would wish to depart from office but then again, Trump has been no ordinary president. Over the past four years, you can probably count on one hand the number of times that Trump actually acted in a presidential manner.
The rest of the time has seen the 45th president side with completely the wrong people, announce an endless barrage of shocking statements and pushed completely ridiculous and untrue conspiracy theories whenever he has gotten the chance.
As the final embers of his presidency burn out, here are some of the most alarming things that Trump has promoted from the White House with almost no evidence at all.
The FBI spied on his 2016 campaign
In 2018, Donald Trump made the bold claim that the FBI had planted a spy in his 2016 campaign team.
Trump made these accusations without providing evidence and also called upon the Department of Justice to investigate the issue.
This was then followed by a tweet in which he labelled the entire event as 'SPYGATE' and called it "one of the biggest scandals in history!"
During the 2016 election campaign, the FBI had spoken to members of the Trump campaign to investigate whether there was any Russian involvement – but said no spy was planted in Trump's campaign team and that their investigation was announced in advance.
The Justice Department did choose to investigate these claims but they could not produce any substantial evidence related to them.
In a statement Rep, Adam Schiff, D-Calif told reporters:
"Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intel agency placed a spy in the Trump campaign."
Days later Trump was still talking about 'SPYGATE' after he saw a report about it on Fox News.
Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower
In September 2017 the US Justice Department found that there was no evidence to support the alleged wiretapping, which Trump said had happened during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Then FBI director James Comey said at the time:
"With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI.
"The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The department has no information that supports those tweets."
Trump would later resurrect this theory in 2020 as his response to the coronavirus pandemic began to falter. This time around he called it ‘Obamagate’ but still had no evidence to support exactly what it was.
Barack Obama's place of birth
Sticking with Barack Obama, Donald Trump has long promoted the theory that his predecessor was not born in the United States of America, despite him being born in Hawaii in 1961.
This began way back in 2011 when Trump claimed that the Democrat was born in Asia.
In 2008, the Hawaiian Department of Health released a short-form birth certificate for Obama, who himself released a long-form certificate in 2011.
But Trump continued to cast doubt on their legitimacy by sharing misleading information and suggesting that hackers may have tampered with the documents.
Even Trump’s wife has spread the so-called ‘birther’ conspiracy in television interviews.
Ted Cruz's father was involved in the JFK assassination
This happened back in May 2016, during the presidential campaign, where Trump aimed a jibe at his Republican rival claiming that Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz had posed in a photo with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination.
In an interview with the National Enquirer Trump stated:
"His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous.
"What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don't even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it.
"I mean, what was he doing — what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It's horrible."
A member of the Cruz campaign team immediately quashed Trump's claims and said that the story was false and that it wasn't Rafael in the photograph.
Disputing the legitimacy of the Access Hollywood tape
At the height of his 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump was caught up in the Access Hollywood tape scandal.
The audio was from an exchange with television host Billy Bush in 2005 where he bragged about sexually assaulting women.
In response to the audio being leaked, Trump offered an apology.
However, around 12 months later, it was reported that Trump privately suggested that it might not have been him on the tape, despite it clearly being him.
In a an article published inThe New York Times about Trump's support of the disgraced Alabama Republican senate hopeful Roy Moore, journalist Maggie Haberman suggested that Trump had been troubled by the tape. She wrote:
"But something deeper has been consuming Mr. Trump. He sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after.
"He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently."
Haberman later confirmed that this was true after being asked about it on Twitter by CNN's Vaughn Sterling.
He saw Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey
During a rally in November 2016, Trump made some crass and wild claims about Muslims residing in Jersey City, New Jersey.
He stated that on 11 September 2001, he was in Jersey City and witnessed Muslims celebrating the terror attacks in New York on a rooftop.
"Hey, I watched when the World Trade Centre came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering."
Trump has claimed that he saw the footage on television despite police saying that no incident of this kind had ever occurred.
He later told ABC News host George Stephanopoulos:
"There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Centre came down.
"I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down — as those buildings came down. And that tells you something. It was well covered at the time, George.
"Now, I know they don’t like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good."
Extensive reviews of footage from that day have revealed nothing of the kind nor were there any evidence of police reports about such an incident taking place in New Jersey.
California elections are illegitimate and he won the popular vote
During a roundtable discussion about his new tax law in April, Trump claimed that states like California are prone to vote rigging.
"In many places, like California, the same person votes many times. You probably heard about that. They always like to say ‘Oh, that’s a conspiracy theory.’ Not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people. And it’s very hard because the state guards their records. They don’t want [you] to see it."
This tied into his own belief that he would have won the 2016 popular vote if it hadn't have been for illegal voters.
“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
Donald Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, 62,980,160 to 65,845,063.
It wouldn’t be the first time he would lose the popular vote…
An intern died in an "unsolved mystery" in the office of an MSNBC host
During a dispute with MSNBC in November 2017, Trump told his supporters to investigate the 2001 death of a woman who worked as an aide for Joe Scarborough who was then a Republican in the House of Representatives for the first district of Florida.
Trump claimed that the death of Lori Klausutis was an "unsolved mystery" in a tweet.
A medical examiner confirmed that the 28-year-old had lost consciousness because of a heart condition,which caused her to fall over and bang her head.
'Stop the steal’
Since losing the 2020 election to Joe Biden in what some would call a landslide, Trump immediately began to promote theories that the election had been rigged against him. Trump's biggest gripe was that many of the votes for Biden had come through via mail-in ballots which were a lot more popular in 2020 thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Even before the results were confirmed, Trump was claiming on Twitter that he had won the election which prompted the website to begin censoring or adding warnings to his messages. Trump and his legal team began to claim that states which had flipped Democrat such as Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan had somehow been susceptible to fraud but failed to produce a single shred of evidence.
The likes of Sidney Powell, who was part of Trump's legal team, even claimed that the former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez – who died in 2013 – was somehow behind a conspiracy with Dominion, a company that makes voting machines. During a particular bizarre press conference alongside Rudy Giuliani in November she said:
"What we are really dealing with here and uncovering more by the day is the massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba, and likely China in the interference with our elections here in the United States. The Dominion voting systems, the Smartmatic technology software and the software that goes in other computerised voting systems here in as well, not just Dominion, were created in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Chavez to make sure he never lost an election after one constitutional referendum came out the way he did not want it to come out."
Trump has still not said that these conspiracies are untrue and has continued to tell his supporters, even when they were attacking the Capitol building, that the election was not rigged against him.
Jeffery Epstein didn't kill himself
In the summer of 2019, the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein took his own life in a New York City jail cell as he awaited sentencing. Epstein had links to Trump and the two had been pictured together at parties at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Shortly after his death, conspiracies began to circulate that Epstein wasn't responsible for his own death and that he was murdered. No evidence has ever been produced to support this theory but that didn't stop Trump retweeting support of the conspiracy when he shared tweet from conservative commentator and former congressional candidate DeAnna Lorraine in May 2020.
Denying climate change
Trump has a long history of denying climate change and global warming. Early into his presidency Trump took the United States out of the Paris agreement, which he claimed was "was designed to kill US economy" due to it clamping down on the fossil fuel industry.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has done all he can to try and convince others that climate change is not real, from claiming that global warming was a hoax to denouncing the impact of wind turbines and claiming that they cause cancer.
We would like to say that this came to a head after his legendary confrontation with Greta Thunberg but no doubt he’ll be banging that drum again whenever he is allowed back on social media.
Although Trump has never gone as far as to claim that Covid is not real, he has used his platform to try and downplay the seriousness of the virus to the American people. In a study conducted in October 2020, Cornell University found that Trump was the single biggest spreader of misinformation about the pandemic.
Some of the 'fake news' that Trump spread included claims that only a six per cent of the population that had died from Covid had actually succumbed to the disease, that sunlight, bleach and even untested Malaria drugs could combat the illness. None of this is true and some people who believed him found themselves in hospital after trying Trump experimental treatments.
Funnily enough Trump wasn't too quick to try any of these when he had Covid-19.
Trump has associated himself with many leess-than-reputable groups during his presidency, from white supremacists to the Proud Boys – all of which he has refused to denounce. However, the strangest in no doubt QAnon, an almost cult-like movement built on an unsustained theory that there is a deep state conspiracy against Trump.
They follow the mysterious ramblings of an online figure called Q, who has reportedly gone silent since the election but there were numerous pieces of 'QAnon' paraphernalia on show at the Capitol riots on 6 January, including the so-called 'Q Shaman.'
Trump has, in the past, refused to know anything about the movement or the conspiracy but has said that he approves of them as they supported him. In the lead up to November's election he was asked about QAnon at an NBC town hall where he refused to condemn the group because they are "very strongly against paedophilia."
This was shortly after the FBI had identified the group as a potential terrorist threat and before Trump supporters created widespread violence in Washington DC, leading to the deaths of five people.