WASHINGTON - Donald Trump claimed falsely while honoring America's greatest wrestling champion on Monday that he has his own perfect record to brag about -- 2-0 in presidential elections.
The Republican inflated his presidential score sheet while presenting the nation's highest civilian honor to Dan Gable, the most successful US wrestler in history.
Breaking from prepared remarks summarizing Gable's astonishing stats on the mat and as a coach, Trump congratulated himself with an invented unbeaten record of his own.
"He won 117 consecutive matches and lost only one," Trump said of Gable, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "Well, you know, in politics I won two. So I'm 2-0 and that's pretty good too."
The history books will show Trump won a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, before losing handily to Joe Biden in 2020.
Trump was slightly more accepting of reality, however, after flirting with the idea that he might be able to use his bulk to defeat Gable on the mat.
"I'm larger than you a little bit. You think I could take you in wrestling?" 74-year-old Trump asked in the Oval Office.
"You'd have no chance," said Gable at once.
"I agree," Trump laughed.
Gable, 72, was a two-time NCAA Wrestling Champion, three-time All-American, and three-time Big Eight Champion. In the international arena, he won gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics, among many other titles.
As the record-setting coach of the University of Iowa wrestling team, Gable won 15 NCAA National Team Titles and compiled an overall career record of 355-21 from 1976 to 1997, as well as coaching at five Olympic Games and other international tournaments.
© Agence France-Presse