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Opinion

Opinion: Trump’s singularly remarkable achievement: Lying copiously

US President Trump returns to the White House from Green Bay, WI, Washington, Dc, USA - 28 Apr 2019
President Trump has been raining lies on the American people — 10,000 “false and misleading claims” and counting since the inauguration, says the Washington Post.
(Leigh Vogel / Pool photo)

So who had April 26 in the office pool for when President Trump would utter his 10,000th lie? (Checks files: Dang, I had April 15.)

The Washington Post has been tracking all of Trump’s “false and misleading claims,” and by its tally, Trump hit the 10,000 mark on Friday, a simultaneously remarkable and appalling achievement.

Remarkable primarily for his pace. Trump hit the 5,000 fib mark in his first 601 days in office. But it took him less than half that time to double his total. That’s not a liar hitting his stride, but one who keeps adding pace and power as he goes along. It’s the political version of Moore’s law, the computing world belief that processing speeds will double every two years.

We’ll call it Trump’s law: The pace of lies will double itself.

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If there was a marathon of mendacity, the prevaricator in chief would have lapped the field by now. So kudos to the president for that singular achievement.

His assault on the truth degrades our democracy.

And unlike his golf scores, the president didn’t have to cheat to win. We’re talking some serious natural fibbing talent here.

Sarcasm aside, the level of lies from the president — remember, this tally is just his lies, not those of his appointees and mouthpieces — is appalling, and made even more so by his supporters and fellow Republicans letting him get away with it. Truthfulness isn’t a partisan issue.

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Yes, pretty much all politicians shade the truth at times, but none lie as reflexively or persistently as does Trump. His assault on the truth degrades our democracy.

Trump won the 2016 race by exploiting fear and white resentment, playing on voters’ insecurities, and pitting Americans against each other. He did so with a raft of lies and outrageous claims. Remember that one about Mexico not sending us their best people? Or about how Trump watched the Twin Towers fall from New Jersey “where thousands and thousands of people were cheering?” Or the ratio of black-on-white crime?

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There have been so many that Politifact’s tracker for Trump runs 34 pages, and counting.

That Trump has paid no political price for his lies just emboldens him. So as the 2020 presidential campaign picks up steam, we can expect even more lies from Trump. And more insults, appeals to divisiveness, accusations that the media is “the enemy of the American people,” and all the other canards upon which he has built his political fortune.

In fact, at his current pace, the president could easily hit the 20,000 “false and misleading claims” mark before the 2020 election, which is just 553 lie-filled days away.

Now that’s a record worth standing on, no?


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