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Trump’s Prodigious Lying Threatens Our Democracy

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According to The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” column, President Donald Trump made his 10,000th “false or misleading claim” on April 26, 827 days into his first term. Astonishingly, the pace of his falsehoods keeps accelerating, from fewer than five per day during his first 100 days in office to an average of more than 17 per day in the week leading up to number 10,000. During a recent 45-minute telephone interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump managed to utter a falsehood about once every minute.

There is no discernible pattern to Trump’s lies. The Post found that 2,217 occurred during his rallies, 1,803 on his Twitter feed, and 999 in his speeches. He lied about the same topic—his imaginary border wall—on 160 separate occasions. Overall, the president has repeated 21 false claims 20 or more times, and more than 300 false claims at least three times. He has lied about everything from North Korea’s nuclear program to paying off porn actresses. He lies about steel mills and windmills. At his April 27 rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, he lied about the weather forecast—though it turns out that weather-related falsehoods are surprisingly common with him. On the morning of July 26, 2018, for instance, the traveling press corps was informed that the president’s departure from Washington by helicopter had been canceled because of bad weather. Reporters looked up and saw nothing but sun and sky. In the Trump White House, it’s apparently OK to lie even about whether the sky is blue.

By now, just about everyone is aware of the president’s pathological predilection. When he spoke to the United Nations General Assembly in September of last year and repeated one of his favorite lies—that in his first two years in office, he had accomplished more than “almost any administration in the history of our country”—the assembled audience of world leaders burst into laughter. The tape shows Trump (briefly) speechless. He later admitted that he “didn’t expect that reaction,” but then changed his mind and fibbed yet again, claiming that he “meant to get some laughter.”

Many of Trump’s lies, of course, have significant consequences. At the Green Bay rally, he accused abortion providers of routinely murdering newborn infants. “The baby is born. The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully. And then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.” As New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg pointed out, “Abortion providers are regular targets of domestic terrorism, and Trump’s lies serve as incitement.” Earlier that week, Goldberg continued, “a 30-year-old Trump supporter named Matthew Haviland was arrested and accused of threatening to rape and murder a professor who supports abortion rights. According to an affidavit by an F.B.I. joint terrorism task force officer, Haviland wrote in an email, ‘I will kill every Democrat in the world so we never more have to have our babies brutally murdered by you absolute terrorists.’”

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Thanks !

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