White House of Lies
US President Donald Trump’s supporters justify his mendacity on the grounds that “all politicians lie,” and a little introspection leads us to admit that all humans do. But the amount and type of lying make a difference.
CAMBRIDGE – By June 1 of this year, US President Donald Trump had made 3,259 false or misleading claims, according to The Washington Post Fact Checker’s database, which tracks and categorizes every suspect statement uttered by the president. That’s an average of more than 6.5 false claims a day, up from a daily average of 4.9 untrue claims in his first 100 days, and reaching eight per day in May. Trump is clearly going for a record.
Trump’s supporters justify his mendacity on the grounds that “all politicians lie.” Indeed they do, and a little introspection leads us to admit that all humans lie. But the amount and type of lying make a difference. Too many lies debases the currency of trust.
Not all lies are born equal. Some are self-serving. A president may lie to cover his tracks, avoid embarrassment, harm a rival, or for convenience.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one to read two commentaries for free? Log in