Yet Another Thing Donald Trump Is Really Great At

Lying.

As cynical as The Curmudgeon can be about politicians, he doesn’t generally believe they intentionally lie when they get on a stage and give a speech or answer questions from reporters or voters.

No, he thinks they save most of their lying once they’re in office.

When it comes to people running for office, The Curmudgeon thinks they’re usually looking for ways to make the facts work their way or misinterpreting something they’ve been told or just not remembering what they learned exactly right or are just exaggerating. Also, they do a whole lot of talking every day and someone’s always there to capture it, and occasionally, they’re going to say something that’s just plain wrong. Generally, when confronted with information that they’ve said something incorrect they don’t necessarily apologize but they do just stop saying it. That supports The Curmudgeon’s uncharacteristically positive perspective that most of the things we call lies when they’re uttered by candidates for public office are really just mistakes.

But this is yet another area in which The Donald far outpaces his political rivals. Unlike others, when confronted with making inaccurate statements, Trump doesn’t apologize – and he doesn’t stop making the false statements.

No, he just keeps right on making them.

When I told people my small hands didn't mean I was small elsewhere, if you know what I mean, I really meant it.

I’m the most honest person ever to run for president.

At which point, in The Curmudgeon’s eyes, what he was willing to accept was just a mistake becomes a lie – and when repeated often enough, a blatant lie.

When it comes to identifying such political misstatements, two resources stand out: “PolitiFact,” a service of the Tampa Bay Tribune. and the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” feature. Last week the Post and Fact Checker ran an interesting piece on two aspects of Trump’s lies: first, that he keeps repeating them even though they are clearly lies; and second, that television interviewers rarely call him on his lies, instead letting him just keep on lying with impunity.

The Post identified five lies in particular that Trump keeps telling and on which television’s talking heads don’t challenge him.

First, the lie that he was against the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

He wasn’t. When Fox News confronted him recently with evidence to the contrary, Trump replied:

I said very weakly, well, blah blah blah, yes, I guess.

And that was good enough for Fox News.

Second, the lie that ISIS has the oil in Libya and is making a fortune selling it.

Not true. ISIS attacks have closed down some Libyan oil fields but there’s not a shred of evidence that it’s taken possession of any of them or extracted any oil from those fields and sold it.

Third, the lie that “scores” of recent migrants to the U.S. who are inside our borders have been charged with terrorism.

Not true. The real number? Fewer than 20. Trump got this lie from Senator Jeff Sessions, and in Trump’s world, if someone said it, he believes he has the right to repeat it without regard for its veracity.

Fourth, the lie that Hillary Clinton started the whole “birther” movement.

You can resume reading after you stop laughing.

And fifth, the lie that Russian madman Vladimir Putin called him a genius.

Nope. Putin called him “colorful.” Some news reports translated Putin’s statement slightly differently: one said the word he used was Russian for “lively” and another said “flamboyant” was a better translation.

Putin could just as well have been talking about Liberace, and as is the case with the flashy pianist, “genius” is nowhere to be found there.

The Curmudgeon’s favorite is a sixth: Trump says that compelling pharmaceutical companies to negotiate drug prices with Medicare would save the federal government $300 billion a year. Actually, the core of this idea – that Medicare should negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies and seek discounts for its quantity purchasing – is a good idea, and that it’s not an original idea shouldn’t matter because not every good idea has to be original. No, it’s a proposal that arises periodically in Congress, only to be rejected, mostly but not entirely by Trump’s fellow Republicans, because of that industry’s massive political contributions. A good idea, yes, but it’s not enough for Trump to offer a good idea: he has to exaggerate it until it’s ridiculous. Why ridiculous? Because you can’t save $300 billion a year when you’re only spending half that amount in the first place.

There are more Trump lies, too. The online version of The Post’s Fact Checker feature has a list of the 26 worse lies from the Man With the Tiny Hands. Find that list here; it makes for entertaining reading.

 

 

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