New York Times graphics director Stuart Thompson and op–ed columnist David Leonhardt decided to publish Trump’s most undisputable public lies—not even his half–truths or misleading statements—since taking the oath of office. They occupied, in small print, an entire full–length page of The New York Times.
According to the newspaper’s calculations, and again, this is using “demonstrably false statements,” Trump told a lie every day of his first 40 days in office. The streak finally ended on March 1, but the pattern continues to this day. Since then, Trump has publicly said something untrue 65% of the days. And on many of the non–lie days, the Times notes, Trump was busy golfing or vacationing.
“There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths,” the newspaper states. “Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. No other president — of either party — has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.”
Trump even has trouble keeping his own lies straight, the paper observes, which isn’t surprising given the sheer volume of fiction that comes out of his mouth. Even his own political rise was based on a lie—that one about President Barack Obama’s birthplace.
Yet his hardcore supporters, and there are many, continue to avidly adulate and defend him, truth be damned. Sadly, Machiavelli was right: “[H]e who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived.”