Years ago, when dinosaurs roamed free and I was in high school, there was a girl that lied so much, my friends and I jokingly began calling her “Hovercraft.” The joke was, because she lied so much, it was conceivable that she would come to school one day saying that she’d just arrived on a hovercraft. The funniest part is that it was plausible—not that she’d actually arrive in said hovercraft, but that she would say she did. It was an out-of-control level of lying that becomes laughable when you aren’t the president of the fucking United States!
Hovercraft is basically in office, running the country, with his finger on the button. I don’t know if it’s become clear yet, but America is run by a president who is full-scale psychopathic liar. And not political lies, like Mexico’s going to pay for the border wall, when he knows there is no way in hell Mexico’s paying for a border wall; I’m talking, America is run by a habitual liar who lies about everything.
On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, aka Suckabee, confirmed that President Donald Trump did not get a call from the Boy Scouts saying that he’d delivered the best speech they’d ever heard. Oh, and he also didn’t get a call from Mexico’s president saying that Trump’s border efforts had been keeping people from trying to enter the U.S. Neither of these things happened, but of course Suckabee can’t just admit that the president is a liar.
“‘Multiple members of the Boy Scouts leadership’ had praised Mr. Trump’s speech in Glen Jean, W.Va., after he finished last week,” Suckabee said Wednesday, the New York Times reports. She was referring to the president’s disastrous speech in which he encouraged Boy Scouts to boo former President Barack Obama. Suckabee added that Trump and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico had spoken about the border at the G-20 summit, so that wasn’t actually a lie, either.
“I wouldn’t say it was a lie—that’s a pretty bold accusation,” Suckabee said. “The conversations took place; they just simply didn’t take place over a phone call. They happened in person.”
So they’re lies. Not sure why it’s so difficult for anyone inside the administration to admit it.
Here’s how CNN’s Chris Cillizza sees it:
Why? Because this is a pattern of conduct with Trump. Throughout his candidacy—and his presidency—he has said things that are not provable, at best, and not true, at worst.
He saw Muslims celebrating on the rooftops in northern New Jersey on September 11, 2001. Evidence that President Barack Obama might not have been born in the United States had been brought to his attention. Three to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election. His inauguration crowd was the largest ever recorded. Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.
And those are just the falsehoods that have drawn the most attention. The Washington Post’s Fact-Checker counted 836 false or misleading claims in Trump’s first six months in office, an an average of more than four a day. The New York Times’ “Trump’s Lies” database shows that the President lied or made a false claim in each of his first 40 days in office.
It’s a problem. A “yuge” problem, yet no one inside the president’s administration seems to think so. What’s more troubling is that the president didn’t become a liar once he got into office. Michael D’Antonio, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who wrote the Trump biography The Truth About Trump, told the Times that Trump has been a liar his whole life.
“He’s been lying his whole life, almost reflexively, and it’s almost as if he finds it more satisfying and easier than to speak with precision,” D’Antonio said. “When he was a kid, he lied about whether he hit a home run or not, and when he was a young man, he lied about how tall Trump Tower is—how many floors it is and the actual floors in feet—and he lied about which beautiful women were interested in him.”
The Times notes that Trump doesn’t quite see what he’s doing as lying but, rather, as hyperbole.
“People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular,” Trump wrote in his 1987 book The Art of the Deal, the Times reports. “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration—and a very effective form of promotion.”
The problem with this line of thinking is that when you’re the president, the lies are going to be fact-checked. So when it comes out that the president has lied and is a habitual liar and may walk into the White House and say that he arrived there on a hovercraft, why can’t we all agree that it’s a lie? A lie from a man who has a history of lying. I don’t think we need to whitewash that, even though America has a history of softening the language around obvious offenses.
Read more at the New York Times and CNN.