002. 19 Things About 2019 #2

#2 Donald J. Trump is a Lying Liar from Liesville

The Skinny

Mr Trump lies repeatedly, reflexively and recalcitrantly.

Why this matters

Dealing with Mr Trump’s lies – whether about his personal life, his businesses, his campaign, his policies or really just anything – will consume most of the political oxygen in the United States this year.

That has effects well beyond the United States, so we’re all going to be dealing with the financial, political, security and cultural consequences.

One small for example: the Rugby World Cup 2019 will be held in Japan in October. That would be in East Asia, which also includes Korea and China and Russia.

Happy days.


The Washington Post fact checkers have had to create an entirely new category (the Bottomless Pinocchio) for Mr Trump’s lies:

Trump’s willingness to constantly repeat false claims has posed a unique challenge to fact-checkers. Most politicians quickly drop a Four-Pinocchio claim, either out of a duty to be accurate or concern that spreading false information could be politically damaging.

Not Trump. The president keeps going long after the facts are clear, in what appears to be a deliberate effort to replace the truth with his own, far more favorable, version of it. He is not merely making gaffes or misstating things, he is purposely injecting false information into the national conversation.

To accurately reflect this phenomenon, The Washington Post Fact Checker is introducing a new category — the Bottomless Pinocchio. That dubious distinction will be awarded to politicians who repeat a false claim so many times that they are, in effect, engaging in campaigns of disinformation.

The bar for the Bottomless Pinocchio is high: The claims must have received three or four Pinocchios from The Fact Checker, and they must have been repeated at least 20 times. Twenty is a sufficiently robust number that there can be no question the politician is aware that his or her facts are wrong.

The Fact Checker has not identified statements from any other current elected official who meets the standard other than Trump. In fact, 14 statements made by the president immediately qualify for the list.

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