As the country prepares to ring in the New Year, The Washington Post released a scathing fact check of President Donald Trump’s “year of lies,” rapping him on the nose for thousands of falsehoods in 2018.
Journalist Glenn Kessler took on the undoubtedly massive undertaking of debunking the commander-in-chief’s spin and outright erroneous claims, dating back to a Jan. 2 Twitter tirade targeting Iran, Hillary Clinton and The New York Times. In Trump’s spate of posts that morning, he attacked each one with bogus statements, kicking off what Kessler called “a year of unprecedented deception.”
As of Sunday when the article was published, the Post’s Fact Checker database had tallied more than 7,600 misleading or patently false claims by the president within the first half of his term. As Kessler noted, the total was at a drastically lower 1,989 at the start of the year, but as Trump amped up the spread of his untruths, his per day average of falsehoods surpassed 15. That’s almost three times his 2017 rate.
The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser remarked on the shift last August in an article titled “It’s True: Trump Is Lying More, and He’s Doing It on Purpose.” After speaking with Kessler, Glasser suggested that at the heart of the issue lies “Trump’s increasingly unbound Presidency” rocked by neverending turnover and turmoil in the West Wing.
Exploring the motivation behind Trump’s penchant for lying, Glasser described him as having “become more confident, less willing to tolerate advisers who challenge him and increasingly obsessed with the threats to his Presidency posed by the ongoing special-counsel investigation.”
But for those in the public seeking comfort amid the incessant inundation of misleading claims, there is hope. According to a September Quinnipiac Poll, Americans believe the media over the president, 54 to 30 percent. That’s despite his relentless attacks on the press and its credibility.
Furthermore, the poll found 69 percent of voters felt the media was crucial to democracy. Only 21 percent identified the press as “the enemy of the people,” using Trump’s signature phrase.