One of his most loyal surrogates offered a puzzling defense of this on Thursday, arguing that even Trump’s most pernicious statements aren’t really lies, because facts themselves no longer exist.
“One thing that’s been interesting this entire campaign season to watch is that people that say facts are facts. They’re not really facts,” Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes said on “The Diane Rehm Show” on NPR. “It’s kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.”
Hughes, a political commentator and former talk radio producer, was responding to criticism of Trump’s recent claim that millions of people voted illegally in November’s presidential election. Trump provided no evidence to support this assertion, and there’s no sign that any such evidence actually exists.
Hughes also denounced journalists for critically reporting on Trump’s lies, saying that the president-elect likes social media because it allows him to “accurately” communicate with voters.
Her comments left the show’s other guests ― a group of journalists ― stunned.
“First, I got to pick my jaw up off the floor here,” Politico’s Glenn Thrush told Hughes. “Facts are facts. I’m sorry you don’t like the facts.”
The Atlantic’s James Fallows, who was also a guest on the show, later wrote that the comment left the rest of the guests “staring at one another in puzzlement.”
“This is the world we are now dealing with,” Fallows wrote.
There are a head-spinning number of lies and conspiracy theories that Trump has falsely presented as fact, including the idea that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese and the widely debunked claim that vaccines are directly linked to autism in children.