Trump utters on average four falsehoods a day - and that's a fact

By Chris Cillizza analysis

He has averaged four falsehoods or misleading statements a day in that time. Photo / AP
He has averaged four falsehoods or misleading statements a day in that time. Photo / AP

Donald Trump has been President for all or part of 33 days. He has averaged four falsehoods or misleading statements a day in that time. There hasn't been a single day of Trump's presidency in which he has said nothing false or misleading.

That data, which comes from a terrific new project from the Washington Post's Fact Checker that seeks to document Trump's statements in the first 100 days of his presidency, is stunning.

On Trump's first day in office, he made seven (or more!) misleading claims. That was one of four days in which he has made seven-plus false or misleading claims; that's roughly 12 per cent of all the days he has spent in the White House.

In fact, there are more days (18) when Trump has made four or more misleading/false claims than days (15) when he has made one or two.

What this Fact Checker project affirms is that Trump has changed nothing in his approach to the truth since being elected President.

During the course of the campaign, nearly two-thirds of the claims that the Post's fact-checking team looked into were rated four Pinocchios - meaning that they were found to be completely false. By comparison, 14 per cent of Clinton's fact-checked statements received four Pinocchios.

"There's never been a presidential candidate like Donald Trump - someone so cavalier about the facts and so unwilling to ever admit error, even in the face of overwhelming evidence," Post lead fact checker Glenn Kessler wrote during the heart of the 2016 campaign.

Substitute "presidential candidate" for "President" and Kessler's statement holds just as true for Trump's first month in office.

All politicians stretch the truth to suit their political and policy purposes. None does so as often and as unapologetically as Trump has during his first 30-plus days in office.

Will that affect Trump's political future? Perhaps less than you might think. In a Fox News poll conducted this month, 45 per cent of people said they trust his Administration more than the media to tell the truth to the public, while 42 per cent said they trust the media more.

That distrust of the media coupled with Trump's aggressive efforts to discredit the press make stats like those above irrelevant to many of his supporters.

Of course, when facts and truth become matters of debate, no one really wins.

- Washington Post

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