There has never been a serial exaggerator in recent American politics like Donald Trump.

The US President-elect not only consistently makes false claims, but he also repeats them, even though they have been proven wrong. He always insists he is right, no matter how little evidence he has.

Trump earned five of the Washington Post's Biggest Pinocchios of the year. The previous record was three (President Barack Obama in 2013 and Trump in 2015). This year also saw the rise of bogus statistics and fake news, spread in social media.

"Director Comey said my answers were truthful"

If there was any issue that caused Hillary Clinton to narrowly lose an election many expected she would win, it was the row over her private email server. In this statement, Clinton cherry-picked statements by FBI Director James Comey to skirt more disturbing findings about the FBI investigation. He said there was no evidence she lied to the FBI, but he declined to say whether she told the truth to the American people. Clinton later admitted she had "short-circuited" her answer.


"I won in a landslide and millions voted illegally for Clinton"

Trump has proven to be a sore winner. Rather than tout the fact that he was a dramatic surprise victor, Trump instead has falsely claimed he won in an Electoral College landslide. He also falsely said that Clinton only won the popular vote because millions of people voted illegally. Neither is true. In terms of Electoral College margin of victory, Trump ranks just 46th of 58 Electoral College results. A shift of 40,000 votes in three states would have cost him the presidency. There is also no evidence of massive voter fraud.

"We save $300 billion a year on prescription drugs in Medicare"

Trump claimed he could control the cost of prescription drugs by negotiating prices in the Medicare system - and repeatedly said the savings would be as high as US$300 billion. But total spending on prescription drugs in Medicare is just US$78 billion. Trump later said he was referring to savings he would get for negotiating a range of products in Medicare. But Medicare spending is US$560 billion, so his claim that he would cut nearly 55 per cent through better negotiations was still unrealistic.

"We have fired a whole bunch of people who are in charge of these facilities."

Obama misled the public about the number of people held accountable for the 2014 scandal over manipulated wait-time data at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which contributed to patient deaths. When Obama made his statement in September, only one senior executive had been removed.

"I was totally against the war in Iraq"

It's likely that no single claim was uttered more often by Trump - and none could be more untrue. Trump was a supporter of the war in Iraq. He expressed no public opposition until more than a year after the invasion - when the war had started to go poorly.

"CNN has never provided me with questions, absolutely ever"

Donna Brazile, interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, made this comment to Megyn Kelly of Fox News. A hack of the email account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta had indicated she had given inside dope on a question that Clinton might face during a CNN town hall. Then, another email was leaked that showed she passed on a question during a CNN-hosted primary debate. So her denials to Kelly were false and misleading.

"My father gave me a small loan. I started a business"

Trump offered a version of this claim many times, part of the mythology that he built a real estate empire by himself. But his father was one of the richest men in America. His money and connections - and substantial loan guarantees - helped fuel Trump's rise. Trump's father left a substantial inheritance that Trump borrowed from when he got in financial difficulty in the early 1990s.

"92 million Americans represent a silent nation of jobless Americans"

Trump has maintained the official unemployment rate - now 4.6 per cent - is "fiction" and claimed that it was really 23 per cent or even 42 per cent. He produces these numbers by counting every single person not working as "unemployed".

"Monica Petersen was killed in Haiti while investigating links between the Clinton Foundation and human trafficking"

In a classic of the "fake news" genre, so-called citizen journalists and bloggers seized on the tragic suicide of a 32-year-old woman in Haiti and speculated, without evidence, that she was killed for probing links between Clinton and the faux human trafficking ring supposedly run out of the "Pizzagate" restaurant in Washington. Petersen was actually an advocate for sex-worker rights and was not investigating Clinton or human trafficking in Haiti.