It’s nothing unusual for President Donald Trump to lie, but every now and then, one whopper is so bald-faced that even a jaded public is shocked.
This week’s came in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The president discussed a number of issues from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to disdain for the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, but his false statements on the tariffs he’s imposed and subsequently touted raised eyebrows everywhere.
“We don’t even have tariffs. I’m using tariffs to negotiate…Where do we have tariffs? We don’t have tariffs anywhere.”
Even Daniel Dale, a reporter for the Toronto Star who often fact checks the president, was flabbergasted.
This is one of the wildest Trump lies of his presidency. He told the Wall Street Journal that the tariffs he has imposed and bragged about do not actually exist: https://t.co/4lHm75uXW0 pic.twitter.com/DAkJ8iD97b
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 24, 2018
In reality, Trump has granted a number of tariffs, perhaps most notably against China, where the president implemented tariffs on over $200 billion worth of goods, leading some to fear a trade war. He has also imposed tariffs on metal imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. What’s more, the president has openly bragged about these tariffs numerous times.
Tariffs are working far better than anyone ever anticipated. China market has dropped 27% in last 4months, and they are talking to us. Our market is stronger than ever, and will go up dramatically when these horrible Trade Deals are successfully renegotiated. America First…….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
Our Country was built on Tariffs, and Tariffs are now leading us to great new Trade Deals – as opposed to the horrible and unfair Trade Deals that I inherited as your President. Other Countries should not be allowed to come in and steal the wealth of our great U.S.A. No longer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2018
Even as recently as yesterday.
Billions of dollars are, and will be, coming into United States coffers because of Tariffs. Great also for negotiations – if a country won’t give us a fair Trade Deal, we will institute Tariffs on them. Used or not, jobs and businesses will be created. U.S. respected again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2018
People were pretty stunned, and Preet Bharara spoke for many when he tweeted simply:
People are calling Trump out.
At what point do his lies become delusions?
— Greg (@all_outta_gum) October 24, 2018
I wish everyone else would see that your page didn't self-destruct because you used the word "lie". It's the most appropriate word to use in most cases.
— Ashley (@AshleyJRMC) October 24, 2018
"We don't have tariffs anywhere," Trump, who has imposed steel and aluminium tariffs on Canada and most of the rest of the world, claims in a WSJ interview. What is even the point of lying about this? pic.twitter.com/PwXjXnfSyK
— Adrian Morrow (@AdrianMorrow) October 24, 2018
When you repeatedly start a reply and then realize that there simply are no more words left to properly express your bewilderment with this man
— G≡n≡ral Patt≡n (@GeneralTPatten) October 24, 2018
And while the president may believe that tariffs are a good negotiating tactic, economists say that they could ultimately do more harm than good.