In response to an assumption held by some that President Barack Obama told just as many lies as President Donald Trump has while serving in the Oval Office, The New York Times decided to list and chart Trump’s alternative facts so far into his first year. What they found was alarming, yet not too surprising — Donald Trump told 103 lies in his first ten months as president.
After we published a list of Trump's lies this summer, some of his supporters asked us to compare Trump to other presidents. We've done so and just published the results: https://t.co/ivdTB7a7rN pic.twitter.com/SA0STVoXgv
— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) December 14, 2017
In comparison, they found that President Barack Obama only told 18 lies in 8 years. That is roughly two lies per year on average. On the other hand, Trump has been a busy Pinocchio, telling an average of 10 lies per month – and he has yet to complete his first year in office. Another way of looking at the comparison is this: while Obama is recorded to have told 18 lies in 8 years as president, Trump told his 18th lie during his third full week in office.
The New York Times applied the same conservative standard to both presidents, including in their lists only “demonstrably & substantially false statements” so as to avoid debate on the veracity of each account. They wrote:
Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office.
— Dan Nguyen (@dancow) June 24, 2017
The Times admits that had they used a “less strict standard,” including misleading statements and mild exaggerations from both presidents, Trump would look even worse by comparison. A broader stander that includes misleading statements found that Trump told a lie or falsehood every day in his first 40 days as president.
The Times also excluded any statements that “could be plausibly defended” or have “modest quantitative errors.” This last exclusion refers to Trump’s difficulty with citing accurate numbers, which he does on a regular basis. In fact, the Washington Post reports that their fact checker recorded Trump making 1,628 “false and misleading claims” in his first 298 days as president.
Fact Checker: 365 days of Trump claims https://t.co/O8KidLiZFc
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 19, 2017
The Post found that Trump’s most repeated lie is targeted at his predecessor: “Obamacare is a disaster. It’s virtually dead. As far as I’m concerned, it really is dead.”
President Obama and his administration is a favorite target of Trump when it comes to telling falsehoods. Since taking office, Trump has told at least 10 separate untruths about Obama, according to The New York Times.
To read more about Trump’s lies, please continue to page 2…