President Donald Trump lies. A lot.
According to fact checkers at the Washington Post, he's made over 12,000 "false statements" in 928 days. He's told flippant lies, like repeatedly claiming his father was born in Germany (he was born in New York), to deeply impactful lies, like saying mothers rampantly conspire with doctors to kill their babies. Seventy percent of Trump's statements on Politifact range from "Mostly False" to "Pants on Fire."
It's no secret that Donald Trump lies to the point one has to ask if he's malicious or delusional, but the motivations for his lies are still up for debate.
Tony Schwartz—the ghost writer of Trump's famous book, The Art of the Deal—may be able to shed some light on that. According to Schwartz, Trump lies as a way of escaping reality.
Ironically, Trump’s singular advantage is his willingness to lie about anything and everything without shame. Almos… https://t.co/BOOXarUnYO— Tony Schwartz (@Tony Schwartz) 1566919698.0
Schwartz doesn't specify which aspect of reality the President is trying to escape, but it could be the same reality that millions of Americans dream of escaping every time there's news of another child pulled from their mother's arms. Or news of another white supremacist terrorist act. Or even a belittling tweet fired off with petulant pettiness unbecoming of a president.
It's possible he's inventing reality to escape having to escape acknowledging that most Americans didn't want him to be President, that he hasn't "fixed" the country—in terms of division, of discord, of decorum—he's a big part of the problem.
Schwartz is right that the lies work to Trump's advantage. His critics become overwhelmed with keeping them straight, while his supporters become more and more distrustful of the truth.
People agreed with Schwartz that the damage of this tendency hasn't yet been calculated.
His capacity for falsehood is virtually beyond comprehension, and it often has worked to his advantage. https://t.co/mlQBifiKst— George Conway (@George Conway) 1566919786.0
@tonyschwartz In other words, the United States has a sitting president that struggles to separate fact from fictio… https://t.co/91vft7zeu3— Gearóid Ó Dubhedír (@Gearóid Ó Dubhedír) 1566920130.0
@tonyschwartz Then he screams “Fake News”. And the world goes on about their day like it’s normal. I’m disappointed… https://t.co/ywsmOqBVx7— Sally Carter ✨ (@Sally Carter ✨) 1566920069.0
@tonyschwartz Almost nothing he says is true. This is what we've become. A country with a president who almost NEV… https://t.co/Cvc2bmeK7U— Texas Breakfast 💙🌊 (@Texas Breakfast 💙🌊) 1566920033.0
@tonyschwartz Remember Karl Rove and his little interview with Suskind where he lavished praise on GW Bush (really… https://t.co/NWPVhaMFi3— Jonathan Simon (@Jonathan Simon) 1566921661.0
@tonyschwartz He always wanted to be remembered as great in something....... 1. The President who lied the most. 2.… https://t.co/CIKRGfwuYL— Sukhdev Sidhu (@Sukhdev Sidhu) 1566925745.0
@tonyschwartz @gtconway3d His comments to the press at the end of the G7 were especially illustrative of this. Trum… https://t.co/dB06B19V5Y— Donald Lindeman (@Donald Lindeman) 1566919917.0
Today, Trump lied (again) about the federal disaster aid Puerto Rico received in 2017, about Democrats inventing a story regarding bedbugs in one of his results, about the sadism of his own federal reserve, and about Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro "working hard" to fight the fires raging in the Amazon.
That was just from his Twitter feed.