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All the Presidents Lies
All the Presidents Lies
MARCH 20, 2017
New York Times
The ninth week of Donald Trumps presidency began with the F.B.I. director calling him a liar.
The director, the very complicated James Comey, didnt use the L-word in his congressional testimony Monday. Comey serves at the pleasure of the president, after all. But his meaning was clear as could be. Trump has repeatedly accused Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones, and Comey explained there is no information that supports the claim.
Ive previously argued that not every untruth deserves to be branded with the L-word, because it implies intent and somebody can state an untruth without doing so knowingly. George W. Bush didnt lie when he said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and Obama didnt lie when he said people who liked their current health insurance could keep it. They made careless statements that proved false (and they deserved much of the criticism they got).
But the current president of the United States lies. He lies in ways that no American politician ever has before. He has lied about among many other things Obamas birthplace, John F. Kennedys assassination, Sept. 11, the Iraq War, ISIS, NATO, military veterans, Mexican immigrants, Muslim immigrants, anti-Semitic attacks, the unemployment rate, the murder rate, the Electoral College, voter fraud and his groping of women.
He tells so many untruths that its time to leave behind the textual parsing over which are unwitting and which are deliberate as well as the condescending notion that most of Trumps supporters enjoy his lies.
Trump sets out to deceive people. As he has put it, I play to peoples fantasies.
Caveat emptor: When Donald Trump says something happened, it should not change anyones estimation of whether the event actually happened. Maybe it did, maybe it didnt. His claim doesnt change the odds.
Which brings us to Russia.
Russias interference in the 2016 presidential campaign was an attack on the United States. Its the kind of national-security matter that a president and members of Congress swear to treat with utmost seriousness when they take the oath of office. Yet now it has become the subject of an escalating series of lies by the president and the people who work for him.
As Comey was acknowledging on Monday that the F.B.I. was investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, Trump was lying about it. From both his personal Twitter account and the White House account, he told untruths.
The complete article may be read at the URL above.
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