It’s hard to remember at times how the media used to treat Donald J. Trump’s penchant for prevarication.
They called his truth-twisting mere “fibs.” Or “misstatements.” Or they used similarly tepid terminology.
Then he got elected president. His telling of fiction continued.
It finally dawned on media members. The president was lying, as in knowingly disseminating false information.
I will admit to being among those who initially were reluctant to use the “L-word” in describing Trump’s unwillingness to tell the truth. I won’t say he is “unable” to speak truthfully; I believe he is fully capable of telling the truth but he merely chooses to lie.
I am not going to equate Trump’s lying to what many conservatives accused former President Obama of saying as he sought to defend the Affordable Care Act. Obama had said Americans could “choose their own doctor” under the ACA; it turned out to be untrue. Did the president lie, as in knowingly say something he knew to be false? I do not believe that’s the case; I happen to believe the president made that statement believing it to be true.
Trump’s lying comes from a different source. His lying is pathological, as former Republican Party presidential primary opponents such as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz have described it. That doesn’t excuse him from speaking falsely.
He stands before the nation and makes false statements about:
The size of his electoral victory, the nation’s economic growth, the state of the nation when he took office, his toughness with Russia, wiretapping of his campaign office in 2016, Hillary Clinton’s popular vote margin coming from illegal immigrants voting for president … and, oh yes, Barack Obama’s place of birth.
And on it goes. The lying never stops.
The lies have piled up from the moment he entered the world of politics in June 2015, at the moment he rode down that escalator at Trump Tower.
The media were slow on the uptake at first. They have wised up, awakened and are now calling these falsehoods what they are.
They are lies. The president is a liar.