President Donald Trump racked up more than 8,000 misleading or downright false statements in the first two years of his term, according to a newly released tally.
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker puts the grand total of Trump whoppers from Inauguration Day to Jan. 20, 2019, at 8,158 Pinocchio-worthy statements. Tellingly, more than 6,000 of the falsehoods were made during the last year.
While Trump’s untruths are routine, the increasing numbers foreshadow the next election, The New York Times’ Astead Herndon told CNN on Monday.
“We know when this president comes under pressure, he usually lashes out and every time he leans into kind of his own messaging or off-the-cuff messaging, we get more and more falsehoods,” Herndon said. Trump then uses those distortions “to rile up his base and to whip up votes” for 2020.
CNN’s Chris Cillizza, with his own interpretation of the data, noted that Trump’s narrative of his presidency is out of line with the truth, yet his backers don’t seem to mind.
“It’s not close to what objective fact is, but we know from now years of experience that that doesn’t really matter to at least a significant chunk of people who support Donald Trump,” Cillizza said.
In the end, the president’s goal is creating a favorable image of himself, Cillizza argued.
“He tells himself a story of his life. Whether or not that story comports with facts is not his main concern. The main concern is that he looks tough, strong and that he’s winning.”
The Post found that Trump’s most-used inaccurate claims concern special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, his tax cut and his overblown estimate of the U.S. trade deficit.