Up until last Tuesday, the newspaper, based on a rigorous date check, counted 1,628 false or distorted statements made by Donald Trump.
Twenty years ago, Americans were amused by the confusion caused by a persistent liar on movie screens. He was just the star of a very successful Hollywood comedy.*
Today, according to a survey done by the newspaper The Washington Post, another liar, more dangerous, occupies the presidency of the United States.
In place of the laughs from those less laden times, today’s liar provokes apprehension, not just in his domestic audience, but also in the international community. As the leader of the so-called free world – a leadership that is becoming strongly contested – his lies and boasts don’t just frustrate a world in search of harmony and serenity; they contribute to inflaming it.
Since Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 this year, The Washington Post has begun to analyze, classify and monitor all statements made by the president, identifying and quantifying the lies that he tells in his statements and interviews, as well as what he writes on Twitter, his preferred social network. Up until last Tuesday, the newspaper, based on a rigorous date check, counted 1,628 false or distorted statements made by Trump. As he had been in office 298 days at the time of the count, the newspaper calculated that the president of the United States had told, on average, 5.5 lies per day since he occupied the White House. At this rate, the newspaper calculated, by the end of the year, Trump will have made 1,999 false assertions.
In October, the average of counted lies by Trump was even greater. According to the same calculations made by The Washington Post’s staff, the president told nine lies or distorted facts per day, which the Trump team cynically calls “alternative facts.” If this average is maintained, Trump will end 2017 with a count of more than 2,000 lies in just under a year of governance.
In addition to the habit of lying to the United States public, a crime in a country that takes a man’s word seriously enough to the point of believing that he will speak the truth just by putting his hand on the Bible, Trump lies to takes credit for decisions made by other people. He has done so more than 50 times. Trump claimed to be responsible for bringing investments to the United States that were already expected prior to his inauguration. The same thing occurred with the indicators of increased jobs, which the president said he created, while in truth, these vacancies existed before his presidential term began.
Far beyond being picturesque, the lies told by Trump could have serious consequences, not only for him but also for the political future of the United States.
Last Wednesday, a group of six Democratic members of the House of Representatives presented a new request to begin political proceedings against Trump in Congress, the most serious consequence of which could be impeachment. As with the two previous requests, this request also will probably not thrive, as already Democratic leaders themselves have not backed the initiative. "There are a large number of Democrats that believe this president ought to be impeached, we have just a made a judgment that the facts aren’t there to pursue that," said Steny Hoyer, a Democratic leader.
Even though they are not succeeding, the requests for impeachment proceedings against Trump, at least for now, serve to undermine his credibility even more in front of the White House. Either by the lies he tells, or for the individualistic behavior he has been keen to adopt since last year’s election campaign, the president himself seems to unintentionally contribute to this.
The liar in the movie, at a certain point, suddenly had to compulsively tell the truth. Now it remains to be seen how the liar in real life will behave.
Note: * The translator believes the author is speaking of Jim Carey in the movie “Liar, Liar.”