Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Charleston, W.V., May 5, 2016.
Photo by Chris Tilley/Reuters

GOP senator sparks conversation about Trump’s tall tales

Donald Trump this week unveiled a list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees, which impressed Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Referring to his conservative colleagues on Capitol Hill, many of whom aren’t sold on the presumptive Republican nominee, Grassley told Bloomberg Politics, “If anybody had any doubts – and I think a lot of people do have doubts – this will help settle that.”
 
But for some on the right, the fear is that the list is a sham, which Trump will abandon if elected. Grassley added that these concerns are unfounded.
Asked about concerns Trump wouldn’t honor list, Grassley says he has “heard a lot of misstatements and corrections by Trump” but has “never heard him accused of being a liar.”
Really? Never?
 
This morning, for example, Donald Trump told MSNBC he “would have stayed out of Libya,” which isn’t true. In the same interview, Trump boasted he “didn’t want to go to Iraq” in 2003, which also isn’t true. Soon after, the GOP candidate said British Prime Minister David Cameron has invited Trump to visit 10 Downing Street in London, and that wasn’t true, either.
 
Keep in mind, we’re talking about some obvious, lazy whoppers just this morning, in one interview. This is a candidate who makes demonstrably false claims with such ease and regularity that it’s genuinely tough to keep up.
 
Grassley may have “never” heard anyone accuse Trump “of being a liar,” but I have. Ted Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar” two weeks ago. Marco Rubio has called Trump a “liar.” Jeb Bush has also called Trump a “liar.” And those are just some of the Republicans who’ve used the label.
 
The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler recently explained, “Trump makes Four-Pinocchio statements over and over again, even though fact checkers have demonstrated them to be false. He appears to care little about the facts; his staff does not even bother to respond to fact-checking inquiries.”
 
Soon after, The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman added that the “dilemma of covering Donald Trump” is that he simply doesn’t care whether or not everybody knows “he does not care about the truth.”
First, there’s the sheer breadth and character of his falsehoods. Absurd exaggerations, mischaracterizations of his own past, distortions about his opponents, descriptions of events that never occurred, inventions personal and political, foreign and domestic, Trump does it all. […]
 
In this, he differs from other candidates, who usually have had one distinctive area of dishonesty that characterized them. Some hid things they were embarrassed about or thought would damage them politically, some deceived about their personal histories in order to paint a flattering picture of themselves, and others spun a web of falsehood to gain the public’s assent for policies they suspected might not otherwise gain public support. But there has simply never been a candidate who has lied as frequently, as blatantly, and as blithely as Trump.
 
Then there’s the fact that even when Trump gets caught lying, he keeps on repeating the lie.
NBC’s Tom Brokaw added recently, “[I]n the course of the campaign, [Trump has] said some things that were just blatantly not true. He’s never been held accountable for it.”
 
Longtime readers may recall that I tackled a project four years ago called “Mitt Mendacity.” For those who missed it, every Friday afternoon, I’d publish a collection of every demonstrable falsehood Mitt Romney had told that week. As those who read the series can attest, it was no small undertaking – the 2012 Republican nominee was one of the most dishonest politicians of my lifetime.
 
Four years later, I considered launching a similar project – Donald’s Deceptions? Trump’s Tall Tales? – before realizing that no one human being could possibly tackle such a task. The presumptive 2016 nominee simply says too many things that are so brazenly untrue – every speech, every interview, every press conference – it would take an army of fact-checkers to even try to keep up.
 
All things considered, perhaps Chuck Grassley needs to keep up more on current events?
 
 
 

Chuck Grassley, Donald Trump and Mendacity

GOP senator sparks conversation about Trump's tall tales