Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leaves the stage with his wife Melania Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump. after the first Republican presidential debate, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. 
Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP

Trump can’t even tell the truth about dress sales

Clothing sales in the nation’s capital aren’t generally the basis for national news coverage, but a president-elect who just can’t stop telling self-aggrandizing falsehoods is worthy of some attention.

Early yesterday, Donald Trump talked to the New York Times about Meryl Streep’s criticism, which led him to make a curious boast.
Mr. Trump said that, Ms. Streep and her allies aside, he was confident that celebrities and others would turn out in strong numbers for his inauguration.

“We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars,” Mr. Trump said. “All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.”
Obviously, the point of a boast like this is Trump’s way of trying to hype himself and his inauguration. DC dress shops no longer have an inventory, the president-elect believes, because so many women are so excited about his inauguration that they’ve flocked to Washington, buying up formal attire and cleaning dress shops out.

Except, that’s not all true. The Washington Post checked with stores in the area and found plenty of dresses on racks. The general manager of a Neiman Marcus store literally laughed when told about Trump’s claim.

People magazine spoke to the owner of DC-area boutique, who said, “There’s never been less demand for inaugural ballgowns in my 38 years.”

Again, I honestly don’t care about DC-area dress sales, but Donald Trump’s propensity for saying things that aren’t true – especially claims in which he exaggerates his professed greatness – are a real problem.

Kellyanne Conway lamented the fact yesterday that many media professionals don’t give the president-elect “the benefit of the doubt.” But that’s a courtesy generally extended to be people who have some credibility – or at least those who aren’t routinely caught lying about things big and small.

With Inauguration Day set for next week – yes, it really is next week – Trump has already said he wants members of his “movement” to come to the capital in order to “set the all-time record” for attendance at a presidential inaugural. By all appearances, that’s extremely unlikely to happen.

What do you suppose the odds are that Trump will claim he broke the record anyway?