PolitiFact has just announced the winner of their annual “Lie of the Year” honors. It must have have been an excruciating task to whittle down the contenders from the plethora of brazen, purposeful truth manglers. They could have just given up and called 2017 “The Year of the Lie.”
Nevertheless, PolitiFact persevered and came up with a worthy recipient. Donald Trump’s near inability to ever say anything truthful was bound to score a victory one way or another. The rest of the political liars stood little chance against someone who is certifiably pathological. The Washington Post has documented more than 1,600 lies told by this record-breaking prevaricator.
In 2015 Trump won his first Lie of the Year award for “The campaign misstatements of Donald Trump.” They were so numerous the fact-checkers couldn’t settle on a single lie. He didn’t take that well and, in a typically lame Trump tantrum, he responded on Fox News. Trump even got an honorable mention of sorts in 2016’s Lie of the year, “Fake News,” because he was such a frequent contributor to the fakery. However, this year PolitiFact managed to narrow down Trump’s gushing geyser of bullshit to one lie that is particularly significant in terms of its bald-faced dishonesty and its potential for severe harm: “Russian election interference is a ‘made-up story‘.” They began their analysis by saying that:
“A mountain of evidence points to a single fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016.
“In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with the election. Those actions included the cyber-theft of private data, the placement of propaganda against particular candidates, and an overall effort to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.”
Achieving this “honor” may be consolation to Trump after not being chosen as Time Magazines’s Person of the Year. PolitiFact noted that virtually every assessment of Russia’s activities concluded that Vladimir Putin and Company did interfere with the U.S. election in a multitude of ways. It was not a partisan observation. Republicans and Democrats alike recognized that Russia was deeply involved in election hacking and propaganda. And as PolitiFact put it, “After all this, one man keeps saying it didn’t even happen.” Indeed, Trump stood alone in denying the obvious and defending his pals in the Kremlin.
“This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,” Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt. “It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.” And he tried desperately to shift the blame elsewhere, including to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, China, or some fat guy in a New Jersey basement. Anyone but Vlad. In fact, Trump explicitly let Putin off the hook because the Russian dictator assured him that he didn’t do it. And Trump believes Putin over his own American intelligence agencies.
PolitiFact spent little time addressing whether or not Trump colluded with Russia to impact the outcome of the election. But it’s hard to separate the two. Especially when every utterance by Trump supports the Russian version events. What’s more, Trump and his associates repeatedly denied any encounters with Russians during the campaign and after. However, they later had to admit that many of them had many meetings that they all somehow forgot for some reason. There can’t be that many blatant misstatements by that many people without there being some intent to hide something.
And just to top off this Christmas tree with a distinctly Trumpian ornament, the President tweeted about this very issue this morning:
Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia – so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017
He is still calling the Russia investigations fake news. And despite the indictments (and two guilty pleas) of four of his accomplices (so far), he stubbornly asserts that the investigations are a waste of time and money. Then he shifts from that to his desperate denials of sexual misconduct and crimes. This may be his first bid for 2018 Lie of the Year. And he’s off to great start by claiming that he doesn’t know, or never met, any of his victims. The only problem with that is that one of his accusers was a contestant on The Apprentice. Another participated in his beauty pageant. And another was placed at the scene of his abuse by his own witness.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
PolitiFact may have to exempt Trump from any future recognition in this competition. No one else can possibly challenge such an accomplished liar and skilled reality distortion machine. Perhaps they should rename the whole affair “The Donald Trump Lie of the Year Awards” and let some other sham merchants have a chance to win.