If there is one thing that thrills Donald Trump more than anything else, it’s being “Number One” at whatever he is being judged for. So he will undoubtedly be writhing in ecstasy when he hears that the readers of PolitiFact have, once again, singled him out for tribute as America’s most unconstrained liar, even if he isn’t really very good at it.
PolitiFact’s editors’ choice for Lie of the Year was the “Online Smear Machine” that viciously maligned the Parkland students who survived the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The story of the conspiracy theorists who invented horrific tales of “crisis actors” was surely worthy of being featured as the year’s worst lie. PolitiFact noted that:
“The students and the country were about to learn a hard lesson about participating in democracy in 2018. That you don’t have to be a politician to be on the receiving end of the internet’s worst hoaxes. That the lies don’t vanish after being debunked. That the same hoaxes will spread again after the next attack.”
However, the site’s readers had a somewhat different take. They clearly saw Trump as the undisputed fountain of untruths that he is now world renowned for. And this isn’t the first time Trump has been “honored” in this manner. He previously won the 2017 Lie of the Year award for repeatedly calling Russia’s election interference a “hoax.” He 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. And 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.
However, in PolitiFact’s 2018 Readers Poll, Trump’s lies dominated the contest by taking five of the top ten spots. Here are those five flagrant and deliberate lies that Trump is even now continuing to disseminate:
- “The Democrats want to invite caravan after caravan of illegal aliens into our country. And they want to sign them up for free health care, free welfare, free education, and for the right to vote.” – Donald Trump on Oct. 26, 2018, at a rally – False
- A “horrible law” requires that children be separated from their parents “once they cross the Border into the U.S.” – Donald Trump on May 28, 2018, in a tweet – False
- Saudi Arabia has ordered $450 billion, “$110 billion of which is a military order,” producing “over a million jobs.” – Donald Trump on Oct. 20, 2018, to reporters – Pants on Fire
- “Democrats let him (cop killer Luis Bracamontes) into our country,” and “Democrats let him stay.” – Donald Trump on Oct. 31, 2018, in a tweet – Pants on Fire
- “U.S. Steel just announced that they are building six new steel mills.” – Donald Trump on July 31, 2018, at a rally – False
Plus, two others on the list are closely related to Trump and express views that he also holds:
- “The Russian state has never interfered … into internal American affairs including election process.” – Vladimir Putin on July 16, 2018, in a press conference – Pants on Fire
- “The deficit … is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly.” – Larry Kudlow on June 29, 2018. in an interview – Pants on Fire
In addition to those, PolitiFact also posted Trump’s Top Ten Falsehoods of 2018. They included some of those chosen in the Readers’ Poll above, plus these flaming whoppers:
- Says 3,000 people “did not die” in two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico.
- People “went out in their boats to watch” Hurricane Harvey.
- “California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”
- “In many places, like California, the same person votes many times. You probably heard about that. They always like to say ‘oh that’s a conspiracy theory.’ Not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people.”
- “The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they’re setting records, so okay, they’re at a record level.”
- “U.S. Steel just announced that they are building six new steel mills.”
- Saudi Arabia has ordered $450 billion from the United States, “$110 billion of which is a military order,” producing “over a million jobs.”
The volume and frequency of Trump’s dishonest blathering is not exactly breaking news. The Washington Post has documented more 6,400 instances of his lying since his inauguration in January 2017. But it’s useful to have this compendium of his compulsive aversion to the truth for history’s sake. Plus, it gives him something to brag about since he’s to addle-brained to realize that this isn’t complimentary recognition. It won’t be long before he tweets “Take that Fake News. I’m #1 on PolitiFact.”
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.