– News and commentary from elsewhere covered by Quincy Quarry News.
President Trump seems to be saying more and more things that are not true.
Untruths appear to have multiplied in recent days as Trump seeks to create an alternate reality around immigration and other issues.
President Trump – a man already known for trafficking in mistruths and even outright lies — has been outdoing even himself with falsehoods in recent days, repeating and amplifying bogus claims on several of the most pressing controversies facing his presidency.
The false claims come as the president – emboldened by fewer disciplinarians inside the West Wing – indulges in frequent Twitter screeds.
A Washington Post analysis found that so far this month, President Trump has been tweeting an average of 11.3 messages per day, the fastest rate of his presidency to date.
“It’s extraordinary how he is completely indifferent to truth. There’s just no relationship between his statements – anything he utters – and the actual truth of the matter,” said Thomas Murray, president emeritus of the Hastings Center, the founding institution in the field of bioethics.
“As far as I can tell, the best way to understand anything he says is what will best serve his interests in the moment. It’s irrespective to any version of the truth.”
According to an analysis by The Post’s Fact Checker through the end of May, Trump had made 3,251 false or misleading claims in 497 days – an average of 6.5 such claims per day of his presidency.
Bella DePaulo, a psychology researcher at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said Trump’s use of repetition is a particularly effective technique for convincing his supporters of the veracity of his false claims, in part because most people have a “truth bias,” or an initial inclination to accept what others say as true.
“When liars repeat the same lie over and over again, they can get even more of an advantage, at least among those who want to believe them or are not all that motivated either way,” wrote DePaulo in an email.
“So when people hear the same lies over and over again – especially when they want to believe those lies – a kind of new reality can be created. What they’ve heard starts to seem like it’s just obvious, and not something that needs to be questioned.”
On immigration, Trump and many top administration officials have said that existing U.S. laws and court rulings have given them no choice but to separate families trying to cross illegally into the United States. But it is the administration’s decision, announced in April, to prosecute all southern border crossings that has led to the separation of families.
That hasn’t stopped the president from blaming Democrats for his administration’s decisions.
“Democrats are the problem,” Trump wrote in one tweet.
In another, he was even more blunt: “The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda.”
The president has also falsely claimed that the recently released FBI Inspector General report “exonerated” him from Mueller’s probe, when the report did not delve into the Russia investigation.
— Richard M. Nixon (@dick_nixon) January 11, 2017
When the President made this claim last Friday during an impromptu press gaggle on the White House driveway, a reporter pressed him on the falsehood.
“Sir, that has nothing to do with collusion,” the reporter said. “Why are you lying about it, sir?”
Brian Fallon, a press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid, said he thinks the past week may mark an “inflection point” in how both the media and the public treat Trump’s mistruths.
“The lies have been so bald and discernibly false, I think people have felt license to challenge him and use the word ‘lie’ more freely than they have in the past,” Fallon said.