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The Liar in Chief

The Economy

The January employment report shows that the private sector added 237,000 jobs last month. A lot of that has to do with the spirit our country now has.” —February 3rd

Trump has called the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report “phony” and a “total fiction.” But once the num-

bers served his purposes, he reversed course. Similarly, Trump touted the national debt was down $12 billion in his first month, compared with a $200 billion increase over the same period for Obama. Both numbers are accurate, and both ought to be attributed to prior administrations. Since inauguration, Trump has also taken credit for Exxon’s “massive job program” (in the works since 2013) and Fiat Chrysler’s decision to expand in Michigan and Ohio (planned for more than a year).


When President Obama was [in Chicago] two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech,

Others maintain that making diagnoses without a formal interview is not just unethical, but impossible – that the public actions of a public persona may not align with who that person is when they’re alone at home. After Dodes’ op-ed appeared in the Times, Frances Allen, the psychiatrist who wrote the NPD criteria for the DSMIV, followed up with a letter to the editor the very next day, arguing that it was unfair and insulting to the mentally ill to lump them with someone like Trump, and that doing so would give the president a pass he doesn’t deserve. “No one is denying that he is as narcissistic an individual as one is ever likely to encounter,” Allen tells me. “But we tend to equate bad behavior with mental illness, and that makes us

46 | R ol l i n g S t o n e |

“I can’t tell you what his intent was.” But, as Sanders went on to say, “Does ignoring this reality benefit the American people?” We don’t think so: Donald Trump is a shameless, brazen, baldfaced liar. He steals credit, describes the average as superlative, invents history and spins conspiracy theories. Trump even lies about the weather. Here, broken down by subject, is a selected list of Trump’s lies in office. TESSA STUART

two people were shot and killed during his speech.” —January 25th This was a tidy example of the kind of “American carnage” that took place on Obama’s watch. Only problem is, according to Chicago police, exactly zero people in the city were shot and killed that day. In Philadelphia, Trump said, the murder rate has been “just terribly increasing,” when in fact, murders have declined in Philly over the past decade, from 391 in 2007 to 277 in 2016. Nationally, Trump said, “The murder rate in our country’s the highest it’s been in 47 years,” but higher murder rates were recorded every year between 1963 and 2010. Trump also said drugs are “becoming cheaper than candy bars.” Dare to dream.

His Legacy

We have the alltime record in the history of Time magazine. . . . I’ve been on it for, like, 15 times this year.” —January 21st Two things: Trump has been on the cover of Time 12 times and Richard Nixon has been on the cover 55 times. Trump’s claim that he had “the biggest audience in the history of

less able to deal with the bad behavior on its own terms.” Others have been less circumspect, implying that if the DSM wouldn’t diagnose someone like Trump with NPD, then maybe it’s the DSM that’s wrong. “It’s just that one pesky impairment thing,” says Josh Miller, Campbell’s colleague and a professor and director of the clinical training program at the University of Georgia who specializes in psychopathy and narcissism. “Maybe the DSM isn’t thinking about this in exactly the right way by ignoring when something causes such widespread problems to those around them.” More specifically, Miller believes that Trump’s wealth could have shielded him from impairment that would otherwise

speeches” is likewise untrue – crowd scientists estimated 160,000 people attended Trump’s speech on the National Mall, a far cry from the 1.8 million who turned out to see Obama in 2009 (Bill Clinton and George W. Bush drew larger crowds too). As for Trump’s inauguration TV ratings – “11 million more than the very good ratings from four years ago!” – that’s true, but also a false comparison: Viewership always drops at the start of a second term. About 7 million more or Obama’s ation than s. On world affairs, alsely describes TO as “obsolete” and claims he “predicted Brexit,” when all Trump said the day before the U.K. vote was he hadn’t eally focused on it ”

be more pronounced. “He gets to present himself as an incredible businessman despite multiple bankruptcies, despite lots of signs that he is not as astute or as successful as he might be otherwise,” Miller says. “We might know more about his relational functioning if his ex-wives didn’t sign the sort of thing where getting a nice sum of money from a divorce is contingent upon not discussing the person’s behavior. He’s able to keep sycophants around him because of his money. If he was your average politician, it might be that the impairment would be much, much more apparent.” At the very least, the growing debate over Trump’s mental health raises the question of what having an NPD president would mean. “I hated President Bush,

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“what should a united states senator, or an y citizen, do if the president is a liar?” Sen. Bernie Sanders mused in March. The media, elected officials, even Trump’s spokespeople have all struggled to reckon with a chronically dissembling commander in chief. Some have opted not to call Trump’s false claims “lies” at all. “Without the ability to peer into Donald Trump’s head,” an NPR reporter reasoned,

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