Monday, August 7, 2017

Many Politicians Lie. But Trump Has Elevated the Art of Fabrication.


WASHINGTON — Whit Ayres, a Republican political consultant here, likes to tell his clients that there are “three keys to credibility.” “One, never defend the indefensible,” he says. “Two, never deny the undeniable. And No. 3 is: Never lie.” Would that politicians took his advice. Fabrications have long been a part of American politics. Politicians lie to puff themselves up, to burnish their résumés and to cover up misdeeds, including sexual affairs. (See: Bill Clinton.) Sometimes they cite false information for what they believe are justifiable policy reasons. (See: Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam.) But President Trump, historians and consultants in both political parties agree, appears to have taken what the writer Hannah Arendt once called “the conflict between truth and politics” to an entirely new level.

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