Donald Trump Has Always Been Such a Liar That His Lawyers Once Came Up With a Special System to Deal With It

Mother Jones illustration; Shutterstock

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files“—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current president—on October 12, 2016.

If Donald Trump has the “world’s greatest memory,” as he claimed in November 2015, he certainly hasn’t shown it off to his lawyers.

In fact, one of those lawyers, New Jersey casino specialist Patrick McGahn, once described how he and Trump’s fellow counsels always met with Trump in pairs because of Donald’s propensity for lying. “We tried to do it with Donald always if we could, because Donald says certain things and then has a lack of memory,” McGahn said in a deposition during the bankruptcy proceedings for the Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

McGahn said he typically did this with all public figures, but he singled out Trump for his particularly casual relationship with the truth. “Hey, Trump is a leader in the field,” McGahn said. “He’s an expert at interpreting things, let’s put it that way.”

“That’s interestingly put,” his questioner noted.

Trump apparently has recurring memory problems when he meets with lawyers. He told NBC News last November that he had the “world’s greatest memory,” during a controversy surrounding his false claim to have seen thousands of Muslims celebrating the 9/11 attacks in New Jersey. But just three weeks later, he told a lawyer deposing him for one of the Trump University fraud lawsuits that he couldn’t even remember his own comment. “I don’t know that I said it,” Trump said.

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate