Donald Trump Is Teaching the Whole World How to Lie

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Donald Trump lies practically every time he opens his mouth. That’s hardly even notable anymore. What is still notable is the corrosive effect he has on nearly everyone who enters his orbit. His kids lie without compunction. His spokespeople lie without compunction. His campaign manager—until recently a fairly normal conservative—lies without compunction. His surrogates lie without compunction. Everyone who spends any time around him seems to inhale the lesson that in the modern media environment, there’s simply no penalty for lying, no matter how obvious the lies are.

Today, Chris Christie casually peddled the obvious lie that Donald Trump gave up on birtherism after President Obama released his long-form birth certificate in 2011. This is easily fact checkable. There are tweets. There’s video. Glenn Kessler rounds up the evidence:

This is why Americans hate politics. A sitting governor goes on national television and when he is called out for an obvious falsehood, he simply repeats the inaccurate talking points over and over.

This will possibly be our shortest fact check ever….Slate magazine counted nearly 40 Trump tweets since 2011 that raise questions about Obama’s birth. Even after Trump starting running for president last year, he continued to question the president’s background in television interviews.

….This is such bogus spin that we have to wonder how Christie manages to say it with a straight face. Regular readers know we shy away from using the word “lie,” but clearly Christie is either lying or he is so misinformed that he has no business appearing on television.

Before he hooked up with Trump, Christie was a relatively normal politician. He’d spin, he’d exaggerate, he’d evade, and he’d conceal. But now he doesn’t bother. He just tells simpleminded lies with no evident concern for the fact that he’ll get called out on them. Trump has taught him that being fact checked doesn’t matter. Getting air time for the lie is all that matters.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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