WASHINGTON – President Trump’s constant, relentless, remorseless lying is a central feature of his presidency, an unprecedented threat to our democracy and – in my view – an impeachable offense.
I realize it does not qualify as news that Trump lies all the time. I also realize it is not always possible to draw a bright line between untruths Trump knows are untrue and conspiratorial nonsense he might foolishly believe. But never before have we had a leader who so pollutes the national discourse with garbage that he at least ought to know is false – and I fear the consequences will be with us long after Trump is gone.
At his inauguration, Trump swore to “faithfully execute the Office of President.” He violates that oath when he speaks to the nation in bad faith. Other presidents have lied – Lyndon Johnson about Vietnam, Richard Nixon about Watergate, Bill Clinton about Monica Lewinsky. But never have we had a president who lies about everything, who invents his own fake facts, who continues to trumpet patent falsehoods even when confronted with actual facts.
And yes, undisputed facts do exist and can be ascertained. I am not talking about subtle matters of interpretation; I’m taking about knowing falsehoods, commonly known as lies.