The President of the United States is a liar. Flat out, no question. Merriam-Webster defines liar as a person who tells lies (to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive). Every time Trump throws a Twitter tantrum, he is lying about something or someone. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has made his position clear that our job is to continue calling Trump out on his lies.
Some might argue this is disrespectful to Trump’s position as President. However, Trump is disrespecting the Office of the Presidency by acting in this manner. Former President George W. Bush never publicly criticized President Obama during his eight year term, but within a month he was denouncing Trump, although carefully. And to be clear, Bush never publicly said anything negative about the man of his opposing party; however, he has made comments against the man of his own.
Others, like Washington Post columnist Amber Phillips, say this lowers the quality of political discourse. Who is actually responsible for that? The liar, or the one who calls him out for it? It is beyond time we stop blaming the advocates for truth and put the blame where it belongs – on those who are responsible for committing the offenses. Isn’t the GOP the “party of personal responsibility and accountability?” This president has yet to admit any fault for anything while he holds those around him to an impossibly high standard.
Senator Sanders wrote on Medium:
What should a United States senator, or any citizen, do if the president is a liar? Does ignoring this reality benefit the American people? Do we make a bad situation worse by disrespecting the president of the United States? Or do we have an obligation to say that he is a liar to protect America’s standing in the world and people’s trust in our institutions?
I happen to strongly believe in civil political discourse. The vast majority of people in Congress who hold views different than mine are not liars. It is critical we have strong, fact-based debates on the important issues facing our country and that we respect people who come to different conclusions. In a democracy people will always have honestly held different points of view.
One of my great concerns is that there undoubtedly will be major crises facing the United States and the global community during Trump’s tenure as president. If Trump lies over and over again what kind of credibility will he, or the United States, have when we need to bring countries around the world together to respond to those crises? How many people in our country and other countries will think that Trump is just lying one more time?
He went on to point out that Trump is a “pathological liar” who has a “complete disregard for reality and makes assertions heard by billions of people around the world that have no basis in fact.” He then listed the following lies Trump has told.
- His victory was the largest electoral college win since Reagan
- Five million people voted illegally for Clinton
- President Obama wiretapped his phones during the election
We could also add (just since the election):
- The New York Times is failing
- Terrorism and terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe have “gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported.” (Politifact)
- “If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”
- Prior to the election, there are four pages of “Pants on Fire” ratings from Politifact.
Neither Trump nor his administration has offered any evidence to backup these allegations. Most of them have been made at a time when other, negative events were happening; this has caused quite a few people to suggest they are nothing more than a diversion technique. However, Senator Sanders wrote, especially of the wiretap allegations, they are “baseless and dangerous” and “a deliberate and dishonest effort to appeal to racist sentiment in this country and deny the right of our first African-American president to serve.”
I agree with Senator Sanders, and I will continue to call Trump out every single time he makes an untrue statement. I won’t sugarcoat it with cute words, either. A lie is a lie. And our President tells a lot of them.