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Trump: "I Will Always Tell You the Truth" Up to 30 Percent of the Time

August 20, 2016

In his first major address since turning over the reins of his campaign to Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump provided two notable--if not laudable--moments. For starters, the Republican offered a blanket apology, or more accurately, an "unpology." That is, his expression of conditional regret applied only in unspecified circumstances in which "you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing" and when someone may have taken offense, "particularly where it may have caused personal pain." Second, Trump promised a "pivot" --away from the pathological lying that has defined his White House run:

But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth.
I speak the truth for all of you, and for everyone in this country who doesn't have a voice.
I speak the truth on behalf of the factory worker who lost his or her job.
I speak the truth on behalf of the Veteran who has been denied the medical care they need - and so many are not making it. They are dying.
I speak the truth on behalf of the family living near the border that deserves to be safe in their own country but is instead living with no security at all.

Americans should be forgiven their skepticism. After all, the fact-checking web site Politifact evaluated the veracity of 223 Trump statements as of August 19, 2016. A staggering 157 of them (70 percent), were rated as "Mostly False", "False" or "Pants on Fire." As it turns out, Donald Trump lies more than every major candidate from either party, as Robert Mann recently showed in the chart below:

While past performance is no guarantee of future results, the lesson for voters is clear. When Donald Trump pledges, "I will always tell you the truth," he only means it about 30 percent of the time.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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