The irony is that Donald Trump lies feed into the narrative of Hillary Clinton distrust.
Of the many strange and disturbing developments in the past few days, perhaps none is more strange or disturbing than this: according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Wednesday, Americans, by a significant margin, view Donald Trump as more honest than Hillary Clinton.
As has been amply documented, Trump’s relationship to the truth is on par with his relationships with women—opportunistic and abusive. Daniel Dale, a Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star, who since mid-September has been publishing a more or less daily tally of Trump’s false claims, recently called the Republican candidate’s campaign rhetoric a veritable “avalanche of wrongness.” The Washington Post/ABC News pollsters were out in the field for two days, October 30th and 31st. On those days, Dale counted twenty-seven and nineteen Trump falsehoods, respectively. These ranged from the offhand (a misstatement about Frank Sinatra) to the egregious (fabrications about Clinton’s tax plan, about her immigration policies, and about the history of isis). The most falsehoods Trump uttered in one day, according to Dale, is thirty-seven, a height he reached on October 20th and then again on October 24th.
It’s hard to say, at this point, which is more astonishing: the volume of Trump’s trumped-up statements or their scale. Here’s a man who, more than anyone else on the planet, was responsible for perpetuating the myth that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, yet has the chutzpah to claim on national TV that he was the person to put the issue to rest. As Chris Cillizza put it, in the Post, even in the “quadrennial truth-stretching” contest that is an American Presidential campaign, “Trump has set records for fabrication.” Or, as Dara Lind put it, at Vox, “Donald Trump lies. It’s what he does.”