In a cover piece on Thursday, New York magazine’s Jake Sherman and Jonathan Martin published stories spotlighting divisions within the Republican party and Trump’s fractious relationship with the media. Pushing back on rumors that the president is looking to “crush” the press, the pair wrote: “Trump does seem eager to shut down any public support, to try to deliver what he considers an overwhelming rebuke to the way the press is covering him.”
But it’s not just his relationship with the press that is going through a sea change: there’s also Trump’s reputation as a liar.
Here’s a quick roundup of the evidence:
Sometime around August 2017, Trump met up with the top aide to the then-leader of the GOP’s joint intelligence committee. In the interview, he declared that he was not under investigation by the Department of Justice. “Not a one, zero. I am the least under investigation,” he said.
Less than a year later, he abruptly revealed the same falsehood in order to dismiss a media report that claimed he had secured the votes to pass a controversial tax cut bill — an assertion that the White House press office quickly and forcefully rejected.
Trump’s contempt for the “fake media” was clear even during his campaign:
In July 2015, Trump defended a KKK rally near the end of his GOP primary campaign by declaring that “the media is dishonest and fake.”
One of the most searing exchanges from the second presidential debate occurred after Trump famously ridiculed rival Jeb Bush’s brother, the former president George W. Bush.
“I know Jeb,” Trump told Bush. “Jeb, where’s the World Trade Center come from?”
“No, Donald,” replied Bush. “It’s called the Twin Towers.”
“The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign,” Trump said.
But when confronting real threats, Trump has had a more measured approach:
Hillary Clinton was “stupid,” he said after a terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya. In an interview with Charlie Rose, the president blamed the attack on “a lot of bad decisions” made by “a lot of dumb people.”
At the Women’s March after Trump’s inauguration, he met with dozens of parents of people killed in violent clashes at the 2016 Republican National Convention. “Everybody’s standing up,” he said afterward. “Now this is a march of women of America. It’s a magnificent thing.”
And then, the most astounding level of lie-telling: