- President Donald Trump stopped short of admitting to peddling falsehoods when a reporter asked him whether he fulfilled his promise to “never lie.”
- The question was an apparent reference to a 2016 campaign speech in which Trump ensured supporters he would never lie.
- When asked if he always tells the truth, Trump said, “Well I try, I mean I do try. I think you try too. You say things about me that are not necessarily correct.”
- As part of journalistic practice, when reporters are factually incorrect in their reporting, the error is corrected, and usually includes an editor’s note about the error. Trump is not known to have corrected his own statements that are later found to be false or inaccurate.
President Donald Trump stopped short of admitting to peddling falsehoods when a reporter asked him whether he fulfilled his campaign promise to “never lie.”
“Have you kept to that promise at all times,” Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ chief White House correspondent, asked Trump during an interview that aired Wednesday. “Have you always been truthful?”
“Well I try, I mean I do try,” Trump said. “I think you try too. You say things about me that are not necessarily correct.”
As part of journalistic practice, when reporters are factually incorrect in their reporting, the error is corrected, and that correction usually includes an editor’s note that highlights the error. Trump is not known to have corrected his own statements that are later found to be false or inaccurate. He has frequently repeated such false statements, like his debunked claim that “millions and millions” of people vote illegally.
“I do try, and I always want to tell the truth,” Trump said in his interview with Karl. “When I can, I tell the truth. I mean sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that’s different, or there’s a change. But I always like to be truthful.”
Karl appeared to reference Trump’s comments during a campaign rally in 2016, when, in a stark departure from his normal campaign rhetoric, then-candidate Trump told supporters he regretted some of his fiery remarks.
“Sometimes, in the heat of debate, and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing,” Trump reportedly said at the time. “I have done that, and believe it or not, I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.”
Trump went on to ensure supporters he would never lie, and also took the opportunity to take a shot at Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
“In this journey, I will never lie to you,” Trump said. “I will never tell you something I do not believe. I will never put anyone’s interests ahead of yours.”
Trump’s critics have accused him of spreading inaccurate information and promoting conspiracy theories to widen a partisan divide in the US.
But Trump has also been accused of lying by some people, namely members of the media. In June 2017, The New York Times published the commentary, “Trump’s Lies” on its opinion page, laying a detailed history of statements Trump said that were untrue.
Recently, Trump was lambasted after an Axios interview on HBO, in which he falsely claimed the US was “the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States.”