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Carl Bernstein: Trump ‘uses lying and untruth as a basic method’

Carl Bernstein: Trump ‘uses lying and untruth as a basic method’
© CNN

Carl Bernstein said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Graham backs bill to protect Mueller Denham loses GOP seat in California MORE demonstrates a pattern of lying in order to promote his policies.

"It's not just President Trump who's winning that war [on truth]," Bernstein, a frequent and vocal critic of the administration, told CNN's "Reliable Sources."

"It's the forces of those who believe in untruth and paramount among those forces is Donald Trump," Bernstein said.

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He asserted that Trump is unusual in his use of lies.

"We have had presidents in the past who have lied, there's no question about that," Bernstein said.

"But what we have never had is a president of the United States who uses lying and untruth as a basic method to promote his policies, his beliefs and his way of approaching the American people and engaging in the world," he contended.

Bernstein pointed in particular to comments Trump made at a rally last week in Montana in reference to Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteGianforte defeats Democrat for Montana's at-large congressional seat Sabato's Crystal Ball: Dems will pick up more than 30 House seats, GOP set to keep Senate Election Countdown: One week from midterms, House battlefield expands MORE (R-Mont.) body-slamming a reporter two years ago.

"I heard that he had body-slammed a reporter," Trump said at the rally. "I said, 'Oh, this is terrible, he’s going to lose the election.' But then I said, 'Well, wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him,' and it did."

Bernstein criticized Trump's comments, saying that the president's insistence that fake news is the enemy of the people has "echoes of totalitarianism."

"Uniquely, we have a president who does not believe in truth," Bernstein said. "This is far different from anything we have experienced."

"But, you know, Trump didn't invent this and we live in a time when truth is devalued in all kinds of institutions and we have now, this division, not just among our people, but through social media, through the press," he said.