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GOP senator: Trump doesn’t lie, he uses hyperbole

Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyDyslexia is more common than society realizes. Here’s what we can do to help children struggling in the shadows. Congress must protect eye care patients from frightful prescriptions Trump signs bills banning drug pricing 'gag clauses' MORE (R-La.) said Thursday that what some critics have claimed to be lies from President Trump are instead just "hyperbole" — exaggerated claims not intended to be taken seriously.

In an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Cassidy said that he does not try to parse the difference between whether Trump is lying or merely exaggerating, because it would distract him from "core" issues.

"This president speaks in hyperbole, and hyperbole is interpreted by some as lies, and by the president it is interpreted as just his exaggeration," Cassidy told host co-host Mika Brzezinski. "'The most beautiful in the world' — well, what's the most beautiful in the world? That's in the eye of the beholder."

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"So the president has a manner of speaking which is easily taken as a lie, and the president will refute that," he continued. "I frankly don't focus on that, Mika."

Brzezinski had asked Cassidy whether it was "fair to say the president has not told the truth, at times."

Critics have long accused Trump of spouting misleading facts or, at times, outright lies. The independent fact-checking website PolitiFact has marked about 5 percent of the president's statements that it has reviewed as true, while about 69 percent were determined to be varying degrees of false.