Press: You can’t believe a word he says

Press: You can’t believe a word he says
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It’s America’s most-enduring legend and the one we all grew up with. Confronted by his father over damage done to his favorite cherry tree, little 6-year old George Washington fessed up: “I cannot tell a lie … I cut it with my own hatchet.”

As schoolkids ourselves, we all believed it. Even later, after we learned the story was invented by an itinerant minister and bookseller named Mason Locke Weems, we still wanted to believe it. Why? Because he was little George Washington. He grew up to become president of the United States. And presidents always tell the truth.

Or so we believed. But no longer. We’ve sunk from a president who cannot tell a lie to a president who can’t tell the truth.

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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE began his presidency with a lie about the historic size of the crowd at his inauguration, and he hasn’t stopped telling lies since. Just last week, he insisted that Pennsylvania Democratic congressional candidate Conor Lamb supported his tax cuts. That’s false. Lamb called them a “giveaway” to the richest 1 percent and a “betrayal” to middle-class households.

In between, Trump’s told so many lies it’s hard to keep track of them. They range from little white lies — like how many hours he actually spends watching TV — to big whoppers — like he won more electoral votes than anyone since Ronald Reagan; or 3-5 million people voted illegally for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders, Warren meet ahead of potential 2020 bids Hillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber Comey’s remarks about Trump dossier are not credible, says former FBI official MORE; or President Obama ordered his phones wiretapped at Trump Tower. None of those statements are true.

Trump tells so many lies, so often, that not even Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, nonpartisan fact-checking website can keep score. But they do the most thorough job of anybody. Since he launched his 2016 campaign, Politifact has evaluated more than 500 assertions made by candidate and president Donald Trump, and they’ve rated an astounding 69 percent of them as “false,” “mostly false,” or, the worst category, “liar, liar, pants on fire.” Think about that. On any given day, you know that seven out of ten things Donald Trump says are not true!

Trump doesn’t care. He shoots first and lets others ask questions later. Meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for example, Trump admits he had no clue whether the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada. He just asserted that we did and mocked Trudeau for not knowing — when, in fact, the Commerce Department says we actually had a nearly $2.8 billion surplus with Canada in goods and services in 2017.

But the question really is: Even if Donald Trump doesn’t care about the truth, shouldn’t we? Have we really succumbed to where we accept a pathological liar for president as the new normal? At what point do we say: Enough is enough? How long before the American people, especially Republican leaders of Congress, stand up and say that the least we expect from a president is that he tell the truth – or at least not lie 70 percent of the time? Until we do, our silence speaks louder than Donald Trump’s lies.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “From the Left: Life in the Crossfire.”