In a recent interview with ABC News, President Donald Trump defended his character, claiming that he typically tells the truth.
When pressed by interviewer Jonathan Karl, who asked the president about a campaign promise he made to voters never to lie, Trump was quick to respond that he doesn’t lie, and when he’s perceived to be doing so, it isn’t on purpose, according to reporting from the Hill.
“I always want to tell the truth,” Trump said. “When I can, I tell the truth. And sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that’s different or there’s a change, but I always like to be truthful.”
Yet within that same interview, Trump continued to push misleading statements on a caravan that’s currently inching it’s way up toward the U.S. border. Trump characterized that group of individuals, which are coming to America in hopes of applying for asylum status, as looking almost “like an invasion.”
In the past couple of weeks, Trump has made many misleading and untruthful statements about the group of Central American migrants. He has, for example, suggested that there could be terrorists among them.
When pressed last week to provide proof of the claim, the president differed, saying “there’s no proof of anything.” But that didn’t stop him from pushing the idea still.
“I think there’s a very good chance you have people in there,” he said, implying terrorist elements, according to reports from Time.
“Well, I try. I do try ... and I always want to tell the truth. When I can, I tell the truth.— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) November 1, 2018
“And sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that's different or there's a change, but I always like to be truthful.” https://t.co/nvyQyDuZVP
In the interview that aired this week, Trump also defended his decision to send thousands of American troops to the border to deal with the supposed crisis, although it’s unclear in what capacity they’ll be able to stop immigrants from coming to the U.S. to claim refugee status, according to reports from Vox.
Trump added that he may increase the number of troops he’s already ordered to patrol the border. More than 5,000 are already on their way there, but Trump said as many as 15,000 could soon be on their way to join them as well.
He defended the idea by suggesting the size of the caravan was underestimated.
“You have caravans coming up that look a lot larger than it’s reported actually. I’m pretty good at estimating crowd size. And I’ll tell you they look a lot bigger than people would think,” Trump said.
It was an ironic statement of sorts, given that one of the earliest lies that came out of his administration had to do with the size of the crowd that attended his inauguration ceremony. Officials from his administration had claimed it was the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration,” but many fact-checking websites, including FactCheck.org, reported it was not.