The impeachment probe into Donald Trump continues to shed light on his alleged pressure campaign on Ukraine. The president is accused of using foreign aid as leverage to push the Eastern European country to dig up dirt on his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, and testimony thus far has suggested that many in Trump’s orbit were aware of the purported plan.
According to Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio, an important part of the Ukraine scandal is the president’s lying, Newsweek reports.
“We’re seeing lying at a scale that is somewhat new and is very complex,” he said in a CNN special report titled All The President’s Lies.
D’Antonio noted that Trump looks to others for hints when it comes to making decisions, pointing to his co-opting of the theory that Ukraine — not Russia — interfered in the 2016 election.
“He looks for hints from others. ‘Oh, Ukraine was to blame for interfering in the 2016 election, not Russia.’ This is all crazy talk and all of it is a lie.”
CNN commentator and historian Douglas Brinkley echoed D’Antonio’s statements and suggested Trump is unique as a president due to his ability to lie “as if it were a form of breathing” — a habit he believes “diminishes” Trump’s “credibility.”
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 22, 2019
Trump has frequently taken heat for his false or misleading claims. CNN reports that Trump’s Fox & Friends rant on Friday contained “at least 18 false claims.” Although the show’s co-hosts pushed back somewhat on some of the claims Trump made, he appeared to avoid questions that probed the accuracy of his comments.
At one point during the call, Trump suggested that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff was the whistleblower, which CNN called “simple nonsense.”
The Verge reports that Trump isn’t just lying about things relating to the impeachment inquiry either. Recently he took a tour of a purported Apple factory and lied when describing his support for the company.
“We’re seeing the beginning of a very powerful and important plant. Anybody that followed my campaign, I would always talk about Apple, that I want to see Apple building plants in the United States,” Trump said at his factory tour.
According to The Verge, the factory isn’t new and it doesn’t belong to Apple. The plant is owned by a contractor called Flex Ltd that has been making Mac Pros since 2013. In addition, the report notes that Apple is not building a manufacturing plant but a new Austin campus with jobs more aligned with white-collar design and engineering work.
Although The Verge noted that there is a debate over whether politicians are technically lying when they make false statements or are just merely unaware of their inaccuracy, the report suggested Trump knew he was being untruthful.