In his first three years as president, Trump spoke or tweeted a staggering 16,241 false or misleading claims, according to a comprehensive database put together by The Fact Checker team. In that time, he averaged fifteen misleading claims per day. Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth gathers the most conspicuous, frequent, and astonishing of them, ranked by The Fact Checker’s popular 1-4 Pinocchios dishonesty scale, from a cornucopia of half-truths to the president’s biggest whoppers. The book examines the veracity of some of the President’s biggest lies such as: “Mexico’s paying for the wall,” that “illegal” votes cost him the popular vote in 2016, that he’s proposed the largest tax cut in U.S. history and that he is the most popular Republican in the history of the party. Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth also unpacks his errant statements about the economy, immigration, the impeachment hearings, foreign policy, and, of critical concern now, the coronavirus crisis as it unfolded.
More than a catalogue of false claims, Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth is a necessary guide to understanding the motives behind the president’s falsehoods.
The Washington Post created The Fact Checker column in 2007 as a feature tracking the 2008 presidential campaign. The Post revived it as a permanent feature on Jan. 11, 2011, helmed by Glenn Kessler. In an award-winning journalism career spanning more than three decades, Kessler helped pioneer the fact-checking of candidates’ statements during the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, when he was chief political correspondent for Newsday, and continued to do it during the last six presidential campaigns for The Washington Post. Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly are reporters for The Fact Checker.
"Samuel Johnson has James Boswell. Lyndon Johnson has Robert Caro. Donald Trump has Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post, but Kessler’s more nemesis than amanuensis,” wrote Roger Cohen of The New York Times. “Every untruth Trump utters, Kessler chronicles.....Kessler is doing the poet’s work. Honor him. The database he compiles with his colleagues Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly, listing every one of Trump’s untruths, will become a reference, a talisman."
About the authors
Glenn Kessler, Fact Checker
Glenn Kessler has been editor and chief writer of The Fact Checker since 2011 and worked at The Washington Post since 1998. In an award-winning journalism career spanning nearly four decades, Kessler has covered foreign policy, economic policy, the White House, Congress, politics, airline safety and Wall Street. Kessler and his team earned honorable mention in the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. He is the author of The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy. He is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and lives in McLean, Virginia.
Salvador Rizzo, Fact Checker
Salvador Rizzo is a national politics reporter for The Washington Post. He writes for the newspaper’s Fact Checker section and has fact-checked hundreds of claims from politicians and advocacy groups. He previously covered Governor Chris Christie and New Jersey politics, with stints at the Star-Ledger, the Bergen Record and the New York Observer, where he was the editor of New Jersey’s top politics blog, PolitickerNJ.com. He is a graduate of Emory University, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. Born in San Benito, Texas, he lived in Monterrey, Mexico, for a decade.
Meg Kelly, Fact Checker and Video Editor
Meg Kelly is a video editor and reporter for The Fact Checker at The Washington Post. She has covered national politics since late 2015 — first as a visual producer at National Public Radio and, since 2017, with the Post’s Fact Checker team. She grew up in Denver, graduated from Barnard College in New York and was a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in Mumbai. She lives in Washington, D.C.
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