When Trump was challenged on his lie that the United States is the "highest-taxed nation in the world," he essentially admitted that he lies because he knows he can get away with it.
Donald Trump lies so consistently and so habitually — and pushes back so hard even after the entire Fourth Estate corrects him — that he appears to simply not care about the truth.
And in conversation with writer Mike Sacks about his tax plan, Trump all but admitted this outright.
Sacks noted that Trump has “repeatedly said that we’re the highest taxed nation in the world,” a claim “that’s been seen as objectively false.” Trump interrupted him to point out, “Some people say it differently, and they’ll say we’re the highest developed nation, taxed in the world.”
“Then why don’t you say it that way?” Sacks asked. Trump’s answer was patently ridiculous.
I asked POTUS today why he keeps saying “We’re the highest taxed nation in the world” when it’s objectively false. Here’s how he answered: pic.twitter.com/2EHa0nbm5p
— Mike Sacks (@MikeSacksEsq) October 17, 2017
TRUMP: Because a lot of people know exactly what I’m talking about, and in many cases, they think I’m right when I say the highest. As far as I’m concerned, I think we’re really essentially the highest, but if you’d like to add the developed nation, you can say that too. But a lot of people agree that the way I’m saying it is exactly correct.
Also, Trump did not simply forget to add this qualifier, as he implied here — he explicitly said we have the highest tax rate “anywhere in the world.”
But the truly astonishing thing is his assertion that it is okay to tell these blatant lies because “a lot of people … think I’m right.” This is not in any way a measure of how truthful his statement was — yet he is touting it as if it were scientific proof.
Trump is either saying that the truthfulness of his statements depends on how many people believe it, or he is simply boasting that lying does not matter because he can get away with it.
And either of those attitudes would be horrifying in a world leader who is responsible for confronting the complex realities of the world.
To Trump, receiving affirmation and support for his narcissism and self-serving views — no matter how inaccurate they are — matters more than whether he actually helps the American people. And our nation’s ability to function will suffer that much more for it.