Donald Trump’s truth-telling tendency (or lack thereof) not only contributed to his meteoric rise in the Republican primary polls, it also earned him a not-so-coveted title.
PolitiFact, a Pulitzer-prize winning fact-checking service, award the GOP presidential frontrunner the 2015 “Lie of the Year" title for his series of inaccurate statements relating to Mexican immigrants, American Muslims and racially biased crime statistics.
“In considering our annual Lie of the Year, we found our only real contenders were Trump’s — his various statements also led our readers’ poll,” the publication wrote, awarding Trump’s campaign misstatements with the honor. “But it was hard to single one out from the others. So we have rolled them into one big trophy.”
It is no secret that the business mogul has bent the truth according to his own needs all throughout his career — be it the real estate business, reality TV or the 2016 presidential campaign. His exaggeration and misstatements have not only fueled his fame, but have also made him one of the most controversial and bigoted candidates on the trail.
“People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts," the billionaire wrote in his 1987 best-seller The Art of the Deal. "People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.”
PolitiFact analyzed Republican candidate’s 77 statements and found 76 percent to be “mostly false, false or pants on fire” — which is certainly an achievement on Trump’s part since “no other politician has as many statements rated so far down on the dial.”
“Trump hasn’t apologized or backtracked on his statements,” the service, which is overseen by the Tampa Bay Times editors, explained. “Instead, when challenged, he offers flimsy explanations and suggests he shouldn’t be held accountable — or simply insists he’s right.”
The “pants on fire” lies include the businessman’s widely denounced claim that he saw “thousands and thousands” of Muslims cheering in New Jersey as the World Trade Center fell, his statement that the Mexican government sends “the bad ones over,” and the theory that Obama was not born in the U.S. and did not go to school here.
For the record, PolitiFact also gave Trump his first ever “True” rating after he claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “an 80 percent approval rating” at home.