When Alice fell through the looking glass, she met the White Queen, who told her, "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." President Trump must be channeling Her Majesty. Nothing else can explain the blizzard of snow jobs he's dropped on us.

From his inauguration to this very moment, Trump has shown little regard for the truth; more than one fact-checking site lists more than 100 provably untrue statements Trump has made or tweeted since becoming President. Those false statements range from trivial to terrible, from distracting to distressing. Let's look at a few.


After his inaugural address, he said, "I looked at the rain, which just never came," but it was raining. That first little untruth just got Trump started. Later, he told people not to believe their lying eyes about the size of the crowd at his inauguration. Then there was his claim that he would have won the popular vote but for millions of illegals voting, a lie repeated in his Super Bowl interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly: "A lot of people have come out and said that I am correct." In that same interview, he said, "I've been against the war in Iraq from the beginning." In fact, no election official in the country had supported his claim of election fraud, and at least two separate sources show he supported the war.

Trump's war on the press and pollsters is replete with falsehoods: "Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the elections." The polls missed the outcome, but they were spot on in predicting the actual vote. Making a mistake is not "fake news," but spouting bogus numbers is: He told the National Sheriffs Association in February that "The murder rate in our country's the highest it's been in 47 years, right?" Actually, the 2015 murder rate, the most recent available, is among the lowest in 47 years. Trump should have known that; several media organizations and fact-checking websites pointed out it was incorrect before the election, when he first put out that "alternative fact."

It's one thing for the President to stroke his ego by playing fast and loose with numbers or to misstate his positions on the Iraq wars, quite another to feed the public lies about national security. When Trump was asked at a news conference, "Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?" he said no one except Mike Flynn. He ignored a meeting his son Donald Trump Jr. had with a pro-Russia group in Paris. He overlooked another meeting his foreign policy adviser held with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the Republican convention. He professed ignorance about son-in-law Jared Kushner and Flynn meeting with Kislyak after the election. If Trump was truly unaware of these contacts, he was remarkably negligent; and if he did know, he was lying through his teeth about his relationship with what is arguably our country's most dangerous opponent.

As those facts were coming to light, Trump tweeted that former President Obama had his phones wiretapped. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican and Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee, and at least three Republican Senators, say no evidence exists to support Trump's charges, and at least one more asked for him to provide evidence. FBI Director James Comey asked the Justice Department to reject the claim. Undeterred, Trump repeated an even crazier story that the British government helped Obama spy on him; a spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May called the claims "ridiculous."

This behavior is fundamentally different from bragging about the size of his electoral victory or a tasteless war on the press or denying climate science. Nixon was forced out of office for less than what Trump accused Obama of doing — committing a felony, ordering domestic intelligence placed on an American citizen without authorization. If Trump has evidence of this, he is under moral as well as legal obligation to produce it.

Why would Trump put this story out at this time? It's no coincidence that his tweets on Obama occurred just as the Russia story was dominating the news. We've seen this ploy before: when news pricks Trump's thin skin, he throws out a diversion — the bigger the problem, the more extreme the smokescreen. Trump's strategy is unvarying: attack his critics and draw attention away from the issue at hand. Be it Megyn Kelly, the Khan family, "Mexican" judges or "biased courts" it's always the same pattern — attack and change the subject. Disturbed by news of Russia's interfering with the election, Trump tweeted a fantasy that Obama spied on his campaign, and then doubled down on his lie and insulted our best ally at the same time. All he accomplishes is to diminish America's standing in the world, worry our allies, threaten our alliances, embolden our enemies, and divide his party — small wonder that many now call German Chancellor Angela Merkel the leader of the free world!

If Trump's presidency is to survive, let alone succeed, he must be truthful. Today would be a good day to start. Inauguration Day would have been better.

Mitch Edelman writes from Finksburg. Email him at