White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl questioned Trump about his campaign promise to “never lie” to the American public. “Can you tell me now, honestly, have you kept that promise at all times?” Karl asked. “Have you always been truthful?”
In replying, Trump claimed that he does “try” to tell the truth, pointing out that he thinks Karl tries too. “You say things about me that are not necessarily correct,” Trump said. “I do try, and I always want to tell the truth. When I can, I tell the truth.”
“And sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that’s different or there’s a change, but I always like to be truthful,” he added.
Fact checking from news organizations and nonpartisan groups alike would suggest otherwise. FactCheck.org released an article earlier this week that highlights a number of instances in which Trump made misleading statements, writing, “there are dozens of examples of Trump not ‘telling the truth’ on social media—including retweets that spread false information from dubious sources.”
By The Washington Post’s count, Trump has made more than 5,000 “false or misleading claims in the first 601 days of his presidency—an average of 8.3 claims a day.” The newspaper’s fact checker finds that the frequency with which Trump shares untruths is increasing.
Following his assertion that he tells the truth “when [he] can,” Trump went on to tell Karl that he believes that crowd estimates of the migrant caravan are incorrect. “You have caravans coming up that look a lot larger than it’s reported actually. I’m pretty good at estimating crowd size. And I’ll tell you they look a lot bigger than people would think,” Trump said.
When Karl pressed him that the majority of the crowd is comprised of “impoverished people fleeing violence,” particularly women and children, Trump claimed that the crowd is in fact a “lot of young men” who are “pushing the women [and children] up to the front.”
These latest statements from Trump have not been verified; however, Trump did famously overstate the size of the crowd at his inauguration.