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Donald Trump averaged 15 false claims a day, and it's getting worse

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Washington: President Donald Trump's year of lies, false statements and misleading claims started with a series of morning tweets.

Over a couple of hours January 2, Trump made false claims about three of his favourite targets - Iran, The New York Times and Hillary Clinton. He also took credit for the "best and safest year on record" for commercial aviation, even though there had been no commercial plane crashes in the United States since 2009 and, in any case, the president has little to do with ensuring the safety of commercial aviation.

The fusillade of tweets was the start of a year of unprecedented deception during which Trump became increasingly unmoored from the truth.

Donald Trump in January.Credit:Bloomberg

When 2018 began, the president had made 1,989 false and misleading claims, according to The Washington Post's Fact Checker's database, which tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. By the end of the year, Trump had accumulated more than 7600 untruths during his presidency, averaging more than 15 erroneous claims a day during 2018, almost triple the rate from the year before.

Even as Trump's fact-free statements proliferate, there is growing evidence that his approach is failing.

Fewer than three in 10 Americans believe many of his most common false statements, according to a Fact Checker poll from earlier this month. Only among a pool of strong Trump approvers – about one in six adults in the survey – did large majorities accept several, though not all, of his falsehoods as true.

Donald and Melania Trump.Credit:Bloomberg

Similarly, a November poll found 58 per cent of voters saying Trump wasn't honest, compared to just 36 per cent who said he was honest. The same poll found 50 percent saying he is "less honest" than most previous presidents, tying his own record for........

© Brisbane Times