WSJ editor: Yes, Trump lies, but beware using that word
Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic reported about how Katie Couric asked Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker at the Aspen Ideas Festival, co-hosted by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, about whether President Donald Trump lies.
Friedersdorf writes, “‘What I think is not really important,’ he began. ‘I think the president probably lies a lot, right? I think the president makes things up at times. I think I’ve got a fair amount of reasons for believing that.’
“However, he continued:
The difference is not what I think or what I might express and an opinion or even given reasonable grounds to believe, but what my reporters can report as facts. And if you’re going to report as a fact that something is a lie, you have to know that it’s not only an untruth, not only a falsehood, you have to be able to be able to impute two things in the mind of the speaker: one, knowledge that it is actually untrue; and two, a deliberate intent to deceive.
And I can see circumstances, perhaps, that Donald Trump or indeed anybody else for that matter, that they have enough evidence to know that it’s truth, and that I would be able to infer from their falsehood that they were telling a lie. But it’s a pretty high bar. Our reporters are very careful about imputing motives to people that go beyond the evidence. We are very strict about this. We don’t impute jealousy or hatred or various other things. It is a judgment making a call about whether or not someone is lying. And again, I don’t rule it out completely. I said I’m careful about it. And I think that most people should be careful about it.”
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