The Lies of Donald Trump: A Taxonomy

  • James P. PfiffnerEmail author
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency book series (EAP)


Although most presidents have lied to the public, Pfiffner argues that President Trump’s lies differ in volume and kind. He distinguishes four types of Trump’s lies: (1) trivial lies, (2) exaggerations and self-aggrandizing lies, (3) lies to deceive the public, and (4) egregious lies.

He analyzes the consequences of these lies with respect to public trust, misinformation encoding, and the relationship of lies to loyalty and power.

Trump’s most serious lies are egregious false statements that are demonstrably contrary to well-known facts. Pfiffner concludes that Trump’s lies are detrimental to the democratic process, and that his continued adherence to demonstrably false statements undermined enlightenment epistemology and corroded the premises of liberal democracy.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Schar School of Policy and GovernmentGeorge Mason UniversityArlingtonUSA

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