The Washington Post fact-checking feature reports that Donald Trump’s ceaseless lying has required the creation of a new label beyond “Four Pinocchios” for blatantly false statements.
For example, Trump has continued to assert publicly at least 86 times that he’s delivering on a promise to build a border wall and get Mexico to pay for it. He no longer mentions Mexico, but Congress has not yet appropriated money for wall construction. Says the Post:
Trump’s willingness to constantly repeat false claims has posed a unique challenge to fact-checkers. Most politicians quickly drop a Four-Pinocchio claim, either out of a duty to be accurate or concern that spreading false information could be politically damaging.
Not Trump. The president keeps going long after the facts are clear, in what appears to be a deliberate effort to replace the truth with his own, far more favorable, version of it. He is not merely making gaffes or misstating things, he is purposely injecting false information into the national conversation.
To accurately reflect this phenomenon, The Washington Post Fact Checker is introducing a new category — the Bottomless Pinocchio. That dubious distinction will be awarded to politicians who repeat a false claim so many times that they are, in effect, engaging in campaigns of disinformation.
The bar for the Bottomless Pinocchio is high: The claims must have received three or four Pinocchios from The Fact Checker, and they must have been repeated at least 20 times. Twenty is a sufficiently robust number that there can be no question the politician is aware that his or her facts are wrong. The list of Bottomless Pinocchios will be maintained on its own landing page.
Trump has so far been awarded 14 “Bottomless Pinocchios.” No other politician has qualified.