Donald Trump's thousands of misleading claims - intentional lies or ignorance?

The Washington Post's Fact Checker has recorded that Donald Trump has made over 10 000 false or misleading claims since he became president of the United States.

It says that the rate of these claims is accelerating - during the three days from 25-27 April alone, he allegedly racked up a total of 171 'untruths'.

John Stremlau, visiting professor of international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) says it is worrying that Trump's statements no longer surprise us, as they should.

You cannot have a government that issues so many false claims and misleading statements - it's incredible.

John Stremlau, Visiting professor of international relations - Wits University

Stremlau lists the possible reasons for the sheer volume of these claims, from ignorance and incompetence to just not caring.

He does raise the possibility though, of it being a case of lying intentionally.

As Joseph Goebbels, the old Nazi propagandist said, if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it.

John Stremlau, VisitingpProfessor of international relations - Wits University

Stremlau notes that in the context of the US, a number of presidents have told very big lies, for example Lyndon B. Johnson about Vietnam and Richard Nixon about Watergate.

This is a problem that the media have to keep an eye on.

John Stremlau, Visiting professor of international relations - Wits University

He says that what we also need are leaders that inspire us, such as anti-apartheid activist David Webster, who was killed 30 years ago today.

For more of this thought-provoking discussion, listen below:


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