President Donald Trump, whose time in office has been defined in large part by his frequent falsehoods and misleading statements, claimed Wednesday he tries to be truthful.
“I remember, you remember well in the campaign, you made a promise. You said, ‘I will never lie to you,’” ABC News’ Jon Karl said to Trump in a new interview. “So can you tell me now, honestly, have you kept that promise at all times? Have you always been truthful?”
“Well I try. I mean, I do try. I think you try, too. You say things about me that are not necessarily correct,” Trump replied. “I do try, and I always want to tell the truth. When I can, I tell the truth.”
“I mean sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that’s different or there’s a change. But I always like to be truthful,” he added.
Trump’s comments are especially notable coming at the close of a contentious campaign season in which he has repeatedly engaged in smears and falsehoods to advance Republican electoral fortunes, from inflating his rally crowd sizes to accusing Democrats, frequently without evidence, of supporting ruinous immigration policies.
Last week, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, a strong supporter of the President, said Trump “is a liar” and that he “should probably dial down the lying.”
“OK, well we both know that he’s telling lies. So if you want me to say he’s a liar, I’m happy to say he’s a liar,” Scaramucci told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”
Last week, CNN tracked Trump’s most-repeated claims and found that the President is most accurate during prepared remarks and when touting his strong economic record. But he strays from the truth when improvising with reporters or attacking his opponents, and some of the claims he made simply aren’t supported by any evidence at all, the report found.
CNN’s Steve Brusk and Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.