"People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do," wrote Donald Trump in his 1987 book The Art of the Deal. "That's why a little hyperbole never hurts." Well, now he's being called on it: Politifact is awarding its 2015 Lie of the Year to several of his campaign "misstatements," saying "it was hard to single one out from the others." Among 77 statements the website analyzed, 76% were "mostly false, false or pants on fire." Topping the latter list:
- "I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down," he said in November. "And I watched in Jersey City, NJ, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down." No video evidence of that event exists, and public safety officials in New Jersey say it never occurred.
- "The Mexican government ... they send the bad ones over." Trump offered no evidence, and Politifact says there is none. Most illegal immigrants come seeking jobs, which is why illegal immigration has apparently plummeted during the recession.
- "Whites killed by whites—16%. Whites killed by blacks—81%," according to an image tweeted by Trump. Only problem: People are usually killed by a person of the same race whom they already know. In 2014, whites were killed by whites 82% of the time and by blacks 15% of the time.
"Donald Trump doesn’t let facts slow him down," writes Amy Sherman at the Tampa Bay Times about the Lie of the Year award. "Bending the truth or being unhampered by accuracy is a strategy he has followed for years." See more from Politifact, or read about past Lie of the Year winners—like Ebola claims in 2014 and President Obama in 2013. (Read more Donald Trump 2016 stories.)