Watergate investigative journalist Carl Bernstein said Sunday that President Donald Trump uses lies and untruths to justify and promote his policies, arguing that he does it to a far greater extent than his predecessors.
“It’s not just President Trump who’s winning that war [on truth],” Bernstein told CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
“It’s the forces of those who believe in untruth and paramount among those forces is Donald Trump,” Bernstein said.
“We have had presidents in the past who have lied, there’s no question about that,” Bernstein said.
“But what we have never had is a president of the United States who uses lying and untruth as a basic method to promote his policies, his beliefs and his way of approaching the American people and engaging in the world,” he contended.
"We have had presidents in the past who have lied … but what we have never had is a President of the United States who uses lying and untruth as a basic method to promote his policies," says @CarlBernstein pic.twitter.com/dL09dVsYMF
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) October 21, 2018
Bernstein pointed to Trump’s praise of Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) for body-slamming a reporter in 2017.
“I heard that he had body-slammed a reporter,” Trump said at the rally last week. “I said, ‘Oh, this is terrible, he’s going to lose the election.’ But then I said, ‘Well, wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him,’ and it did.”
Bernstein criticized Trump’s comments, saying that the president’s insistence that fake news is the enemy of the people has “echoes of totalitarianism.”
“Uniquely, we have a president who does not believe in truth,” Bernstein said. “This is far different from anything we have experienced.”
“But, you know, Trump didn’t invent this and we live in a time when truth is devalued in all kinds of institutions and we have now, this division, not just among our people, but through social media, through the press,” he said.