Bernie Sanders Just Raised an Interesting Point About Calling Trump 'a Liar'

March 7th 2017

Nicole Levin

In a Washington Post article published yesterday, journalist Amber Phillips called out Sen. Bernie Saunders (I-Vt.) for calling President Trump "a liar."

Today Sanders responded with an article of his own. 

According to Phillips, Sanders' willingness to call Trump a liar showed disregard for political norms, and was detrimental to political discourse. Sanders pointed out that Phillips did not disagree with his presentation of the facts, rather, "her complaint is that it is improper for a Senator to state the obvious." He further posed a very important question:

But how do we deal with a president who makes statements that reverberate around our country and the world that are not based on fact or evidence? What is the appropriate way to respond to that? And if the media and political leaders fail to call lies what they are, are they then guilty of misleading the public?

News organizations have been struggling with this question.

Donald Trump at CPAC 2011

As ATTN: reported in January, the Editor and Chef of The Wall Street Journal cautioned against calling Trump a liar, as it is difficult to know if he has a "deliberate intent to mislead." Furthermore, as Philip Bump of the Washington Post stated, while calling Trump a liar "might please those who already dislike Trump," overall the publication will lose credibility. According to Bump, a newspaper should present the facts and allow readers to come to conclusions.

However, other journalists have called on news organizations to call Trump's lies what they are: lies. According to Sanders, these lies are dangerous. The Vermont Senator wrote in his Medium post that Trump's lie about voter fraud, for example, "intentionally opens the floodgates for an increase in voter supression." According to Sanders, Trump's lies damage the country's credibility, which could become an issue if there is ever a global crisis.


Whether or not Trump is lying intentionally or not, as Sanders tweeted, there are only two explanations for Trump's behavior.