Trump on lying: “Billy, look, look — you just tell them, and they believe it. That’s it. You just tell them, and they believe it.”

November 1st, 2018 by , Clean Technica

Let’s start off with a few things everyone can agree on (I think). Donald Trump frequently attacks investigators — at the FBI, in Robert Mueller’s special Department of Justice investigation team, and in the media. He has also routinely disagreed with confirmed climate science and has repeatedly claimed it’s a Chinese climate hoax (which, basically, doesn’t make any sense at all and is confusing since there’s no way thousands of climate scientists and editors at scientific journals around the world are engaging in a Chinese conspiracy).

Trump has also concluded somehow that asbestos is not harmful (it is deadly), Obama was not born in the United States (he was), and 3–5 million people voted illegally in 2016, mostly for Hillary Clinton (which is a funny coincidence since Clinton had ~3 million more votes than Trump nationally).

Chart by the New York Times, via Pensito Review

Overall, Trump apparently lies many times a day and has made several thousand false or misleading claims publicly as president of the United States. For years — decades, actually — he has personally promoted or recommended lying for various purposes, and his whole reputation as a successful businessman is built on several decades of lies — lies about how many millions of dollars his father gave him, lies about his personal worth, lies about how he’s using his money, and lies about how many times his businesses went bankrupt.

I think one of the best comments on Donald Trump’s modus operandi comes from Billy Bush in the following clip.

The specific line starts at 4:39 into the video. Billy Bush tells a story about one particular show in which Trump said falsely for the umpteenth time that “The Apprentice” was the #1 rated show on television. Billy Bush had heard this repeatedly from Trump even though he knew it wasn’t true and he had gotten a bit tired of it. He noted to Trump that the show hadn’t been #1 for something like 5 years — not in any category and not in any demographic. Trump made up some ridiculous stat on camera to defend the statement, but then off camera told Billy Bush something like, “Billy, look, look — you just tell them, and they believe it. That’s it. You just tell them, and they believe it.”

That’s the story of Donald Trump — and one of those instances where he admits that he outright lies, constantly. It’s not just that he’s uninformed or can’t figure out nuanced, complex situations — even if both of those things are often true. It’s not that his memory failed him on that topic (and many others). No, he actually decides to lie on countless occasions because it makes him look better.

Getting back to the topic of this story, the title asks why Trump attacks and lies about science, facts, cleantech, and investigators. There can be multiple explanations for each of these and for all of them. Let’s dive into them one by one.

Chart via Tesla

The scientific findings Trump often lies about are specifically facts that inconvenience him in some way. Trump has friends and supporters in the fossil fuel industries who benefit in the short term from his attacks on climate science (no one really benefits in the long term), and he appears to have no notable connections to people in cleantech industries. Additionally, being forced to make his buildings more efficient and safer (for example, free of asbestos) costs more up front. Even if that benefits his tenants and thus his reputation in the long term, Trump is all about the low upfront costs (paying as little as possible or even nothing) and has long been focused on superficial appearance rather than deep quality (his buildings are known for this — cheap materials underneath fancy surfaces). Furthermore, environmental regulations have surely interfered with some of his projects for years, so he has likely developed a bias against anything “green.”

Additionally, it appears that Trump just doesn’t like the looks of wind turbines and has long had the hunch that if they can be seen from his properties, his property values will go down (something that has not proven true of his properties or other real estate generally). Given that wind power is a top solution to global warming and air pollution, he is against the conclusive science on these topics and is generally opposed to any actions to clean our air, clean our water, improve our collective health, and stop global warming.

How about facts in general? Why is Trump so opposed to established facts of various kinds.

Millions of people have bought into Donald Trump’s bluffery, puffery, and self-praise. It is specifically why they have supported him through thick and thin. They bought the fake portrait of him as a highly successful and smart businessman, a portrait that was pushed out through a reality TV show — not a documentary, but fake reality. It is highly ironic that a fake success story and decades of cheating have led people to trust a career con man and distrust genuine journalists and investigators.