Editorial: In first 137 days, 623 lies told

Here’s an example of how the Trump administration misleads the public, however briefly, on a particular story.
On the weekend television news shows, (NBC’s Meet the Press, Fox News, ABC’s This Week, and others), Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Scott Pruitt defended Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord by claiming that “since the fourth quarter of 2016, we’ve had almost 50,000 jobs created in the mining and coal sector alone. In fact, in the month of May, almost 7,000 jobs.”
Pruitt’s comment was meant to bolster Trump’s claim that the Paris climate accord has cost America jobs and that by revoking it, Trump would restore jobs back to the coal sector.
Pruitt’s comment is a made-for-TV sound bite that appeals to unquestioning Trump supporters, but doesn’t pass the smell test a few moments later. (Newspaper reporters would have enough time to fact-check such comments before going to print, so these sorts of things are typically spread via broadcast news.) For starters, Trump just pulled the nation out of the Paris climate agreement; the process to withdrawal from the agreement is purposely long and won’t take effect for another three-to-four years. On top of that, Trump and Pruitt are citing job growth in the coal industry dating back to last October (when President Obama was still in office.) So, two things: 1) none of the job growth in mining or coal jobs could be attributed to Trump’s action to pull out of the Paris agreement, and 2) half of the time period they cited was during Obama’s presidency. (Amazing that the liberal media still broadcast such news, even though they had to know it was wrong just moments after Pruitt made his comments.)
But the real lie was in Pruitt’s use of just-released labor statistics, which he cited to give his claim validity. He cited statistics that included mining and coal jobs, blending the two but not making any distinction. In fact, those same labor statistics show that only 1,000 coal jobs have been added since Trump became president in January (the four months until now), compared to 1,400 coal jobs added in the last four months of President Obama’s presidency. 
The other jobs Pruitt referred to came in mining, or support of mining, which were related to oil and gas industry jobs, particularly natural gas — because gas prices have dropped below coal and made it cheaper to use natural gas. The loss of coal-related jobs has always been market related, not just that tougher environmental standards have made it more difficult for that industry. (For the complete accounting of the labor statistics Pruitt cited, go to http://tinyurl.com/yb4fkdze.)
Pruitt earned four Pinocchio’s from the Washington Post for his claim, the highest awarded for stretching the truth (or telling a lie) to purposely deceive the public. That’s troubling at this stage in Trump’s presidency because a clear pattern of lying to deceive the public has been firmly established. The Post reports that in Trump’s first 137 days in office, Trump has made 623 false or misleading claims — an average of not quite 5 lies each day. 
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But when lies are the capital you trade in, the value of your stock is bound to decline precipitously after the public has had enough. 

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