Under oath, Trump is confronted with his ‘hoax’ hyperbole

Over the past decade, Donald Trump has alleged or amplified the idea that the following things are “hoaxes”: Barack Obama’s presidency, global warming, a CNN story about the

Secret Service, accusations of sexual assault against him in 2016, allegations that his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia, the hacking of the Democratic National Committee by

Russia, Russian interference in the 2016 election, the dossier of reports compiled by Christopher Steele, allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, the Ukraine

impeachment probe, Russia’s support for his candidacy, Russians offering a bounty on killing U.S. troops, a story about NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, a funding gap at the Postal

Service, claims he disparaged military dead, mail ballots, the election, a former staffer’s description of his administration, claims about his tax payments and Democratic

responses to the pandemic. These charges have often been rebutted either in immediate response to Trump’s comments or, as in the case of his claims about the

investigation into Russian interference, repeatedly and in a multitude of contexts. But Trump nonetheless continues to both present many of these situations as “hoaxes” and to

classify various other things using the same word — to the point that it’s impossible to take such claims seriously. In the abstract, Trump’s general lack of credibility

on what may or may not be a hoax is not terribly important. But in the context of a lawsuit centered on allegations that he sexually assaulted author E. Jean Carroll several

decades ago, Carroll’s lawyers found it useful to point out that Trump simply says everything is a hoax, even when he obviously doesn’t think it is.