President Trump drew the biggest Inaugural crowd in history — except he didn’t. President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign — except there’s no evidence that he did. Trump fired FBI director James Comey because the deputy attorney general concluded he had mishandled the Hillary Clinton email investigation — except now the president says it was his decision alone and cites the Russia investigation as one of the reasons.
On issues big and small, substantive and cosmetic, the Trump White House has failed to give accurate accounts of what happened until photographs, records, reporting and, in some cases, the president's own words provide a new version of the facts. Even when confronted with evidence, the president and his spokespeople don’t always acknowledge the need to correct a falsehood.
This doesn’t seem to bother Trump.
“It is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!” he tweeted Friday with apparent good cheer, then mused about canceling the daily press briefing. Later, press secretary Sean Spicer didn't make it clear whether the president was serious or joking about upending a fixture of White House operations since the Harding administration, and he wouldn't expand on a separate tweet from Trump suggesting that he might have recorded his conversation with Comey.
Concerned or not, Trump now faces the biggest credibility gap of any president since at least Richard Nixon during Watergate (a scandal that forced his resignation) or Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War (a spiraling controversy that prompted him not to seek a second full term).