The Atlantic

Who Can Tell the Emperor When He Has No Clothes?

Donald Trump flaunted his elastic conception of truth in an interview with Time—but he may yet learn that facts are stubborn things.
Source: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

How can anyone convince the most powerful man in the world of something he does not wish to believe?

It’s not an idle question. In a remarkable interview with Time’s Michael Scherer, President Trump flaunted his elastic relationship with truth. Instead of weighing evidence, he explained, he prefers to trust his gut. “I’m a very instinctual person,” he said, “but my instinct turns out to be right.”

Trump unrepentantly rehearsed his litany of false or unsubstantiated claims with Scherer. Was Ted Cruz’s father linked to Lee Harvey Oswald?  “Why do you say that I have to apologize? I’m just quoting the newspaper.” (The newspaper in question is

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min read
The Best Athlete Americans Have Never Heard Of
American pro athletes face pressure to stick to sports. Australia’s David Pocock has a different idea.
The Atlantic3 min read
Alone In The Dark In The Bay Area
Earlier this week, Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents to mitigate the risk of fires. The city of Berkeley put out some vital information for those who might be affected: “If you are power-dependent for med
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
The NBA-China Disaster Is a Stress Test for Capitalism
On August 19, the definition of a company in America changed. The Business Roundtable, a U.S. lobbying group that represents nearly 200 companies, issued a statement proclaiming that the “purpose” of a business in 2019 was no longer to look out merel