Counting Trump's lies: Daniel Dale's relentless quest to fact-check the president
Dale has documented 5,276 false statements since Trump's inauguration
What was the moment when you decided that you needed to publicly fact-check Donald Trump?
It was September 2016 ... and there was a day when I just became frustrated that Trump was saying so many things that weren't true, and this wasn't being treated really as an important story.
Reporters were sometimes fact-checking him on Twitter, but if you were to read their story online or [in the] next day's paper or watch the news, people weren't being told that one candidate in this race was being overwhelmingly, serially, frequently dishonest.
So I thought I'd just do it informally, take a little screenshot, make a list on Twitter, and the response was just so big. I had no idea that there would be a reception like this."The thing with Trump is that he says some of these things so many times that once you fact check it five or 10 times, you just know it."
But Trump — and Rob Ford before him — doesn't care when he's caught in a lie. There's some evidence that his supporters don't care. And the people who don't like him already think he's lying all the time anyway, so what do you think you're achieving by documenting all of them?
Those are fair points and I think it's hard to know with any certainty what I am achieving.
I'd say a couple of things: One, I think we can be overly fixated on the existence of his base. People will say, well 35-40 per cent of people still love him, so facts don't matter. Well, a larger percentage of people don't love him. That's shown in every poll.
So if that's how we're judging, there is a larger constituency for facts than non-facts, about the people who already think he's a liar. They may generally think he's a liar, but they may not know how they're being deceived on a particular subject, whether it's NAFTA or immigration or tariffs on China.
People are not experts on everything, and a lot of people simply want the information. It's not just being told Trump is a liar, it's ... how can I educate readers so that they're better informed on a particular matter.