Attempting to make sense of President Donald Trump’s flurry of lies this week — particularly with regard to what he has called “Spygate” — MSNBC host Craig Melvin invited a research psychologist to explain the president’s descent into lying almost all of the time.
Melvin kicked off the topic by noting, “A recent CBS poll shows 53 percent, a majority of Americans, believe the Russia investigation is politically motivated; that’s up from 48 percent in December. Why? It could very well come down to one thing: President Trump’s lies – the sheer number and frequency of them. Researchers have taken a look in the Washington Post’s fact checker on President Trump and found the president is now lying more often. He averaged 4.9 falsehoods per day in his first days in the oval office and now 9 lies per day.”
The MSNBC host then turned to Tali Sharot, an associate professor of cognitive neurosciences at University College London, and posed the question: “Why an uptick in the president’s lies?”
“We don’t know specifically about why there’s an escalation in the president’s lies,” Sharot began. “It could be many reasons — maybe certain lies covered up with more and more lies, maybe falsehoods repeated so many times they are considered to be true, which makes them repeated more.”
“Our research suggests that there might be another explanation — an explanation which is quite intriguing,” she continued. “Research done in our lab, not on the president, suggests that the emotional response that people have to their own lies is reduced every time they lie. Now they don’t have that negative arousal that comes with lying so there is nothing carving their dishonesty, and so dishonesty just escalates over time.”
Describing clinical trials she conducted, Sharot used an analogy to describe Trump’s explosion of lying.
“I think the way to think about it is, it’s a bit like perfume,” she elaborated. “You buy a new perfume, you put it on and it smells quite strongly. Over time you put it again and again and after a while you can’t smell it anymore because you have adapted — you really need to apply it more liberally in order to smell.”
“So your own dishonesty, repeated dishonesty, is a bit like perfume that you just adjust to over time and you can’t adjust to it anymore,” she concluded.
Watch the video below via MSNBC:
Trump teases he may not have a peaceful transfer of power if he loses
President Donald Trump was aghast when he was asked in the presidential debates if he would agree to a peaceful transfer of power.
The moment in the debate came when he dodged the question for weeks, refusing to agree to the long-standing tradition of presidents handing over the reins to the next leader.
"Well, we'll have to see what happens," Trump told reporters during a White House news conference. "You know that."
After weeks of bad press about it, Trump said he would agree to it.
"They spied heavily on my campaign and they tried to take down a duly elected sitting president, and then they talk about 'will you accept a peaceful transfer?' And the answer is, yes, I will, but I want it to be an honest election and so does everybody else," Trump said, adding, "When I see thousands of ballots dumped in a garbage can and they happen to have my name on it, I'm not happy about it."
‘Jarring’: PA Trump fans attack polls making so much noise poll workers couldn’t read instructions to voters
One Pennsylvania polling place fell under a full out attack on those standing in line to vote and trying to cast a ballot on Saturday.
In a Twitter thread, Behavioral Economist Alex Imas explained that while he was casting his ballot on the outskirts of Philadelphia County, PA Saturday, a parade of semis and other cars surrounded the polling place, laying on their horns.
"I arrived just as polling place opened. Short line. Thought I'd be in and out in 20 minutes tops. Even w/ this short line, it took 2+ hours," he explained.
"Then the next Semi followed, then the 3rd," he continued. "A motorcade of semis, jeeps, and a few sedans drove down the road. All honking. All flying Trump 2020 flags. With people yelling out the window. This motorcade snaked around the polling place the entire time I was there (2 hrs)."
Trump gives 9/11 first responders back the $3.3 million he took from health fund: GOP Congressman
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Rep. Peter King (R-NY) announced that the 9/11 first responders would get the $3.3 million back that President Donald Trump stole from the program that helped them with medical treatments.
Those at the Twin Towers site in the days following the terrorist attacks breathed in a series of toxic gasses and asbestosis, leading them to have a slew of health problems years later. A fund was set up to ensure that those heroes were always taken care of for the rest of their lives as they suffered through their final years.
“It’s a great victory for really deserving people,” King told the New York Daily News Saturday. "I mean this just never should have happened, but we fought hard, we got it done."