Trump tells 'increasingly extreme lies' to make followers prove their devotion: authoritarian expert
President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Phoenix, photo by Gage Skidmore.

Former President Donald Trump told a number of falsehoods at his CNN town hall this week, ranging from false claims about the 2020 presidential election being "stolen," to fibs about the size of the wall he constructed during his presidency along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Brian Klaas, an Associate Professor in Global Politics at University College London appeared on Aaron Rupar's podcast this week and explained why Trump's lies have seemingly grown even more brazen over the last three years since leaving the White House.

Specifically, he said that Trump's exponentially more brazen lying was designed to test his followers' devotion to him and to separate out those who are not true believers.

"You set up a worldview in which the true believers are sort of set up against, or pitted against, the fair-weather fans," he said. "And the way that your separate them out is by [telling] increasingly extreme lies."

READ MORE: Ex-Trump aide says former president hurt by CNN's town hall: America 'saw he’s a ranting lunatic'

As an example, he pointed to the way that people who bought into Trump's false claim that he had a larger inauguration crowd than former President Barack Obama were then susceptible to buying even more outlandish claims, such as those made by the QAnon conspiracy theory movement about Democrats harvesting mole children for their adrenochrome.

Klaas notes that buying into such beliefs also has major social costs for the people who take the plunge, as they can result in getting shunned by friends and family.

However, this only solidifies the bond that the true believers feel toward both one another and Trump as their traditional social circles slowly vanish.

"Because they've already bought into so many lies... the breaking point becomes higher," he said.

Listen to the podcast below or at this link.