By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Each year at this time, Politifact, the Pulitzer-prize winning fact-checking website, chooses a “lie of the year.”

Past “winners” include exaggerations about the Ebola virus in 2014, and President Obama’s 2013 claim that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

And after polling their readers, the editors of Politifact have chosen President Trump’s repeated assertion that Russian meddling in our political process is a “made-up story” and a “hoax.”

putin trump Keller @ Large: The Tragedy Of The New Lie Of The Year

President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on July 7, 2017. (Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The website gave these claims a rating of “pants on fire” when Mr. Trump first made them, and they say it deserves “lie of the year” status because “when the commander-in-chief refuses to acknowledge a threat to U.S. democracy, it makes it all the more difficult to address the problem.”

Keep in mind, Politifact isn’t quarreling with the president’s denial that Russian interference tipped the election to him or that he colluded with the Russians in their meddling. They note there is still no hard evidence of either claim.

But it’s his refusal to accept what the intelligence community, lawmakers of both parties, and the tech community accept – that the Russians did try to interfere, that troubles not just Politifact, but also former NATO ambassador Nicholas Burns.

“I’ve worked for both parties. It’s inconceivable to me that any of President Trump’s predecessors would deny the gravity of such an open attack on our democratic system,” Burns said recently.

There is no good reason for the president to do that. It arouses far more suspicion than it dispels.

But he did do it, and continues to.

Go figure.

Share your take via email at, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

Comments (2)
  1. Steve Stein says:

    “There is no good reason for the president to do that. It arouses far more suspicion than it dispels.”

    There is EVERY reason for the president to do that. It arouses far more suspicion than it dispels. Trump cannot stand honest reporting of his disastrous presidency. This is his defense mechanism, and his followers eat it up.

  2. Ok, the Russians tried to interfere with our elections. We got that.

    But here’s your problem, Jon…What effect did their interference really have? As far as you in the media have managed to turn up, not a whole hell of a lot.

    Complicating, this, of course, is Obama’s clumsy attempt to interfere with the Russians’ elections and his pathetic attempt to unseat Netanyahu in Israel.

    That you haven’t been able to prove any collusion by Trump or his campaign with the Russian intervention is another fact that you seem to be sweeping under the rug.

    Good work, Jon. Good work.

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