Anna Sheffer
Updated March 15, 2018
Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

We’ve heard President Donald Trump lie countless times since he began his campaign in 2016. He’s made false claims about his approval ratings. He routinely tells his opponents they’re wrong without citing any evidence. And he even lied about how many people viewed his State of the Union Address. But even though his lies are common knowledge, Trump himself has never admitted that he’s spreading misinformation — until now. Yesterday, March 14th, the president admitted that he lied to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In an audio recording of a Trump fundraising event in Missouri obtained by the Washington Post and Politico, the president bragged that he told Trudeau the United States has a trade deficit with Canada, even though that’s not true. The Canadian leader even told Trump that there was no deficit, but Trump dismissed him without evidence. And Trump confessed that he claimed Trudeau was wrong without any evidence.

The reason he said Trudeau was wrong? Trump said, “we’re so stupid…And I thought they were smart.” The president then went on to state that he had one of his staff members confirm what Trudeau said and later admitted to Trudeau that he was wrong.

But today, March 15th, the day after Trump acknowledged his lie to Trudeau, he reiterated the same claim on Twitter.

According to the United States Office of Trade Representative, the U.S. actually had a trade surplus with Canada in 2016, meaning it exported more goods and services to Canada than it imported from the country. But some sources report that the U.S. does have a deficit with Canada, so the issue is less clear-cut than it seems. Regardless, according to the New York Times, many economists do not share Trump’s concern over trade deficits.

While it comes as no surprised that Trump lied to Trudeau, the president’s most recent confession has grave implications. Trump declared that he didn’t know if Trudeau was right; he simply didn’t like what the prime minister said, and therefore, said it was “wrong.” He’s used this line of defense before — who could forget him shouting “wrong” over Hillary Clinton during the presidential debates? But that doesn’t change the fact that whenever our president makes wild declarations without backing them up, the country’s reputation suffers. We need our president to do better.