Especially worrisome, to many, is Trump’s seeming lack of desire to distinguish myth from fact.
“Donald Trump, like millions of Americans, is susceptible to conspiracy theories,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University. “He tends to just pick things up from right-wing talk radio and the alt-right if it fits his agenda of the day.”
“We’ve never had a president operate like this. The long-term damage is you’re going to get just ravaged in history,” Brinkley added.
But for many, especially on the right, Trump’s and the White House’s claims carry weight, whether backed up by evidence or not.
Trump “essentially has a media company of his own, largely on Twitter, and what he needs to do, or wants to do, is get people to follow him and listen to what he says and ‘believe me and not them,’” said Tyler. “He has to get his audience, his base, to mistrust the media and he becomes, ultimately, their media source.”