On June 6, Donald Ziegler penned a letter painting President Trump as a compulsive liar. He wrote, “He lies about big things. He lies about little things. He lies when lying about other lies.”

On June 12, Steven DeGray wrote supporting our president suggesting we all lie to some extent and Trump’s lies aren’t spectacular. He said, “…or that his ‘lies’ are worse than the average run of the mill, like most of us not born angels.”

If Mr. Ziegler, Mr. DeGray or I bend the truth when expressing our opinions, we only injure our own reputations. When the president is dishonest, America is harmed. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every violation of the truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.”

CNN fact checkers report that in the six weeks from July 8 to Aug. 18, Trump lied 328 times. The Washington Post reports Trump has made false claims or misrepresentations 12,000 times during his presidency.

Smokey Shott wrote an editorial on Aug. 13 about the First Amendment and wrongly quoted one of the Democratic candidates for president. A columnist writing about the First Amendment should perform thorough research. He realized his mistake and the following week, Aug. 20, submitted a correction saying the quote was found in two of his sources but was false. We now understand that Mr. Shott’s sources may pander in propaganda and lies. M. Muggeridge said, “People don’t believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.”

This willingness to believe and report a false narrative is confirmed the very next week, Aug. 27, when Mr. Shott wrote about Trump and his Russian ties. “But, alas, it was to no avail, as Russia’s interference in the 2016 election turned out to be significant, but to little effect, and the hoped-for connection between Russia and Trump was a nothing burger. Multiple investigations did not prove Trump was a Russian agent …or any of the other allegations…”

Mueller’s testimony indicated that there was no way to measure the benefit to Trump by Russian interference in the 2016 election that was “sweeping and systematic” and dangerous to future elections. Trump illegally continued to negotiate a Moscow Trump Tower project with Russia during his presidential campaign; Trump Jr. took a Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Vesenlnitskaya hoping to get dirt on Clinton; and Trump obstructed justice many times during the Mueller investigation, all documented. Trump’s lawyers wisely prevented him from testifying because he lies frequently.

The reason it is a “nothing burger” is because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remembers the failed impeachment of Bill Clinton after he lied, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” What’s worse is Clinton used his position of power to seduce a young intern (Monica Lewinsky) and it did not matter to the majority Democrats in the Senate. Because currently the Senate is controlled by Republicans, Pelosi is protecting her party and betraying her constitutional duty to impeach Trump.

Finley Dunne wrote, “A lie with a purpose is one of the worst kind, and the most profitable.” Trump recently lied and said Chinese representatives had phoned negotiators and wanted to restart trade talks. China denies the call was made. Our president misled the world, helped himself politically, and manipulated the stock market with this purposeful lie. If any other American had done this jail would be imminent. Ask Martha Stewart.

Mr. DeGray is right; many tell insignificant lies usually to protect people’s feelings. Mr. Ziegler is correct, Trump is a compulsive liar. I say Trump’s lies are not “run of the mill.” Follow Ronald Reagan’s advice, “Trust but verify.” Don’t use Mr. Shott’s sources for verification.

Don V. Hylton

Bluefield, Va.

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