Throughout the week, Trump justified border policies separating immigrant children from their parents. Without his tough approach, the president said, millions of illegal immigrants would pour into the U.S. and unleash a crime wave.
He invoked the horrors of MS-13 gang members, boasting his administration was deporting them "by the thousands." He closed the week alongside survivors of people killed by illegal immigrants.
That painted a false picture. Illegal immigration across the southern border has been declining for more than a decade. Illegal immigrants, studies show, commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans. MS-13 has roughly 10,000 US members, and authorities told Politifact roughly 1,200 were arrested between Oct. 2016 and the end of 2017.
The president's aides and critics have offered multiple explanations for his misstatements.
He's new to politics, unconventional and sometimes ill-informed. He exaggerates for salesmanship and negotiation – as Trump himself has acknowledged. He is, as GOP Sen. Ted Cruz once charged, a "pathological liar."
Tony Schwartz, who got to know Trump as co-author of their 1987 best-seller Art of the Deal, offers a different explanation. He says narcissism warps Trump's perception of reality about himself and others.
"Every move he makes is a response to this distorted inner world he lives in," Schwartz told me. That condition, he warns, is "getting progressively worse."