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In the spirit of everything old is new again, a Facebooker called Hostile Snowflakes posted a meme Jan. 13 that falsely quotes President Donald Trump. The meme purports to draw from Trump’s book The Art of the Deal.
"You tell people a lie three times, they will believe anything," it says. "You tell people what they want to hear, play to their fantasies, and then you close the deal."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
We looked through The Art of the Deal. Those words never appear. The word "believe" occurs 38 times.
But the part about lying isn’t there.
On the other hand, when it comes to promotion, Trump did write in the book that he plays to people’s fantasies.
"People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do," he wrote. "That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion."
Three decades before he became president, Trump also described how he played the press. The media, he said, is always hungry for a story, and "the more sensational, the better."
"If you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you," Trump said.
So the book is still relevant today, but not in the way the meme says.
The meme comes from New Century Times, a left-leaning news aggregation site that we’ve rated False before. The fact-checking site Snopes called out this meme in May 2016, but obviously, the point needs to be repeated.
This is False.
Hostile Snowflakes, Trump lying meme, Jan. 13, 2019
Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal, 1987
Snopes, Three Times a Liar?, May 22, 2016
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