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Mr Trump has long deployed what he described in his first book, "The Art of the Deal," as "truthful hyperbole," and others might call lies.
It is "an innocent form of promotion," he wrote. It was a way of faking it till he made it for a businessman who decided early that success was measured in large numbers. he said he was a "winner," and metrics not his own were needles.
"The crowds, the ratings, the estimate of his wealth, the legitimacy of his presidential victory all are intrinsic to being synonymous with success," said Sam Nunberg, a longtime aide to Mr. Trump who worked for him early in his campaign.
But admitting he was wrong is almost never in Mr. Trump's playbook.