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Our view: Lies make us weary of the whole, darn lot

Above all else, dishonesty has made us weary of Washington and the way our system currently works. Exactly who can we believe anymore?

The latest is the alleged comment by President Trump, who last week evidently referred to several countries—including Haiti, El Salvador and a few from Africa—as "s-hole" nations.

Although we refrain from printing it here, readers by now know exactly the word that was used. Unfortunately, that word has jumped so high up the national vernacular that we now see it being used everywhere, including on TV and even in the USA Today section of this newspaper last week.

As most everyone knows, the president supposedly said the comment during a meeting about immigration.

"Why are we having all these people from s-hole countries coming here?" he reportedly said.

He then allegedly suggested pursuing more immigrants of Norwegian descent.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said the president definitely used the term during the meeting. Two Republicans in attendance—Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas—contend they heard no such thing. Both Cotton and Perdue have a reputation of being great supporters of the president.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen doesn't recall Trump "using that exact phrase."

But Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Durbin's account of the meeting is accurate.

So who's lying? The president (who is accused of other untruthful comments)? His employee (Nielsen)? His staunch supporters (Perdue and Cotton)? The one Democrat in the room (Durbin)? Or the longtime Republican senator and former Air Force colonel (Graham)?

Obviously, somebody is having trouble with the truth.

We try hard in this space to commend the president's policies that we feel genuinely may be good of the country. We agreed with the Republican- and Trump-backed tax reform plan. We have cheered the president's efforts to push oil and business. We know the president is popular in North Dakota, and therefore with many of our readers.

Meanwhile, we also have used this space to decry the president's incessant attacks on the media and the First Amendment.

But outright lying is something we cannot condone, and in the case of the "s-hole" comment, someone is outright lying. Unfortunately, the president is gaining a reputation for dishonest comments, and it eats away at his credibility.

Likewise, it is eating away our patience with the whole darn lot of them. We don't believe all politicians are liars; many are good and honest public servants. But the bad apples are spoiling the political barrel.

And, by the way, the S-word suddenly seems entrenched in journalism. Yet it wasn't long ago that we wouldn't even print the more profane versions of "darn" and "heck."

We want to believe all politicians are above lies, profanity and petty bickering. Today, we're not convinced.