President Donald Trump admitted at the weekend that the true purpose of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his senior campaign team and a group of Russians was to obtain actionable information on Hillary Clinton. The admission is a landmark in Trump’s awkward struggle to contain the Russia scandal. But it may also signal a landmark defeat in Trump’s larger battle against truth. The essential tool of democratic politics is speech. As Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Kathleen Hall Jamieson wrote in "Deeds Done in Words," their study of US presidential rhetoric, "Public communication is the medium through which the national fabric is woven." Trump’s furious assault on truth claws at that fabric daily. But it has yet to shred it. When he is forced to retreat from falsehoods — such as the series of lies that he and his aides told about the Trump Tower meeting — it’s a victory for truth and for democratic institutions. While Trump’s unprecedented dishonesty is well-documented — see Susan Glass...

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