Lying Quotes

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Quote Author Cited
A liar is always lavish of oaths. Pierre Corneille
The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way. Samuel Butler
Society can exist only on the basis that there is some amount of polished lying and that no one says exactly what he thinks. Lin Yutang
All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies. John Arbuthnot
So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge. Marcus Tullius Cicero
It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. Noel Coward
People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election. Otto von Bismarck
The public weal requires that men should betray, and lie, and massacre. Michel de Montaigne
There is no hope even that woman, with her right to vote, will ever purify politics. Emma Goldman
Using vague, slippery or just meaningless language is not the same as lying: it's not intended to deceive so much as to preserve options, buy time, distance oneself from others, or just to sound like you're saying something instead of nothing. Barton Swaim
Bill Clinton lied, but nobody died. Madeleine Albright
The President must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate. He is to regulate all intercourse with foreign powers, and it is his duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives. If it should appear that he has not given them full information, but has concealed important intelligence which he ought to have communicated, and by that means induced them to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them, — in this case, I ask whether, upon an impeachment for a misdemeanor upon such an account, the Senate would probably favor him. James Iredell
When a prosecutor makes a deal with someone and gives him immunity if he testifies, the prosecutor usually gets the testimony he wants. Ted Poe
In Washington the politicians lie on the record and tell the truth off the record. In the Middle East, it’s the opposite. They lie off the record, and tell the truth on the record. Thomas Friedman
Nothing could be a more serious violation of public trust than to consciously make a war based on false claims. Wesley Clark
The precise correlation between the information you communicated, and the facts insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated is such as to cause epistemological problems, of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear. Jonathan Lynn; Antony Jay
As a major political weapon, however, complex fabrication has developed organically among the Arabs in the two generations of the struggle for Palestine …. it is a well-known part of the character of Arab fantasy that the inventor of a story comes to believe it himself. Shmuel Katz
Know that a lie is not haram [wrong] in itself, but only because the evil conclusions to which it leads the hearer, making him believe something that is not really the case.... If a lie is the only way of obtaining a good result, it is permissible. . . . We must lie when truth leads to unpleasant results. Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazzali
Lying is a widespread habit among the Arabs and they have a low idea of truth. . . . The Arab has no scruples about lying if by it he obtains his objective.... He is more interested in feeling than facts, in conveying an impression than in giving a report. Sania Hamady
I am a gentleman. I live by robbing the poor. George Bernard Shaw
Liberals are about to become the last people to figure out that Arabs lie. Ann Coulter
To censure princes is perilous, and to praise them is lying. Italian Proverb
No one is ever convicted or cleared just on a polygraph test Allen Welsh Dulles
We have before us in the White House … a criminal—known to be armed and dangerous. Lewis H. Lapham
There can hardly be a more grave act imaginable than to dupe a democracy into going to war, but this is what Bush has done. Matthew Rothschild
A President can commit no more serious crime against our democracy than lying to Congress and the American people to get them to support a military action or war. Elizabeth Holtzman
You are allowed to lie for jihad. You are allowed to use any technique in order to defeat your enemy. Zacarias Moussaoui
Whoever attacks the popular falsehoods of his time will find that a lie defends itself by telling other lies. Nothing is so prolific, nothing can so multiply itself, nothing can lay and hatch as many eggs, as a good, healthy, lie. Robert G. Ingersoll
Let him say what is true, let him say what is pleasing, let him utter no disagreeable truth, and let him utter no agreeable falsehood; that is the eternal law. Manu
Ma! Ma! Where's my pa? Gone to the White House, Ha! Ha! Ha! Blaine, Blaine, James J. Blaine, The continental liar from the State of Maine, Burn this letter. Anonymous
Only lie about the future. Anonymous
Two Faces Are Better Than One Anonymous
Every witness withholds information from the Congress. Elliott Abrams
Questions were weapons and answers were shields. Elliott Abrams
The CIA claims that secrecy is necessary to hide what it's doing from enemies of the United States ... the real reason for secrecy is to hide what the CIA is doing from the American people. Philip Agee
To plunder, to lie, to show your ass, are the three essentials for climbing high. Aristophanes
It contains a misleading impression, not a lie. I was being economical with the truth. Robert Temple Armstrong
One to mislead the public, another to mislead the Cabinet, and the third to mislead itself. Herbert Henry Asquith
He spent his whole life in plastering together the true and the false and therefrom extracting the plausible. Stanley Baldwin
Lying is one of the techniques of politicians .... They are economical with the truth. Tony Banks
Saying one is adopting one's policies to changing circumstances is a nice way of saying "I lied. Tony Banks
If you want to convince somebody, make up a quote and attribute it to some renowned authority …. People are incredibly gullible. Silvio Berlusconi
Diplomacy: The patriotic art of lying for one's country. Ambrose Bierce
If you do not know how to lie, cheat and steal, turn your attention to politics and learn. Josh Billings
Even for a President who is not a professional actor, misrepresentation is a part of the job. Commentators who do not bear this in mind are like critics in the audience shouting, “Tell us what you really think” at an actor who is trying to bring off his drama. Roy Blount, Jr.
Truth telling in politics is the mark of an inexperienced politician. Samuel G. Blythe
The political elite has never told the truth. Jens-Peter Bonde
When [Jimmy] Carter ran for President, he made many promises to people in big cities.... I never believed a word he said, and therefore did not believe he was lying. Jimmy Breslin
For falsification to constitute an offence there must be proof of "intent to deceive." This is a legally prescribed element of the offence and is negated when the report is submitted in conformity with orders from a higher authority in possession of the true facts. George S. Brown
[He was] Resolved to die in the last dyke of prevarication. Edmund Burke
Twenty five years in Washington has taught me never to tell a lie to a reporter. Joseph A. Califano Jr.
As of right now, I have two votes, mine and Jimmy's. I'm sure of Jimmy because he said he is gonna vote for me and Jimmy never tells a lie. Billy Carter
If all the things the Republicans are saying about me are true, I wouldn't vote for myself either. Jimmy Carter
I'll never tell a lie. I'll never make a misleading statement. Jimmy Carter
Unfortunately in this country we now have a demagogue ... one that is reckless with the truth. Jimmy Carter
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle or a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven, than for a politician to lay aside disguise. James Caulfield, 1st Earl of Charlemont
Everything would have been all right if Hitler hadn't lied to me. Neville Chamberlain
Secrecy in government, in the public mind, becomes synonymous with deception in government. Lawton M. Chiles Jr.
In wartime, truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies. Winston Churchill
All men prefer a false promise to a flat refusal. Quintus Tullius Cicero
If you make a promise, the thing is still uncertain and depends on a future day .. but if you refuse, you alienate people to a certainty and immediately. Quintus Tullius Cicero
When you're on the side of the angels, it's easier to stretch the truth. Earl Clements
One of the great strengths of the Republicans is that they have no guilt and no shame. They’ll say anything. Bill Clinton
Propaganda is that branch of the art of lying which consists in nearly deceiving your friends without quite deceiving your enemies. Francis Cornford
Frank and explicit – that is the right line to take when you want to conceal your own mind and to confuse the minds of others. Benjamin Disraeli
Politics. The art of governing mankind by deceiving them. Isaac D'Israeli
Groups like ours are potentially dangerous to the political process ... A group like ours could lie through its teeth and the candidate it helps stays clean. John Terry Dolan
Stop lying about my record. Bob Dole
I doubt he knows himself when he’s not telling the truth. John D. Ehrlichman
I’ll lie as much as the next guy when my country’s interests are involved—if I have a chance of being believed.. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Our citizens do not know whom to believe, and many of them have concluded that all the processes of government have become so compromised that honest government has been rendered impossible. Samuel J. Ervin Jr.
I am pissed off! Barry Goldwater
We can be lied to only so many times. The best thing that he [President Nixon] can do for the country is to get the hell out of the White House and get out this afternoon. Barry Goldwater
The President is suffering from nervous exhaustion….He needs to rest for a considerable time. Cary T. Grayson
Many people would rather have fine words and false hopes than the truth which is unacceptable. Edward Grey; Viscount Fallodon
Figures won’t lie but liars will figure. Charles Henry Grosvenor
Figures won't lie, but liars will figure. Charles Henry Grosvenor
Figures wont lie, but liars will figure. Charles Henry Grosvenor
It would not be wise for us to say we know what we don't know. Robert Gallucci
Sworn to no party, Of no sect am I; I won't keep quiet And I will not lie. William Fisher
Lying was a way of life. The solution to the problem is ultrasimple: tell the truth, no matter how painful. A. Ernest Fitzgerald
Let's face it, the thing was a fund-raising appeal and with a fund-raising appeal, you always fire for effect. You always exaggerate a bit. Daniel E. Flemming
So you're from the press? Well, your newspapers can all go to hell. You lied yesterday and you're getting ready to lie again today. Go climb down my back. Daniel Webster Hoan
Ronald Reagan is not a typical politician because he doesn't know how to lie, cheat, and steal. He's always had an agent for that. Bob Hope
The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying. Thomas Huxley
While they shriek for "freedom of the press" when there is no slightest threat to that freedom, they deny to citizens that freedom from the press to which the decencies of life entitle them. They misrepresent, they distort, they color, they blackguard, they lie. Harold L. Ickes
If you have to tell the truth about the fat content in a hamburger, why shouldn’t you have to tell the truth about another individual who is offering for public office. Jeanette Jamieson
Lies are dangerous but sometimes necessary when a country is in danger. Marcel Marceau
If they [political opponents] go around lying about your record, insulting your job performance, your wife and your patriotism, you ought to double up your fist and knock the crap out of them. Ed Martin
In friendships, you expect total trust; in business you expect some dishonesty. But in politics, you not only expect distortion as a way of life but accept it with pleasure. Jackie Mason
… a man steeped in falsehood … who had recourse to the lie whenever it suits his convenience …. He would sell his grandmother for any advantage. Joseph R. McCarthy
Not knowing the answer is better than consciously misleading. Michael D. McCurry
My instructions were, "You don't lie. You put your own interpretation on the truth. Robert McFarlane
Sometimes hyperbole and lying are not easily distinguishable [in politics]. Merle Miller
[Describing member of Congress:] 80 percent were hypocrites. 80 percent, liars. 80 percent, serious sinners.... There is always boozing and floozing. William Fishbait Miller
They can say that you are a liar, a cheat, a crackpot, and a licentious old man, and most politicians don't care. But if they say you can't win, you're through. Mike Monroney
A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. Hector Hugh Munro; Saki
There are times when lying is the most sacred of duties. Eugene Labiche
The genius of capitalism consists precisely in its lack of morality …. Deprive a capitalist of his God-given right to lie and cheat and steal, and the poor sap stands a better than even chance of becoming one of the abominable wards of the state. Lewis H. Lapham
We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth. Vladimir Lenin
When [U. S. Senator John] Pettit [of Indiana], in connection with his support of the Nebraska bill [on slavery], called the Declaration of Independence "a self-evident lie," he only did what consistency and candor require all other Nebraska men to do. Abraham Lincoln
Propaganda is that branch of lying which often deceives your friends without ever deceiving your enemies. Walter Lippmann
Tell them I lied. Earl Long
He [Lyndon Baines Johnson] lies, even when he doesn’t have to. Robert Kennedy
I've known the last half dozen budget directors and not one of them ever leveled with me. James J. Kilpatrick
It is perhaps being economical with the truth. Robert Temple Armstrong
Falsehood and delusion are allowed in no case whatsoever. But, as in the exercise of all the virtues, there is an economy of truth. Edmund Burke
The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie. Joseph A. Schumpeter
It is the oldest story in the coverage of Government: The failure to tell the truth. Robert U. Woodward
(Thomas Babington Macaulay's History of England was so full of errors of fact and interpretation that:) It is beyond our hopes to overtake Lord Macaulay.... We can only hope that Truth will follow swiftly enough to fasten the label "Liar" to his genteel coattails. Winston Churchill
We knew the old liar drank a lot, but now we know just how much: 'He begins the morning with a sherry, then has a bottle of Burgundy with lunch. He often has a glass of port after lunch, but always one after dinner. There is whiskey in the afternoon and Champagne with dinner. Then some more port, and a glass of Cognac. As the night goes on, a whiskey and soda...' Illustrierter Beobachter
He lied like an eyewitness. Anonymous
I’d love to say that politicians who lie should be indicted, but lying except under oath is not a crime—it’s a moral crime however. Andrew Paolo Napolitano
If you believe that their real intention is to kill you, it isn't unreasonable to believe that they would lie to you. Henry A. Kissinger
I can’t tell you what a sane, calm, civil, fun-loving society we would have. Take guns out of the possession, out of the hands of liberals, take their typewriters and their keyboards away from ‘em, don’t let ‘em anywhere near a gun, and control their speech. You would wipe out 90% of the crime, 85 to 95% of the hate, and a hundred percent of the lies from society. Rush Limbaugh
It seems that in the world of politics, lying is not such a big deal. Ali Ardashir Larijani
Who would have thought that it would someday be a crime to carry out the orders of the President of the United States? Richard Helms
Surely we don’t want the President to lie, we don’t want our senators to lie, we don’t want our congressmen to lie. But sometimes they do. James Hamilton
Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. George Orwell Blair
I think the inherent right of the Government to lie to save itself when facing a nuclear disaster is basic Arthur Sylvester
We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false William J. Casey
Americans are not world class liars. We are not as good as other nations at it. Our specialty is deceiving ourselves. David Ignatius
They have two tongues in one mouth, and two faces on one head so they can speak everybody’s language; they use everybody, deceive everybody. They deceive the Arabs under the guise of Islamic nuclear power, saying that they are defending Islam and Islamic countries. They milk America and Europe in the alliance against terrorism, and they have been deceiving … Muslims around the world in the name of Kashmiri jihad. But behind the curtain, they have been betraying everyone. Abdul Salam Zaeef
I am forced reluctantly to say that I had to listen to an orchestrated litany of lies Peter Thomas Mahon
I didn't lie. I only didn't elaborate on every detail of the truth. Ferenc Gyurcsany
There ought to be some form of fiction provided to the public other than that provided by Congress. Michael Crichton
I will be blunt: This program is breaking the law, and this President is breaking the law. Not only that, he is misleading the American people in his efforts to justify this program. Russ Feingold
Lying is particularly prevalent in democratic states, where leaders need the support of the citizenry in order to execute their policies. Joe Keohane
There have been incidents of sabotage and there have been 793 instances of signaling to submarines off shore John L. DeWitt
An untruth must be spoken, where need requires. For whether men lie, or say true, it is with one and the same object. Men lie, because they think to gain by deceiving others; and speak the truth, because they expect to get something by their true speaking, and to be trusted afterwards in more important matters. Thus, though their conduct is so opposite, the end of both is alike. If there were no gain to be got, your true-speaking man would tell untruths as much as your liar, and your liar would tell the truth as much as your true-speaking man. Darius I
He’s one of the few men in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides. Harry S Truman
Prime Ministers are wedded to the truth, but like other married couples they sometimes live apart. Hector Hugh Munro
Our government cannot function cloaked in secrecy. It cannot function unless officials tell the truth. Lee H. Hamilton
Not everybody is comfortable with the idea that politics is a guilty addiction. But it is. They are addicts, and they are guilty and they do lie and cheat and steal — like all junkies. Hunter S. Thompson
We may employ artifice to deceive a rival, anything against our enemies. Armand Jean du Plessis; Cardinal
Again and again, the early historians of capitalism have—one can hardly use a milder word—falsified history. Ludwig von Mises
You get so used to lying that after a while it’s hard to remember what the truth is. Philip Agee
The CIA … concealed its failures abroad, lying to Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. It told those lies to preserve its standing in Washington. Tim Weiner
[Allen Dulles] was not above misleading Congress or his colleagues or even his commander in chief. Tim Weiner
The reality often times does not match the rhetoric. The rhetoric is very easy if you keep the reality secret. Patrick Leahy
Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsified, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under Title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. Michael Oxley
You guys simply have to back off. The truth will create a public disaster and undo everything we are trying to accomplish out here. Robert William Komer
While the war is by no means over, my Soviet or Chinese counterpart's report must exhibit great concern over the Viet Cong's mounting problems and the steady improvement in the ability of both the South Vietnamese and the Americans to fight a people's war. William Colby
If they saw the enormity of it up front, they might decide they have a choice. They might say that the cost to the taxpayer is too high. The deficit has to look big enough to be important but not too big that it spoils everything. John Bowe
All governments lie, including our own—under Democrats and Republicans. Bill Moyers
It's an old Washington tradition to dodge and weave when you're under interrogation. William Colby
Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations …. A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well: internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit.... A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states. Vaclav Havel
Falsifiers of history do not safeguard history but imperil it. Vaclav Havel
The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust government statements. I had no idea until then that you could not rely on them. J. William Fulbright
The revolution of the proletariat was inevitable, good Marxists believed, but if so, why were they so eager to enlist us in their cause? If it was going to happen anyway, it was going to happen with or without our help. But of course the inevitability that Marxists believe in is one that depends on the growth of the movement and all its political action. There were Marxists working very hard to bring about the revolution, and it was comforting to them to believe that their success was guaranteed in the long run. And some of them, the only ones that were really dangerous, believed so firmly in the rightness of their cause that they believed it was permissible to lie and deceive in order to further it. They even taught this to their children, from infancy. These are the "red-diaper babies," children of hardline members of the Communist Party of America, and some of them can still be found infecting the atmosphere of political action in left-wing circles, to the extreme frustration and annoyance of honest socialists and others on the left. Daniel Dennett
Charlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership. There can be no mass movement without some deliberate misrepresentation of facts. Eric Hoffer
There has been a culture of misinformation among the intelligence leadership. Ron Wyden
What’s the difference between my fabricating reports and your letting your agents do it? At least mine make sense. Miles A. Copeland Jr.
I chose to compromise my principles. I broke my promise to always tell the truth. John McCain
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. Mark Twain
[William J.] Casey was guilty of Contempt of Congress from the day he was sworn in. Robert M. Gates
This was a man we could trust. He never lied to me. He never lied to me. James Baker
The practice of politics in the East may be defined by one word: dissimulation Benjamin Disraeli
If there is one thing that our role models in this election have taught us, it's that omitting important information is completely different from lying. Scott Adams
[President Eisenhower] is consciously misleading the nation. Joseph Alsop
Don’t believe them. Stay in your homes. They only want you to move out so that they can move in. Hamas
If that comes up, I'll just confuse them. Dwight D. Eisenhower
The public, by and large, trusts its leaders not only to tell the truth, but to get the job done. When they don’t get the job done, they get punished, and when they don’t get the job done and it comes out that they lied, they’re in really serious trouble. This is what happened to [Lyndon] Johnson and it’s what happened to [George W,] Bush. If you’re going to tell a lie, make sure the policy works out. John J. Mearsheimer
Lying in issues of foreign policy facilitates lying on a broader scale; it creates an atmosphere where people think it’s routine to try and deceive the American people, that it’s OK to deceive the American people John J. Mearsheimer
He [William Clinton] has terrible trouble with the truth. I don’t think Presidents should have trouble with the truth. Benjamin C. Bradlee
There is a lot of spinning and a lot of lying in our times—in politics, in government, in sports and everywhere. It’s gotten to the point where … you no longer believe the first version of anything. It wasn’t always that way. I guess it started for me with Vietnam, when the establishment felt it had to lie to justify a policy that as it turned out was never going to work. Benjamin C. Bradlee
Even the very best newspapers have never learned how to handle public figures who lie with a straight face. Benjamin C. Bradlee
Both the CIA and the FBI had Oswald under surveillance in the fall of 1963. But they withheld information from the Warren Commission about how much they knew about him before the assassination. The CIA never told the commission about its plots during the Kennedy administration to assassinate Castro — plots that the Cuban dictator discovered, giving him an obvious motive to kill Kennedy. The FBI destroyed evidence before it could reach the commission, including a handwritten, apparently threatening note that Oswald delivered to the bureau’s field office in Dallas in early November 1963. On the day Oswald was murdered by Ruby, FBI agents in Dallas, fearing that the note would be seen as evidence that they had been aware of the danger Oswald posed to the president, shredded the piece of paper and flushed it down a toilet. Its exact contents remain a mystery. Phillip Shenon
… we have had many, many cases of non-citizens registered to vote prior to our new legislation. Kris W. Kobach
Richard Helms … did not tell the truth to the Warren Commission when he testified. It is clear that the CIA “did have an axe to grind” during our investigation. Howard Willens
Director Brennan and the CIA today are continuing to provide inaccurate information and represent the efficacy of torture. In other words, the CIA is lying. Mark Udall
Everywhere we are surrounded by dogs and sorcerers and whores and the Godless and all who love lies and commit them. Jan Mathias
[Richard Cheney is] an unabashed bender of the truth. Barney Frank
Historically our government—the FBI for example—has not always earned that trust. Bill Gates
Many, many people exaggerate their accomplishments, blame their failures on others, and misrepresent reality in order to make themselves look better. This behavior is ubiquitous—sometimes intentional, more often subconscious. In ordinary life, we tolerate it, mutely or not, hoping that we are not as bad as the person whose lies we are listening to. Eric Posner
What makes Trump’s behavior seem pathological is that he is the president rather than your neighbor or colleague or negotiating partner. He speaks to audiences of millions rather than to audiences of one or two, and is immediately checked by the press. No president or leader of a developed country has ever acted like him. Most politicians speak from mental (or real) transcripts, which have been carefully vetted so that they offend no one and reveal nothing. Normal presidents lie but only when they expect to be believed because the facts are hidden from the public. Eric Posner
He that shall take an oath untruely, or bear false wittness in any cause or against any man whatsoever, shall be punished with death. Thomas Dale
If one is to be called a liar, one may as well make an effort to deserve the name. A. A. Milne

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