There isn't much more I can say about this article, and Trump's admission that he ignorantly ad-libbed to Justin Trudeau about the trade surplus with Canada. He made it up on the spot and said it as if he believed it, so if the writers and pundits want to call it a lie, I will too.
As he prepares to face Mueller, Trump boasts of his ability to lie
The problem is, as the paragraph excerpted below notes, from a position of power a person can lie, and assert that their lie is the truth, which is an assertion of their power. And because of that power, people who recognize the position of power -- who respect it, even if the person in that position doesn't -- believe what that person says, and also defend it as it is incorporated into their own belief system. And though the trade surplus is not a major issue, Trump is doing this all the time with issues of considerably greater importance. That, to put it mildly, is not good. Not good at all.
"As Jacob Levy has written, these “demonstrations of power undermine the existence of shared belief in truth and facts.” The whole point of them is to assert the power to say what the truth is, or what the truth should be, even when — or especially when — easily verifiable facts dictate the contrary. The brazenness and shamelessness of Trump’s lying is not a mere by-product of Trump’s desire to mislead. It is absolutely central to the whole project of declaring the power to say what reality is."