In the common vernacular, a fabulist isn't quite the same thing as a liar. A liar says to his spouse "I'm working late because of a special meeting," when in reality the liar is meeting someone on the side for sex. The lie is told to hide a truth.
A fabulist isn't necessarily trying to hide a truth. He's more likely trying to impress or influence someone. A fabulist embroiders and embellishes and enhances both truths and falsehoods.
"I went to Los Angeles," which is true, becomes "I went to Los Angeles and stayed with George Clooney," which is partly true and partly false. A fabulist may then polish that lie with embellishing luster several times over until it becomes "George Clooney invited me to his villa in Italy once" to "whenever George Clooney goes to his villa in Italy, he takes me with him." The truth is completely removed from the tale.
Aaron Blake at The Washington Post wrote an excellent case study yesterday (link here) breaking down one of Donald Trump's recent, ridiculous lies, revealing it for exactly what it is -- the work of a fabulist.
In an interview Wednesday with The New York Times, Trump said that Democratic Congressman Elijah Cumming told him "you will go down as one of the great Presidents in the history of our country."
If you know anything about Cummings, you know as soon as you read this that Trump is lying.
When contacted later by the press, Cummings indeed made clear he had not said that to Trump. What he did say was this: "during my meeting with the President and on several occasions since then, I have said repeatedly that he could be a great president if -- if -- he takes steps to truly represent all Americans rather than continuing on the divisive and harmful path he is currently on."
In telling his lie, Trump chopped off all of the conditions Cummings had added to his qualification, then turned "great" into "greatest." The truth was completely removed from the tale.
The big question remains is whether Trump engages in fabulist behavior deliberately or not. Either way, it's very dangerous for a President and a perfect reason why he can never be trusted.
Trump has proven time and time again his promises are worthless and later usually discarded by him, if they weren't outright lies to begin with. That's why the LGBT community cannot cling to any hope about any past comments he has made.
The man has cried wolf thousands of times. Why do people still believe him when he cries wolf yet again?