First, the facts were alternative, Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to President Trump, suggested last year.
And now, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, said “Truth isn’t truth,” adding his own phrase to memorable — and sometimes head-scratching — comments made by those close to the president.
During an interview on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the show’s host, Chuck Todd, asked Mr. Giuliani about Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, who The New York Times reported was cooperating extensively in the special counsel investigation.
Mr. Todd asked how Mr. Giuliani had responded to requests by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, to interview Mr. Trump and whether Mr. Giuliani had delayed the investigation.
Mr. Giuliani replied he would not be rushed into having Mr. Trump testify “so that he gets trapped into perjury.”
“And when you tell me that, ‘You know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry,’ well, that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth,” Mr. Giuliani said.
“Truth is truth,” Mr. Todd insisted.
“No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth,” Mr. Giuliani said as Mr. Todd leaned his head onto his hand.
“Truth isn’t truth?” Mr. Todd asked, appearing stunned and at one point looking up. “This is going to become a bad meme.”
“Don’t do this to me,” Mr. Giuliani replied, his hand to his head, mimicking Mr. Todd. “Donald Trump says, ‘I didn’t talk about Flynn with Comey.’ Comey says, ‘You did talk about it.’ So tell me what the truth is.”
Mr. Giuliani was alluding to a statement he made on CNN this month that the president never spoke with James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, about ending an investigation into Michael T. Flynn, the fired national security adviser, thus contradicting Mr. Comey.
Mr. Giuliani’s phrase that “truth isn’t truth” joins Ms. Conway’s assertion in January 2017 that the White House had put forth “alternative facts” to ones reported by the news media about the size of Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd.
Like Mr. Giuliani, Ms. Conway also made her comments on “Meet the Press.”
After the interview on Sunday, Merriam Webster tweeted the definition of “truth,” while Mr. Comey was more direct, tweeting: “Truth exists and truth matters. Truth has always been the touchstone of our country’s justice system and political life.”