Sunday, February 19, 2017

Just a few of the “bald-faced lies, exaggerations and deceptions [trump] has said" in the last four weeks





Jan. 21, 2017 — Speech at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters

The repeated claim: “Honestly, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was it was, but it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.” Later: “…all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed.” 

In fact: The crowd, which may not have even been half a million people strong, did not come close to reaching the Washington Monument.

Jan. 21, 2017 — Speech at Central Intelligence Agency headquarters

The repeated claim: “It was almost raining, the rain should have scared em away, but God looked down and He said, we’re not going to let it rain on your speech. In fact, when I first started, I said oh no. First line, I got hit by a couple of drops, and I said this is too bad … but the truth is that, it stopped immediately, it was amazing, and then it became really sunny.” 

In fact: Neither of these claims is true. The rain did not stop immediately, and the sky then remained cloudy. 

Jan. 23, 2017 — Private meeting with Congressional leaders

The claim: Trump told Congressional leaders that “he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in last November’s election because between three million and five million ‘illegals’ cast ballots, multiple sources told Fox News.”

In fact: This claim, also reported by numerous other major media outlets, simply has no basis in reality. Trump’s own lawyers said in a legal filing that “all available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud.” The National Association of Secretaries of State — the state officials who run elections — said they “are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump.”

Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir

The claim: “In terms of a total audience including television and everything else that you have we had supposedly the biggest crowd in history. The audience watching the show. And I think you would even agree to that. They say I had the biggest crowd in the history of inaugural speeches.”

In fact: “They” can mean anyone, but no expert is declaring that Trump had the biggest inauguration crowd in history. Obama’s 2009 inauguration drew far more people in person and far more television viewers. Trump’s claim relies on the people who watched the inauguration on online streams. It is possible that these people gave him a record, but it is impossible to know for sure.

Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir

The claim: “No, no, you have to understand, I had a tremendous victory, one of the great victories ever. In terms of counties I think the most ever, or just about the most ever.”

In fact: Trump’s victory was not close to one of the biggest of all time. He lost the popular vote, and his Electoral College margin ranks 46th out of 58 elections. Trump did far better in terms of counties, winning more than any candidate since Ronald Reagan, but he was well short of setting the record or even “just about” tying it: Richard Nixon won more than 2,950 counties in 1972, far exceeding Trump’s 2,623

Jan. 25, 2017 — Interview with ABC’s David Muir

The claim: Regarding his false claim of “millions” of possible illegal voters: “Those were Hillary votes. And if you look at it they all voted for Hillary. They all voted for Hillary. They didn’t vote for me. I don’t believe I got one. OK, these are people that voted for Hillary Clinton.”

In fact: These large numbers of illegal voters did not “all” vote for Clinton because they do not exist. Even if they did, it would be impossible for Trump to know that not a single one voted for him, since the ballot is secret. This claim is simply absurd.

Jan. 26, 2017 — Interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity 

The claim (on refugees): “We’ve taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn’t vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don’t know anything about them and you have no papers?”

In fact: Refugees to the U.S. are rigorously vetted. The process includes multiple kinds of background and security checks and at least two interviews with U.S. representatives. Regardless of their paperwork situation, and regardless of one’s opinion on how good the vetting is, the U.S. knows far more than “nothing” about the refugees it approves.

Feb 2, 2017 — Twitter

The claim: “Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia.”

In fact: The people in question are refugees, not illegal immigrants; the agreement covers 1,250 people, not “thousands.”

Feb. 5, 2017 — Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly

The claim about his travel ban: “I think it was very smooth. We had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travellers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully … General Kelly — who’s now Secretary Kelly — he said he totally knew, he was aware of it, and it was very smooth. It was 109 people.”

In fact: The implementation of the ban was anything but smooth — it produced confusion in foreign countries, in America and even within Trump’s own government — and it affected far more than 109 people. A lawyer for the Trump administration said in court that 100,000 people had their visas revoked; Homeland Security officials announced that 721 people had been denied boarding at airports; thousands more were left uncertain about their status or were forced to change plans. Trump’s press secretary has clarified that the 109 figure refers solely to “the initial group of people that were in transit at the time the executive order was signed” — which is not even close to the total number of people impacted.

Feb. 6, 2017 — Speech to U.S. Central Command

The repeated claim: “I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35. You know about that.”

In fact: Trump did not personally secure these savings: Lockheed Martin had been moving to cut the price well before Trump was elected, multiple aviation and defence experts say. Just a week after Trump’s election, the head of the F-35 program announced a reduction of 6 to 7 per cent — in the $600 million to $700 million range.

“Trump’s claimed $600 million cut is right in the ballpark of what the price reduction was going to be all along,” wrote Popular Mechanics. “Bottom line: Trump appears to be taking credit for years of work by the Pentagon and Lockheed,” Aviation Week reported, per the Washington Post.

Feb. 6, 2017 — Extended portion of Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly

The claim: “The previous administration allowed it to happen. Because we shouldn’t have been in Iraq but we shouldn’t have gotten out the way we got out. It created a vacuum, ISIS was formed.” 

In fact: Daesh, also known as ISIS and ISIL, was formed long before the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, which occurred in 2011. The group has roots as far back as 1999, and it was already using the name Islamic State by 2006, under George W. Bush. While it had been weakened by 2011, it was around. So Trump can make a reasonable argument that the U.S. withdrawal helped the group thrive, but it is simply inaccurate to say Daesh “was formed” in a post-withdrawal vacuum.

Feb. 7, 2017 — Meeting with the National Sheriffs’ Association

The claim: “The murder rate in our country’s the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? 47 years? I’d say that in a speech and everybody’s surprised. Because the press doesn’t tell it like it is. It wasn’t to their advantage to say that.”

In fact: The homicide rate is not even close to a 47-year high. In fact, it remains near historic lows. There were 10 homicides per 100,000 residents in 1980, eight per 100,000 residents in 1995; in 2015, the latest year for which there is national data, it was five per 100,000 residents. Trump sometimes correctly notes that the increase in the homicide rate between 2014 and 2015 was the largest in more than 40 years. But that is far different than the actual rate being the highest.

Feb. 8, 2017 — Speech to the Major Cities Chiefs Association

The claim: “I want you to turn in the bad ones. Call Secretary Kelly’s representatives and we’ll get them out of our country and bring them back where they came from, and we’ll do it fast. You have to call up the federal government, Homeland Security, because so much of the problems — you look at Chicago and you look at other places. So many of the problems are caused by gang members, many of whom are not even legally in our country.”

In fact: Trump has not presented any evidence whatsoever that illegal immigrants are responsible for much of Chicago’s crime problem, and academic experts and local officials say Trump is wrong. “I don’t know anyone in Chicago who believes that,” said Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County board, according to CBS Chicago. “Whether we are talking about African-American or Latino neighbourhoods, we are not talking about illegal immigrants. We are talking about our native-born sons and daughters.”

Feb. 9, 2017 — Private meeting with senators about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

The claim: “The president claimed that he and (Republican former senator Kelly) Ayotte both would have been victorious in the Granite State if not for the ‘thousands’ of people who were ‘brought in on buses’ from neighbouring Massachusetts to ‘illegally’ vote in New Hampshire.”

In fact: Such fraud did not happen.

Feb. 12, 2017 — Twitter 

The claim: “Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!”

In fact: There were some supporters along the road, but they were far outnumbered by protesters, according to reporters on scene.

Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various plans and initiatives.”

In fact: The Walmart expansion plan that is creating the jobs was announced in October, before Trump was elected. The company did not reveal the precise 10,000 figure until after Trump took office, but it is directly connected to the previous announcement. 

Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “General Motors likewise committed to invest billions of dollars in its American manufacturing operation, keeping many jobs here that were going to leave. And if I didn’t get elected, believe me, they would have left. And these jobs and these things that I’m announcing would never have come here.”

In fact: GM made a new $1 billion commitment to U.S. factories, not “billions”; it committed $2.9 billion last year, before Trump was elected. GM did not offer any indication that it made the decision because of Trump, and independent automotive analysts said it was unlikely the company had done so. “Mostly theatre to play in the news cycle created by President-elect Trump’s tweets,” Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs said. “These investments and hiring plans have long been in the works and are a continuation of what the company has been doing in recent years.” 

Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 per cent of the uranium in our country.” Added: “Hillary Clinton gave them 20 per cent of our uranium.”

In fact: Clinton didn’t personally give Russia uranium. The State Department, which Clinton led as secretary of state, was one of nine government entities that reviewed the Russian purchase of the Toronto-based firm Uranium One, which controlled the rights to about 20 per cent of U.S. uranium capacity. There is no evidence Clinton was personally involved in the process in any way. Further, only the president could have made the decision to block the deal; Clinton did not have final authority either way.

Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim about the 9th Circuit appeals court: “In fact, we had to go quicker than we thought because of the bad decision we received from a circuit that has been overturned at a record number. I have heard 80 per cent — I find that hard to believe; that’s just a number I heard — that they’re overturned 80 per cent of the time.”

In fact: This statement is false in one way, possibly misleading in another. It is false that the 9th Circuit is overturned by the Supreme Court at a “record number.” Even in the study conservatives usually cite in criticizing the 9th Circuit, the court had the second-highest reversal rate between 1999 and 2008. Between 2010 and 2015, it was third-highest. In the most recent court term for which complete data is readily available, the 9th Circuit was again in second place.

It may be misleading to discuss reversal rates this way at all. The Supreme Court overturns a majority of cases it agrees to hear — but those cases represent a tiny fraction of total cases decided by a circuit court. So even if 80 per cent of 9th Circuit cases that reach the Supreme Court are overturned, that still means more than 99 per cent of the circuit’s total decisions are not overturned. 

Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference

The claim: “I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.”

In fact: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all earned bigger margins in the electoral college than Trump did. 


For “The complete list of all 80 false things Donald Trump has said in his first 4 weeks as president,” click here.

 


 

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