Posted by: maboulette | May 1, 2017

Fact Check for Trump and the Month of January


Donald Trump — whom many called him the “King of Whoppers” when he was a long-shot for president in 2015 — has held true to form during his first 100 days as president.


In his first hour as president, he painted a dark narrative of a crime-ridden America with a dreary economy. The next day he misleadingly denied that he had been feuding with the intelligence agencies, which days earlier he had associated to Nazi Germany’s.


He bragged that his inaugural crowd was larger than Obama’s, and said his Electoral College majority was larger than those of any president since Ronald Reagan. Neither claim was even close to the truth.


He doubled down on his baseless claim that massive voter fraud gave Hillary Clinton her popular vote plurality last year. Then he made a new and equally groundless claim that President Obama had ordered his phones tapped during the campaign — and called for Congress to investigate, even though he could produce no evidence. He has claimed credit for jobs created (or saved) before he took office, and for getting China to stop currency manipulation that actually stopped years earlier.


And he has steadfastly refused to admit error, sometimes piling new falsehoods upon old. When photos showed his inaugural crowd, though respectable, was far smaller than the one for Obama’s 2009 swearing-in, his press secretary recited false statistics on subway ridership as evidence that Trump was right. And when those statistics were quickly shown to be incorrect, another aide casually dubbed the falsehoods as merely “alternative facts” — a phrase that has now entered the language as a synonym for blatant and unrepentant falsehoods.


Here’s a chronological listing of the whoppers Trump has told during his first 100 days divided by month:


JAN. 20: In his inaugural address, President Trump spoke darkly of “the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives,” and promised: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” In fact, the U.S. violent crime rate in 2015 (the most recent full year on record) was less than half what it was at its peak in 1991, and was expected to increase about 3 percent in 2016, based on preliminary reports.


Trump also painted a dismal picture of the economy, saying other countries were “destroying our jobs.” Actually, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics would soon report, the economy had just added 216,000 jobs in January — the 76th consecutive month of employment gains, which was the longest on record to date. That included a gain of 12,000 manufacturing jobs for the month. (Trump would later claim credit for the January gains, even though all of it occurred before he was sworn in.)


JAN. 21: On his first full day as president, Trump visited Central Intelligence Agency headquarters and claimed that the media — “the most dishonest human beings on Earth” — had “sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community,” which he said wasn’t so.


In fact, Trump had belittled the intelligence community for months and disputed its findings that Russia had meddled in the 2016 presidential election. At one point he tweeted: “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”


JAN. 21: In the next breath, Trump claimed the crowd at his inauguration “looked like a million-and-a-half people” and that news organizations lied about the size. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, quickly issued a statement insisting: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period. Both in person and around the globe.” But it was not, as clearly shown in crowd photos of the 2017 and 2009 inaugural events.


Spicer offered false figures: He said more people rode the Washington, D.C., subway on Trump’s Inauguration Day than on Obama’s second inauguration in 2013. Actually, only 193,000 had ridden as of 11 a.m., just before Trump’s speech. Obama’s comparable totals were 513,000 in 2009 and 317,000 in 2013. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway later characterized Spicer’s falsehoods as “alternative facts.


JAN. 21: Also at CIA headquarters, Trump said the Islamic State, or ISIS, would not exist if the U.S. “kept the oil when we got out” of Iraq. In fact, ISIS largely has been funded through extortion, robbery, taxes and Syrian oil, according to government reports and terrorism financing experts.


JAN. 23: Trump told congressional leaders that the reason he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton was that between 3 million and 5 million votes were cast illegally. Two days later, he tweeted that he would ask for “a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD.” But there was no evidence of any such massive fraud at the time, and none has been produced since. Spicer, pressed to explain what Trump was talking about, said, “I think there’s been studies. … It’s a belief he maintains.”


JAN. 25: Trump said estimates of those who gained health insurance coverage under Obama’s Affordable Care Act fail to account for the “millions of people” who lost health insurance they liked. Wrong. The total number of people who lack insurance declined by 20 million since the ACA was enacted, according to the National Health Interview Survey. That’s a net figure — taking into account any who might have lost coverage.


Trump referred to the estimated 2.6 million who got cancellation notices in 2013 because their existing plans didn’t provide benefits meeting ACA standards. But research suggests few of those remained without coverage; they were required to get new policies that did meet standards.


JAN. 25: In an interview with ABC News, Trump clung to his claim of massive voter fraud, and denied that it has been debunked: “No, it hasn’t. Take a look at the Pew reports,” he says. But the report by the Pew Charitable Trusts cited only estimates of the number of people registered to vote who were dead or registered in more than one state, not the number who voted illegally. Told that the Pew report found no evidence of voter fraud, Trump falsely claimed the report “all of a sudden changed” and the author was now “groveling.” It did not, and he did not.


JAN. 29: Defending the travel ban he signed two days earlier, Trump said, “My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011.” They were not similar. Trump’s order temporarily prohibited entry of visitors from seven predominately Muslim countries and indefinitely banned all refugees from Syria. Trump’s order didn’t cite any specific threat. By contrast, the Obama administration tightened the screening process for refugees from one country after discovering that two Iraqis living in Kentucky had been involved in roadside bombing attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. Obama did not ban Iraqi refugees, but there were delays in resettling them because of the new screening process.

February tomorrow!

Related Content


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: