Posted by: maboulette | May 3, 2017

Trump Fact Check for the Months of March and April

Trump long nose


MARCH 4: In a series of four tweets starting at 6:35 a.m., Trump called it a “fact” that “President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!” He compared the alleged surveillance to the criminal acts of “Nixon/Watergate,” and called Obama a “Bad (or sick) guy!”


Trump offered no evidence to support that wild claim, and in the days following none came to light elsewhere. On March 20, FBI Director James Comey told a House investigating committee: “I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to assure you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components.”


MARCH 7: Trump wrongly tweeted that “122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield.” Actually, it was only nine, as of July 15, 2016. The other 113 were released under President George W. Bush.

MARCH 8: Defending Trump’s wildly inaccurate comment about released Gitmo prisoners, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed “most of those [released under Bush] were court ordered.” That’s nonsense, too. All but a handful of the 532 released from Guantanamo by the Bush administration were freed without any court order, according to John B. Bellinger III, a former National Security Council legal adviser under Bush.


MARCH 15: Trump boasted at a rally that “we’ve already added nearly half a million new jobs” in the first two monthly reports released since he took office. But half of those jobs were added under Obama, before Trump took the oath of office on Jan. 20. (The BLS payroll survey measures jobs as of the pay period containing the 12th day of the month.)


MARCH 15: At the same rally, Trump also noted that he approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and that all “new pipelines must be constructed with American steel.” But only about half of the steel for those projects will come from the U.S., despite Trump’s directive.


MARCH 17: Trump said “Obamacare is dead; it’s a dead health care plan.” But that’s GOP wishful thinking with little evidence to support it.

He was repeating a common GOP claim that the ACA is in a “death spiral,” due too rising premiums forcing relatively healthy people to drop coverage, leading to even higher premiums to cover an ever-sicker group of beneficiaries. We found the ACA marketplaces are ailing in some states such as Tennessee, but flourishing in others including New York and California. And while some insurers have lost money and are leaving, others see opportunity and are getting in. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and other neutral experts say the ACA marketplaces are probably stable for years to come.

MARCH 17: Trump said that in Tennessee, “half of the state has no insurance company [offering Obamacare policies] and the other half is gonna lose the insurance company.” Not true. All of the state’s eight insurance rating areas have at least one carrier offering Affordable Care Act policies in 2017, and three of them have two.

For next year, Humana has announced it will cease offering ACA policies. Unless another carrier steps in, that would leave 79,000 Tennessee residents in the Knoxville area without ACA coverage. “We are hopeful that a carrier will offer coverage for that area in 2018,” said a spokesman for the state’s Department of Commerce and Insurance.


APRIL 4: Trump accused Obama of “weakness and irresolution” for failing to act in 2013, when the Syrian regime crossed the “red line” of using chemical weapons. But back then, Trump himself urged Obama to stay out of the conflict. He tweeted more than a dozen times, advising Obama to “forget Syria,” to “NOT attack Syria” and to “stay out of Syria.”

APRIL 11: Again Trump claimed credit for creating jobs that appeared under Obama. He falsely claimed that his administration has “created over 600,000 jobs already.” But the preliminary number added during February and March was 317,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 216,000 jobs created in January were all added before Trump took the oath office


APRIL 11: Trump wrongly boasted that Toyota’s $1.3 billion investment in its Georgetown, Kentucky, manufacturing plant would “not have been made if we didn’t win the election.” Toyota spokesman Aaron Fowles told in an interview that the investment “predates the Trump administration” and had been planned “several years ago.” This was the latest in a string of bogus boasts about car companies bringing back jobs “because of me.” In two cases frequently cited by Trump — Ford and GM — for example, the announced expansion plans were in the works long before Trump was elected, and were largely market-driven decisions that fit a year’s long trend in the industry.

APRIL 18: In a tweet, Trump blamed the Obama administration’s “weak illegal immigration policies” for allowing “bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S.” But the MS-13 gang was formed in Los Angeles in the 1980s and had spread throughout the country years before Obama was president.

APRIL 18: Trump also tweeted that Jon Ossoff, a Democratic candidate in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, “will raise your taxes.” But we could find no evidence of Ossoff proposing any broad-based tax increases, such as an income tax hike.

APRIL 21: Trump claimed credit for ending China’s currency manipulation. He said in an interview with the Associated Press that manipulation ended “from the time I took office” because China’s leader has “a certain respect” and “knew I would do something.” Actually, economists broadly agree that China has not been holding down the value of its currency since 2014 or 2015. That has been true “over the last three years,” according to a report by Trump’s own Treasury Department.

In 2015 when we dubbed Trump the “King of Whoppers,” we said: “He stands out not only for the sheer number of his factually false claims, but also for his brazen refusals to admit error when proven wrong.” So far, Trump is no different as president.

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