CorrupciónDemocracia y PolíticaÉtica y Moral

President Trump made 8,158 false or misleading claims in his first two years

  • Trump overstates the supposed Democratic support. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and many Democrats (although not Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California) voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by President George W. Bush and authorized construction of a fence along nearly 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. It passed 283 to 138 in the House, with 64 Democratic votes, and 80 to 19 in the Senate, with 26 Democratic votes. But the fence they voted for is not as substantial as the wall Trump is proposing. Trump himself has called the 2006 fence a “nothing wall.”

«However, the whole concept of having lengthy trials, for anyone who sets one foot in our country unlawfully, must be changed by Congress. It is unsustainable. It is ridiculous. Few places in the world would even consider such an impossible nightmare.”

  • Trump is routinely astonished by U.S. and international laws on asylum. This is how it works in any country that abides by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees: A refugee enters and makes a petition, and the government makes a ruling after analyzing the facts. It’s also worth keeping in mind that 85 percent of all deportations in the United States are ordered quickly, without a hearing before a judge.

«If we build a powerful and fully designed see-through steel barrier on our southern border, the crime rate and drug problem in our country would be quickly and greatly reduced. Some say it could be cut in half.”

  • Trump’s statement that a border wall would cut the nation’s crime rate — and “drug problem” — in half is simply laughable. There is no evidence to suggest that is the case. Most undocumented immigrants do not illegally cross the southern border, undocumented immigrants do not commit crimes at a rate higher than U.S. citizens, and drugs flow through the border mostly through legal crossing points.

«Thousands of children are being exploited by ruthless coyotes and vicious cartels and gangs.”

  • Here’s an example of where the president or his aides appear to have responded to our fact checks. No government statistic tracks children smuggled in by bad actors, “coyotes” or drug gangs, and for this speech, Trump has altered his usual claim that “last month alone, 20,000 minors were smuggled into the United States.” Now the number is fuzzier, and he no longer says “smuggled” but uses a weaker “exploited.” Trump previously referred to Customs and Border Protection’s number for family-unit apprehensions and unaccompanied minors. But we have pointed out that it’s wrong to describe it as a statistic that represents children being smuggled into the country. Trump appears to be acknowledging there are no firm numbers for how many parents might have hired a smuggler, coyote or gang member — though there is no evidence that the figure would be “thousands.”

Claims about foreign policy (900) and trade (854) rank second and third, followed by claims about the economy (790) and jobs (755). But there’s also a grab-bag category of “miscellaneous” (899), which includes misleading attacks on the media or people the president perceives as enemies.

By our count, there were only 82 days — or about 11 percent of the time — on which we recorded no claims. These were often days when the president golfed.

But there were also 74 days, or about 10 percent of his presidency, in which Trump made more than 30 claims. These were often days when he held campaign-style rallies, riffing without much of a script.

Trump has made many misleading claims about the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, claiming 192 times a variation of the statement that it was a hoax perpetuated by Democrats. The CIA, the FBI and the National Security Agency had announced that they had “high confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the election, with a clear preference for Trump. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was appointed by Trump’s Justice Department, and the congressional committees investigating the matter have been headed by Republicans.

Trump repeated 127 times the falsehood about securing the biggest tax cut in U.S. history, even though Treasury Department data shows it would rank eighth. And 126 times, he has falsely claimed that the United States has lost money on trade deficits. Countries do not “lose” money on trade deficits. A trade deficit simply means that people in one country are buying more goods from another country than people in the second country are buying from the first country. Trade deficits are also affected by macroeconomic factors, such as currencies, economic growth and savings and investment rates.

Visit our website of Bottomless Pinocchios for highly misleading or false claims that the president has made so often that they have become a form of disinformation.

(Contributors to the database over the past two years include Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Nicole Lewis.)

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