Democracy Dies in Darkness

Fact Checker | Analysis

What Trump got wrong on Twitter this week (#6)

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee

February 17, 2017 at 3:00 AM

(Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Welcome to the sixth installment of our occasional feature looking at what the president got wrong on Twitter. President Trump spent most of his time on Twitter this week bemoaning news being leaked out of his administration, and attacking the media. Some of the claims he tweeted this week were repeated in his Feb. 16 news conference, which we fact-checked in a roundup. Here's a look at nine fishy tweets from the past week.

Trump is referring to the recent arrests of undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes ("criminal aliens"). Trump takes credit for fulfilling his campaign promise of cracking down on illegal immigration, but these arrests are routine. We awarded Three Pinocchios to a similar claim this week.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has always targeted dangerous criminals in enforcement priorities. The recent arrests, however, did include people who would not have fallen under narrowed enforcement priorities under former president Barack Obama. Still, 25 percent of the arrests were of people who had lesser charges and noncriminal convictions and are not the gang members or drug dealers that he describes.

This is not true. In an interview with Erin Burnett, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made a joke about Trump labeling CNN as "fake news." After he made the joke, the audio cut off, and CNN cut to a commercial.

Upon returning from the commercial, Burnett picked up where they left: "Senator, you were just talking — joking — about CNN, fake news." Then Sanders went on to criticize Trump's labeling of CNN as "fake news."

Watch the full interview here.

This is Trump's opinion, but we'll note that we fact-checked two separate claims by the White House senior policy adviser following his Sunday show interviews.

Miller earned Four Pinocchios for repeating false voter-fraud claims. He earned another Three Pinocchios for claiming that 72 individuals from the banned countries in Trump's immigration executive order were implicated in "terroristic activity."

This is a flip-flop for Trump.

Before becoming president, Trump heartily endorsed WikiLeaks and the release of classified information, particularly about his then-rival Hillary Clinton. During a July 2016 news conference, Trump even called on Russia to hack Clinton's email account: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."

Now, facing information leaks out of his own administration (including information that led to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn), Trump decided it's a bad thing. (Read Fact Checker's complete timeline of Flynn's resignation.)

Actually, The Washington Post is doing great. The New York Times, like The Post, has seen spikes in audience and subscribers.

By the way, traffic to The Fact Checker is at an all-time high. We shattered our own traffic record in January 2017, when our monthly unique visitor count was 50 percent higher than the previous monthly record, set in October 2016.

This is another flip-flop for Trump, as we noted in an earlier fact-check. Before he was elected, he dismissed the stock-market performance under President Barack Obama as "artificial" and "a bubble."

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Michelle Ye Hee Lee is a national political enterprise and investigations reporter for The Washington Post.

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