Indeed, since we last updated this tally two months ago, the president has averaged about 9 claims a day.
Our interactive graphic, created with the help of Leslie Shapiro and Kaeti Hinck of The Washington Post’s graphics department, displays a running list of every false or misleading statement made by Trump. We also catalogued the president’s many flip-flops, since those earn Upside-Down Pinocchios if a politician shifts position on an issue without acknowledging that he or she did so.
Trump has a proclivity to repeat, over and over, many of his false or misleading statements. We’ve counted at least 113 claims that the president has repeated at least three times, some with breathtaking frequency.
Seventy-two times, the president has falsely claimed he passed the biggest tax cut in history — when in fact it ranks in eighth place. Fifty-three times, the president has made some variation of the claim that the Russia probe is a made-up controversy. (If you include other claims about the Russia probe that are not accurate, the count goes to 90.) Forty-one times, the president has offered a variation of the false claim that Democrats do not really care about the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump terminated.
Thirty-four times, the president has wrongly asserted that a border wall was needed to stop the flow of drugs across the southern border, even though the Drug Enforcement Administration says a wall would not limit this illegal trade, as much of it travels through legal borders or under tunnels unaffected by any possible physical barrier.
Thirteen times in the past five weeks, Trump has claimed his long-promised border wall is already being built, even though Congress denied him the funding and prohibited the use of prototypes he had viewed with great fanfare.
Of course, not every day is filled with falsehoods, but the president makes up for his slow days with days that offer an extraordinary number of misleading claims — such as 53 on July 25, 2017, or 49 on Nov. 29, 2017. These are often days when the president has had freewheeling interviews or given a campaign-rally-style speech.
For example, only days ago, on April 28, Trump racked up 44 claims, many of which came from the president’s 80-minute speech in Michigan. (April 28 is tied in third place with Dec. 8, 2017, for most number of claims in a single day.) In his speech, Trump touched on many of his main themes, such as immigration and jobs, adding in a liberal dose of his favorite false facts. Among them:
- He took credit for 3 million jobs “since the election,” even though he did not become president until almost three months later. About 2.5 million jobs have been created since Trump took the oath of office.
- He cited his “incredible success” in terms of job growth, even though annual job growth under his presidency has been slower than the last five years of President Barack Obama’s term.
- He said “wages are going up for the first time in many, many years,” even though they have been rising steadily since 2014.
- He once again cited the unemployment rate — especially for African Americans — even though he repeatedly said during his campaign that the unemployment rate was phony and could not be trusted.
- He said the border wall was being built even though Congress only provided funds for fencing.
- He claimed he had attracted 32,000 people at a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., on the eve of the election when the venue held only 4,200 and local media estimated that perhaps that many were waiting outside, for a total of 8,000.
- He claimed he had “essentially” gotten rid of Obamacare, when he has not. He also falsely suggested he only failed to pass repeal legislation because of one vote, ignoring the fact that none of the substantive replacement bills got nearly enough votes. Sen. John McCain’s vote was against a “skinny” repeal that was only to lead to talks with the House on a common position, with no guarantee of an agreement that would pass both Houses.
- He falsely claimed that Democrats colluded with the Russians, and the whole probe started with “a document that was paid for by the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and Hillary Clinton.” But the DNC was a victim of Russian activities, as its emails were hacked and then released via WikiLeaks. The House Intelligence Committee has confirmed that the FBI’s counterintelligence probe began with a tip from the Australian government, which notified U.S. authorities about a drunken conversation between a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, and an Australian diplomat in May. Papadopoulos claimed the Russians had “political dirt” on Clinton. The information in the dossier funded by Democrats came to the attention of the FBI later.
- He got simple facts wrong, such as claiming that Henry Ford invented the assembly line (it was Ransom Eli Olds) and that Franklin D. Roosevelt served 16 years (it was 12). He also said the European Union was created “to take advantage of the United States” even though it was created after World War II with the aim of ending bloody conflicts on the continent — and with the active support of the United States.
- He once again claimed that under the Iran nuclear agreement, the United States gave the country $150 billion. But this was always Iran’s money. Iran had billions of dollars in assets that were frozen in foreign banks around the globe because of international sanctions over its nuclear program. The Treasury Department estimated that once Iran fulfilled other obligations, it would have about $55 billion left. The Central Bank of Iran said the number was actually $32 billion.
- He falsely said that major newspapers and television networks make up nonexistent sources. That is grounds for firing in the news business. Sources can certainly be wrong, but they exist.
- For the 31st time, he used a made-up number — $7 trillion — for how much the United States supposedly has spent on wars in the Middle East.
- He falsely claimed that fired deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe “took $700,000 for his wife’s campaign.” McCabe’s wife ran for Virginia Senate, receiving about $700,000 from then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and the state Democratic Party. But campaign records show that every cent raised for the campaign was spent. McCabe also did not participate in his wife’s campaign.
- He once again claimed that President Xi Jinping of China instantly agreed to a request from Trump to allow the sale of U.S. beef after years of blocking it. But China had already agreed to such sales under a deal brokered by the Obama administration.
- He said — for the 29th time — that the U.S. trade deficit with China is $500 billion. But it’s really about $300 billion. He also said “we lose about $500 billion” through the trade deficit even though countries do not “lose” money on trade deficits.
- He claimed “we have done more than anybody in a year” and “I accomplished more than I promised.” In reality, at the end of his first year, Trump had signed fewer bills than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower (though he has since caught up and passed Obama and is tied with George W. Bush). As for promises, our Trump Promise Tracker shows Trump has only kept 23 percent of 60 key promises and broken 27 percent.
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