When The Washington Post Fact Checker team first started cataloguing President Donald Trump’s false or misleading claims, we recorded 492 suspect claims in the first 100 days of his presidency. On Nov. 2 alone, the day before the 2020 vote, Trump made 503 false or misleading claims as he barnstormed across the country in a desperate effort to win reelection.
This astonishing jump in falsehoods is the story of Trump’s tumultuous reign. By the end of his term, Trump had accumulated 30,573 untruths during his presidency — averaging about 21 erroneous claims a day.
What is especially striking is how the tsunami of untruths kept rising the longer he served as president and became increasingly unmoored from the truth.
Trump averaged about six claims a day in his first year as president, 16 claims day in his second year, 22 claims day in this third year — and 39 claims a day in his final year. Put another way, it took him 27 months to reach 10,000 claims and an additional 14 months to reach 20,000. He then exceeded the 30,000 mark less than five months later.
- Read our full report on the database.
- See the pace of Trump’s false claims in this amazing visual graphic.
- Visit the Trump claims database website and explore it. The database has an extremely fast search engine that will quickly locate suspect statements made by Trump. Readers can also isolate claims by time period, subject or venue.
The fact checks in the database amount to about 5 million words and many include links to sources that debunk Trump’s statements.
The Trump claims database was nominated by the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University for inclusion in a list of the Top Ten Works of Journalism of the Decade. “The project is a sterling example of what journalists should do — holding the powerful accountable by using reporting and facts,” the nomination said.
Note: The Fact Checker welcomes academic research of the Trump claims database. Recent examples include work done by Columbia University, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, University College London and the University of California at Santa Barbara. The database has also been used in art projects, such as a wall exhibited in Brooklyn and Manhattan. You can request our data files with an explanation of your research or artistic plans by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. May a hundred PhD dissertations bloom! (NEW: We have added a button to the database so you can download a CSV file yourself.)
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