He gave fact checkers only a brief respite. Back to Washington and back to doing interviews and campaign rallies, Trump made 81 false claims last week. That is tied for the fifth-highest total in the 27 weeks we have counted at CNN.
It was an eclectic batch of dishonesty. Among other things, Trump took unearned credit for both the Ethiopia-Eritrea peace agreement and for the drop in the US cancer death rate, absurdly claimed that NATO “had no money” before his presidency, wrongly denied that his golf excursions cost taxpayers any money, and repeated his usual varied inaccuracies about impeachment, immigration and the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Trump made 27 of the false claims at his campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio. He made 16 more in a Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham. He made six in his speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations, plus 10 in his exchange with reporters after the speech.
Trump’s total of 81 false claims last week was above his average of about 61 per week. Trump is now up to 1,636 false claims since July 8, an average of about nine per day.
The most egregious false claim: Smearing Democrats
Prominent Democrats had a consistent response to Trump’s decision to kill Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani: criticize Trump’s decision and say nothing nice about Soleimani.
Trump nonetheless claimed that they were saying nice things about the top Iranian general.
Appearing on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on January 6, Trump said, “Democrats are trying to make him sound like he was this wonderful human being.” Speaking to reporters after his January 9 speech on environmental regulation, he claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in particular was “trying to defend this monster from Iran.”
The most revealing false claim: Ethiopia and the Nobel Peace Prize
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize in large part for Ahmed’s successful effort to make a peace deal with neighboring Eritrea.
The most absurd false claim: Trump and cancer
This seemed clearly dishonest, but it wasn’t clear that the American Cancer Society would be willing to say so: big organizations tend to want to avoid contradicting the President on even his most obvious falsehoods.
Here is this week’s full list of 81 false claims, starting with the ones we haven’t previously included in one of the weekly roundups:
The Democrats and Soleimani
Facts First: Pelosi and other prominent Democrats have not defended Soleimani or tried to portray him as “wonderful.” They have criticized Trump’s decision to kill him, but they have offered no defense of his actions or personality.
Pelosi called the killing “provocative and disproportionate” and argued that it put American soldiers, diplomats and other citizens at risk. But she called Soleimani a “terrible person” who “did bad things,” explicitly emphasizing that her opposition to killing him was not based in any sympathy for him or for Iran.
A 2016 incident with Iran
Facts First: It’s not true that the sailors were a mere “15 feet” into Iranian territorial waters when they were confronted, and there is no dispute about whether the sailors were indeed in Iranian waters. (Trump did not specify who “they” were when he said “they” don’t even know if the sailors were in Iranian waters, but he is wrong regardless.)
Ukraine and impeachment
The articles of impeachment
John Bolton and Ukraine
Facts First: Trump was vague, but it is obviously false that Bolton “would know nothing” about the dealings with Ukraine that led to Trump’s impeachment. According to witness testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser until September, was present in relevant meetings — with Trump, with other administration officials and with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — and had additional relevant conversations with key players on Trump’s Ukraine team.
A quote from Rep. Devin Nunes
Facts First: Trump’s rendition of the quote had Nunes using stronger language than Nunes actually did. Nunes did not say anything “must” happen by Friday; he said, “Well, I think it’s pertinent that the ICIG get these answers by Friday.”
Trump’s tweet also omitted multiple sentences that Nunes also uttered, but the omissions don’t significantly change the meaning.
The timing of military aid to Ukraine
Speaking of the military aid to Ukraine, Trump said, “And, by the way, in terms of the money, it got there two or three weeks ahead of schedule — long before it was supposed to be there.” — January 7 exchange with reporters at meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Foreign affairs and the military
The fight against ISIS
“Three months ago, after destroying 100% of ISIS and its territorial caliphate, we killed the savage leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi…” — January 8 speech on Iran
“We’ve gotten rid of ISIS.” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
The Nobel Peace Prize, Ethiopia and Eritrea
Allo, who said he was one of the people who nominated Ahmed for the prize, emphasized that even Ahmed did not “save” any country, though Ahmed did do “some really amazing things.” Both Eritrea and Ethiopia would have continued to exist with or without the deal, Allo said.
Speaking critically about NATO’s history, Trump said, “Well, they build an office building for $3 billion. They do lots of things that they shouldn’t be doing, before I got here.” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
Facts First: NATO does have an expensive new headquarters building, but Trump was exaggerating its cost. NATO told CNN on Tuesday that the building was constructed for a sum under the approved budget of 1.178 billion euro, or about $1.311 billion at Tuesday exchange rates, less than half the amount Trump claimed.
NATO before Trump
“So when I came in, as you know, NATO was virtually a dead organization. It had no money. Nobody was paying except us. Practically nobody was paying.” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
Facts First: NATO was very much alive before Trump took office in January 2017. And the US was not the only one “paying,” no matter how you measure.
“Probably it’s the reason, number one reason I’m running: America lost 60,000 factories under the previous administration, 60,000. You wouldn’t believe that’s possible, but I know it’s true, because I’ve said it 50 times and the fakers back there, they’ve never corrected me. No, it’s true. No, it’s true. If I were slightly off, if it were, if I was off by two factories, there’d be a headline: ‘Donald Trump told a fib.'” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Environmental approvals, part 1
“Right now, it takes over seven years, and oftentimes much longer — and seven years is like record time — to complete approvals for a simple highway, the simplest of them.” — January 9 speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations
Facts First: Trump was exaggerating when he said “seven years is like record time.” Mary Neumayr, chairwoman of the Trump administration’s Council on Environmental Quality, said at the same event that “it takes over seven years on average” for federal agencies to complete the environmental impact statement process for highway projects. She added that “many projects have taken a decade or more” — but “over seven years” is, again, an average, not “record time.”
Environmental approvals, part 2
“…today, it can take more than 10 years just to get a permit to build a simple road — just a very simple road. And usually, you’re not even able to get the permit. It’s unusual when you get it.” — January 9 speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations
Facts First: Trump did not specify what he meant by “simple road,” but he was inaccurate even if he was talking about highways. While it can indeed take more than 10 years for some highway projects to receive environmental approvals, it isn’t true that “usually, you’re not even able to get the permit.” Brad Karkkainen, a University of Minnesota law professor and expert on environmental and land use law, said in an email: “Trump’s statement that most of the time you can’t get the permit is just flatly wrong, by a wide margin. Just a complete fabrication.”
“You can’t assume that every project that gets an EA is ultimately approved, but the vast majority are. And beyond that, most of the 250 or so (per year) that get full-scale EISs also go through, albeit sometimes with modifications to mitigate environmental harms and/or to quell political opposition,” Karkkainen said.
Karkkainen said highway might well have a higher failure rate than other kinds of projects, given how complex and politically controversial they can be, but it’s still not true that most are rejected.
The crowd in Toledo
“I’m going to Ohio in a little while. We have crowds of people that for, two-and-a-half, three days, have been standing out in the cold. I don’t know how they do it. They’re strong people. But they’ve been out there, and it’s pretty much zero degrees. ” — January 9 exchange with reporters after speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations
Trump’s approval rating
Mocking Obama for golfing in Hawaii — where Obama was born and liked to vacation — Trump said, “I drive to play a round of golf at a course I own; it doesn’t even cost them anything. He flies to Hawaii, nobody cares. If I drive 20 minutes, it’s like, ‘Donald Trump is playing golf today.'” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Facts First: It’s not true that Trump playing golf at his own courses does not cost taxpayers money.
Trump’s trips from the White House to his golf course in nearby Virginia do require only a drive. His golf outings in Florida and New Jersey, however, require helicopter and plane flights from Washington.
Facts First: The good news about the record low cancer death rate — in 2017 — was not news “coming out of this Administration.” The American Cancer Society wrote the report to which Trump was referring; its chief executive officer, Gary M. Reedy, told CNN that the data in the report reflects “prevention, early detection, and treatment advances that occurred in prior years,” before Trump’s presidency.
The cancer death rate declined “continuously” from 1991 to 2017, the American Cancer Society said in the report. Obviously, Trump could not even possibly have been responsible for the declines from 1991 through 2016.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s academic record
“AOC knows nothing. Poor student, poor everything, and then she comes and she talks about the Green New Deal and all these poor fools say, ‘Oh, isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it wonderful?'” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
Ocasio-Cortez declined to comment on Trump’s claim.
2016 campaign spending
“I mean, crooked Hillary spent three or four times more money than us, right?…Crooked Hillary spent three or four times more.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Clinton had far more spending support from outside groups promoting her candidacy — $230.1 million for her versus $72.1 million for outside groups promoting Trump, according to the Center for Responsive Politics — than Trump did. But even if you add up the Clinton campaign’s own spending, spending by pro-Clinton outside groups and spending by the Democratic National Committee, it is not even double the spending by Trump’s campaign, spending by pro-Trump outside groups and spending by the Republican National Committee.
Trump accused Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff of leaking stories to CNN. Egging on the crowd, Trump called CNN “crazy,” then pointed to the back of the venue, and said, as if spotting CNN’s camera, “See, with a little red light on.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Facts First: CNN did not have a red light on as Trump was speaking. CNN’s photojournalists do not use red lights on their cameras at his rallies.
Here are the repeat false claims we have previously fact checked in a weekly roundup:
The size of the Iran deal
Trump claimed six times that President Barack Obama or his administration gave Iran $150 billion as part of their agreement on Iran’s nuclear activities.
The length of the Iran deal
Trump claimed on four occasions that the nuclear deal with Iran expires “shortly,” “so soon,” “very soon,” or in “a very short period of time.”
Military and war
NATO spending increases
Trump claimed twice that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg “just announced $530 billion” in increased spending by non-US NATO members. In one of these cases, he claimed this supposed $530 billion was “all because of me.”
Facts First: Trump’s math was wrong. Stoltenberg explained during a meeting with Trump on December 3 that non-US NATO members have added a total of $130 billion to their defense budgets since 2016. By 2024, Stoltenberg said, “this number will increase to $400 billion.”
The $130 billion current increase cannot be added to the $400 billion increase expected by 2024; the $400 billion is a cumulative figure that includes the $130 billion.
“After years and years of devastating defense cuts, we have fully rebuilt the United States military. Some of it’s still coming in. We have everything. We’ve got new planes, we’ve got new rockets, missiles, we’ve got new everything, and it’s either here or coming in, $2.5 trillion in new investments.” And: “What we have now, we’ve never had anything like it. You know, we were looking at planes that were old and tired, 50-, 60-year old planes. You’ve heard this story. The grandfather flew them, the son flew them, the current wonderful person flew them, the whole family flew them. Those are all gone now, folks. Those are all gone.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Facts First: This was a major exaggeration. While Trump’s administration has invested in new military planes, it is not even close to true that the US military has “new everything” or that the old planes “are all gone now.”
Trump told an extended story about how he had supposedly come up with the idea for the Veterans Choice health care program only to be told that people had been unsuccessfully trying to get such a program approved for “48 years.” Trump added, “But you know what I’m good at? Getting things approved. And we got it approved.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
NATO spending trends
Trump claimed three times that military spending by non-US NATO members was declining before he took office and reversed the trend.
Previous presidents and NATO
“And I went over, and I said folks, you got to pay your bills, you’re delinquent, you know, you’re delinquent. And then, they don’t like me. They say, ‘We like Obama better.’ They should like Obama better. Obama would go in and say, ‘Thank you very much for coming. I appreciate it. Bye-bye.'” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Facts First: It’s not true that Obama never pushed NATO members to increase their military spending. Obama and predecessor George W. Bush both did so, though their public language was less confrontational than Trump’s has been.
At Bush’s final NATO summit, in 2008, Bush called on NATO allies to “increase their defense investments to support both NATO and EU operations.”
The Turkey-Syria border
“One thing, I moved my troops out of Syria — on the border between Turkey and Syria. That turned out to be such a successful move, Laura. Look what happened. Now they protect their own — they’ve been fighting over that border for 1,000 years. Why should we do it?” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
Facts First: There is no basis for the claim that there has been fighting over the Turkey-Syria border for 1,000 years; modern-day Turkey and Syria were both part of the Ottoman Empire that was only dissolved after World War I, and the border between them is less than 100 years old.
The defense agreement with South Korea
“South Korea gave us $500 million. They’ve never gave us — they gave us $500 million. I said you got to help us along…You’ve got to pay. And they gave us $500 million. I mean you saw that breaking news because nobody wants to report that stuff. I’m not sure anybody knows it. It might be sort of saying you have some — I mean, that’s good stuff. But they’re a wealthy country.” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
Trump’s position on the war in Iraq
“I didn’t want to be there in first place, to be honest, and everybody knows that. That was when I was a civilian, I said it. But we were there, and they made a decision, and I disagreed with that decision very strongly. But we’re there now.” — January 7 exchange with reporters at meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Facts First: Trump did not publicly oppose the invasion of Iraq before it began. Trump was tentatively supportive of the war when radio host Howard Stern asked him in September 2002, “Are you for invading Iraq?” He responded: “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.” The day after the invasion in March 2003, he said, “It looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint.” Trump did not offer a definitive position on the looming war in a Fox News interview in January 2003, saying, “Either you attack or don’t attack.”
Ukraine and impeachment
European aid to Ukraine
Trump claimed that France, Germany, and “all of those countries in Europe” are not “paying” money to Ukraine. He asked, “Why aren’t they paying? Why is it always the United States that has to pay?” — January 7 exchange with reporters at meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Facts First: European countries, including France and Germany, have provided hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in 2014.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged European “help” during his meeting with Trump at the United Nations in September, though he said the world’s efforts had been inadequate so far: “And, I’m sorry, but we don’t need help; we need support. Real support. And we thank — thank everybody, thank all of the European countries; they each help us. But we also want to have more — more.”
“And I’d love to bring in the informant who disappeared. I’d love to bring in the second whistleblower who disappeared.” And: “I want to know what happened to the second whistleblower, what happened to the informer? Remember that, an informer.” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
“And the second whistleblower — Jon, whatever happened to the second whistleblower? The second whistleblower disappeared. There probably was none or maybe we know who the second whistleblower was. Maybe we do. But he never showed up.” — January 9 exchange with reporters after speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations
Facts First: There is no evidence that either the first whistleblower (who filed the complaint about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine) or the second whistleblower (whose lawyers said they had firsthand information corroborating claims made by the first whistleblower) “disappeared,” nor that the first whistleblower’s sources in the administration have “disappeared.” Whistleblowers have no obligation to speak publicly.
The second whistleblower never planned to file a separate whistleblower complaint, merely to offer corroborating information in private.
The accuracy of the whistleblower
“I’d love to have the whistleblower who wrote a fake report.” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
The rough transcript
“We released the exact transcript, and it turned out to be totally different.” — January 9 exchange with reporters after speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations
Facts First: The document released by the White House explicitly says, on the first page, that it is not an exact transcript of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“The President of Ukraine said I did absolutely nothing wrong, he said I had no pressure whatsoever. He didn’t even know what we were talking about.” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
A quote from Rep. Al Green
“So they can’t win an election that’s going to take place in 10 months, they know that, and they only thing they can do — it’s like with their Congressman Green, when he said, ‘We can’t beat him, we have to impeach him.'” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
Facts First: Trump was at least slightly exaggerating Green’s comments. In May, Green said this: “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this President, he will get reelected.” In September, when Trump previously claimed Green had said “we can’t” beat Trump without impeachment, Green told CNN, “I never said we can’t beat the President.”
The timing of Rep. Adam Schiff’s comments
“I’d like to hear from — he’s a corrupt politician, Adam Schiff. He’s corrupt. He gave a sentence. You know, he never knew I was going to release the transcript. He gave a sentence that he made up. He made it up. And it was not the — it was not what was said in the conversation. That’s why I released the transcript; got approval from Ukraine. We released the exact transcript, and it turned out to be totally different.” — January 9 exchange with reporters after speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations
The diversity visa lottery
“How about the lottery? It’s called visa lottery. How about this? They put their hand — ‘These people are going to America’…But from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador we have…So anyway, but in Honduras and Guatemala, they have like this lottery…” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
The people whose names are selected are subjected to an extensive vetting process that includes a criminal background check.
Deportations to Honduras and Guatemala
Trump claimed that, under previous administrations, Honduras and Guatemala refused to accept criminals the US wanted to deport back, even refusing to let the US land its planes on their soil.
Democrats and borders
Trump said on three occasions that Democrats support “open borders.”
Facts First: Even 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who have advocated the decriminalization of the act of illegally entering the country, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who has dropped out of the race, do not support completely unrestricted migration, as Trump suggests.
Democrats and the wall
“They were always for the wall and then I wanted it and they went against it.” — January 6 interview with Rush Limbaugh
Facts First: Democrats were not “always for the wall.” In 2013, many Democrats supported a comprehensive immigration reform bill that included 700 miles of border fencing. But that was fencing, not the giant wall Trump has proposed — and many Democrats supported it only as part of a package that included provisions they wanted, most notably a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
For example, Mary Landrieu, then a Democratic senator for Louisiana, voted for the final bill that included the fencing. But she said during the debate: “I’m not going to waste taxpayers’ money on a dumb fence…I’ve been in tunnels under the fence. I’ve watched people climb over the fence. I’m not going to send taxpayers’ money down a rat hole.”
China and trade
China’s economic performance
“Right now China’s had the worst year they’ve had in 67 years.” And: “Last year was the worst they had. In 67 — was 57, now it’s 67 years, and they wanted to make a deal and we made a deal, and it’s a great deal.” — January 10 interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham
China’s agricultural spending
“But phase one was — is a phenomenal deal. Could be up to $50 billion in farm product. So that’s something that — the most they ever did was $16 billion. So they go from $16 billion to up to $50 billion. So that’s numerous times more than they were buying in the past.” — January 9 exchange with reporters after speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations
Facts First: China spent $25.9 billion on American agricultural products in 2012, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture.
Who is paying for Trump’s tariffs on China
“We are taking billions — remember what I said? We’re not paying for it because China devalued their currency, and they put a lot of money into the pot. We’re not paying for it.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Approval among Republicans
Trump claimed three times that he had a “95%” approval rating among Republicans. On two occasions, he said this was “a record”; on one of these two occasions, he said Ronald Reagan was in second place at “87%.”
Facts First: Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is very high, regularly in the 80s and sometimes creeping into the 90s, but it has not been 95% in any recent major poll we could find.
The Quinnipiac poll at which he was at 93% had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, and a larger margin of error for the smaller sub-sample of Republican voters, so that poll found that it’s possible Trump’s true number is indeed 95% — but it’s not accurate to make leaps from the numbers the polls actually found without explaining that this is what you are doing.
Regardless, Trump’s approval rating is not a record, Reagan is not in second place, and Reagan’s peak was higher than 87%. Gallup’s website features data on approval rating by party for every president since Harry Truman; George W. Bush hit 99% in Gallup polling after the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. His father, George H.W. Bush, hit 97% at the end of the Gulf War in 1991. Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Dwight Eisenhower all went higher than 90%.
Economy, energy, environment
Trump said twice that unemployment rate is the lowest in “in over 51 years.” On another occasion, he said, “We have the best unemployment numbers we’ve ever had. So that’s very important.”
Facts First: The unemployment rates for some demographic groups are at their lowest levels “ever,” but the overall unemployment rate is not — though it is indeed impressively low.
The steel industry
Trump said that American steel companies are now making billions in investments, while before, “They weren’t investing 10 cents. The industry was dead. Now, it’s vibrant.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Facts First: While some steel plants were closing, being idled or otherwise doing poorly before Trump took office and before Trump imposed his tariffs on steel imports, and while some companies were struggling, it’s not true that the industry was “dead” or that not even “10 cents” of investment was occurring.
A simple Google search brings up numerous 2015 announcements about planned investments in steel plants. For example, Steel Dynamics announced a $100 million expansion at a mill in Mississippi. Commercial Metals announced a $250 million investment to build a micro-mill in Oklahoma. Nucor and a partner announced a $75 million investment in improvements at a mill in Arkansas. Ferrous CAL announced a $53 million investment in a Michigan plant to make steel for automotive companies.
The construction of the Empire State Building
Trump said it took “less than one year — can you believe that? — to build the Empire State Building.” — January 9 speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations
Median household income and energy
Trump claimed twice that the average household has gained $10,000 in income during his presidency.
Facts First: It’s not true that household income gains under Trump have already hit $10,000 in less than three years. A firm called Sentier Research found pre-tax income gains of about $5,500 between January 2017 and October 2019.
“We ended the war on clean, beautiful coal.” And: “Clean coal. What they do with coal today is incredible, clean coal.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Facts First: Nothing about coal is “clean.”
“Clean coal” is an industry term for particular technologies that attempt to reduce the many environmental harms caused by coal, a particularly dirty source of power. The term is not meant to be used to broadly describe coal itself, though that is what Trump generally does.
“We ended the last administration’s war on American energy…And with the help of energy workers right here in Ohio, the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world by far, number one. We weren’t number one.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
The US became the top producer of crude oil in particular during Trump’s tenure. “The United States has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2009, when US natural gas production surpassed that of Russia, and it has been the world’s top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013, when its production exceeded Saudi Arabia’s,” the Energy Information Administration says.
“And our air and our water right now is cleaner than it’s been in 40 years, and sadly, I can’t say historic because, you know, a couple of hundred years ago there was nobody here, right?” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
“We have some of the cleanest air and cleanest water on Earth. And for our country, the air is, right now, cleaner than it’s been in 40 years…in the last 40 years, it’s the cleanest right now.” — January 9 speech on National Environmental Policy Act regulations
Additionally, there were more “unhealthy air days” for sensitive groups in 2018 than in 2016 — 799 days across the 35 American cities surveyed by the EPA, up from 702. Though there were significantly more “unhealthy air days” in Obama’s first term than there have been in Trump’s, the lowest amount of unhealthy air days — 598 — occurred in 2014 under Obama.
The Paris climate accord and China
“And took us out of that horrible Paris accord. I always say, how are you doing with the Paris accord? Don’t ask, saved trillions and trillions of dollars that was put in there to hurt us. In my opinion, it was put in there to hurt us. We were paying money to India, we were paying money to China, China’s didn’t kick in until 2030, we kicked in immediately.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
The Russia investigation
The cost of the Mueller investigation
“With one of the biggest investigations in history they found nothing, the Mueller report, they found absolutely — think of it. They spent $45 million.” — January 6 interview with Rush Limbaugh
The Russia investigation a “coup”?
“It’s worse than a hoax. The first part of it was a coup. And this is just a continuation of it.” — January 6 interview with Rush Limbaugh
Facts First: There is no evidence that the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia was an “attempted overthrow” of Trump.
But Horowitz did not find evidence that the department or the FBI in particular were attempting some sort of coup — nor even that there had been “intentional misconduct.” Horowitz found that the FBI had a legitimate basis to open the investigation into the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia and that the decisions to investigate the campaign and individual campaign aides were not driven by political bias.
Right to Try
“Right to Try. You know about Right to Try, right? They’ve been trying to get it for 44 years, Right to Try.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
“I have no idea what ‘they’ve been trying to get’ for 44 years,” Alison Bateman-House, assistant professor of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Health, said in response to a previous version of Trump’s claim. “The Right to Try law was a creation of the Goldwater Institute, and it first became state law in 2014 (in Colorado), relatively soon after it was first conceived of.”
“Republicans will defend middle-class taxpayers and the right to keep the doctor of your choice. We will protect patients with pre-existing conditions….” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio
Trump mocked Obama for supposedly leaving him “142” judicial vacancies.
Facts First: Trump exaggerated. According to Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who tracks judicial appointments, there were 103 vacancies on district and appeals courts on January 1, 2017, just before Trump took office, plus a vacancy on the Supreme Court.
“Thank you very much, President Obama. We have a record. It’s a record and we will appoint many more, but we — first day I had 142 judges, 142. I said, ‘How many do we have?’ ‘Sir, you have 142.’ I said, ‘You got to be kidding.’ I thought he’d say,maybe none, maybe one, but certainly, no more than one. They’re like gold. They said, ‘No, sir, you have 142.’ I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ How did this happen? President Obama, President Obama did not get that done. And by the way, Mitch (McConnell) helped a lot too.” — January 9 campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio