Washington CNN —  

President Donald Trump spent most of last week at his Bedminster golf club, where he sometimes retreats from the public eye. When he left Washington for New Jersey, we thought there was a chance it would be a quiet week in presidential dishonesty.

Naturally, he made 84 false claims.

That was his highest total in the six weeks we’ve been counting at CNN. (The one-week record for his presidency, which came just before the 2018 midterms, was 240 false claims, according to our previous count at the Toronto Star.) He had made a relatively paltry 21 false claims the week before last.

In fairness to Bedminster, most of the 84 false claims last week came when the President was elsewhere. He made 27 at a campaign rally in New Hampshire and 26 in a Pennsylvania speech that was officially about energy but ended up being about assorted other things Trump felt like talking about.

Trump added 15 false claims in exchanges with reporters, six in two interviews with New Hampshire media and 10 on Twitter.

The most egregious false claim: Google and the election

As Politico’s Tim Alberta documented in his book “American Carnage,” Trump’s infamous false tweet in 2017 about former President Barack Obama supposedly wiretapping his phones in Trump Tower came after Trump watched a segment on Fox News.

Coincidentally or not, Trump’s latest sensational and inaccurate allegation of nefarious behavior came after Fox Business aired a segment on the subject.

Trump has found various excuses including imaginary voter fraud for why he did not win the popular vote in the 2016 election. This time, he said his victory would have been bigger if Google had not “manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton.”

This claim was based on a highly flawed study that Trump described inaccurately.

The most revealing false claim: Michigan Man

We’ve already written about this at length, so we’ll be brief here, but let’s pause and think about this one more time: the President of the United States has said at least seven times in three years that he was named the “man of the year” in a state he has never lived in, though it very much seems this has never happened.

From fake magazine covers to fake compliments from the Boy Scouts, Trump has boundless creativity when it comes to trivial self-aggrandizement.

The most absurd false claim: The time of day

In 1991, Spy magazine reported on an anonymous acquaintance of Trump who had supposedly said, “He’d lie to you about what time of day it is – just for the practice.”

During his energy speech on Tuesday, Trump looked at the crowd and said: “That’s a lot of people back there for a – like an 11 o’clock speech. That’s a lot of people.”

We don’t know if he was lying or just confused, but it was not 11 o’clock.

He made the comment at about 2:40 p.m. The speech was scheduled for 2:10 p.m.

Here is this week’s full list:

Election fraud

Voter fraud in California

“Because if you look, Judicial Watch made a settlement with California, I guess, or Los Angeles, where they found over a million names. That was very problematic. A problem. And you just take a look at that settlement. That’s a lot of names. You had people that were well over 100 years old that were voting, but we know they’re not around any longer. So you have a lot of voter fraud.” – August 18 exchange with reporters

Facts First: There is no evidence that there was mass voter fraud involving dead people or anyone else in California in 2016.

Trump was referring to a legal settlement in which California and Los Angeles County agreed with the conservative group Judicial Watch to remove the names of inactive voters from voter lists. But the settlement did not reveal any actual fraud.

“The Judicial Watch settlement provided no evidence of fraud whatsoever,” said Rick Hasen, an expert in elections law and a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine.

Google and votes

“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!” – August 19 tweet

Facts First: Trump was wrong about this study’s findings, and the study itself has major flaws.

Though the study alleges “bias” in Google search results, its author says there is no evidence Google “manipulated” either search results or election results to favor Clinton. Also, critics of the study note that it did not establish a link between search results and voting behavior in presidential elections.

You can read our full fact check on this claim here.

Energy and the environment

Wind power

“Powerful, clean, natural gas. And when the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference, does it? Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds. Someday, the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that. And then, all of a sudden, it stops; the wind and the televisions go off. And your wives and husbands say, ‘Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight. But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch. There’s no electricity in the house, darling.’ No, we love natural gas and we love a lot of other things, too.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: Using wind power as part of a mix of power sources does not cause power outages, as the federal Department of Energy explains on its website. “Studies have shown that the grid can accommodate large penetrations of variable renewable power without sacrificing reliability, and without the need for ‘backup’ generation,” the Department of Energy says.

The Department of Energy explains that although power grid operators need to account for the variability that comes with using wind and solar power, they know how to manage, since “all forms of power generation,” including non-renewable sources, “may sometimes not operate when called upon.”

James Manwell, professor and director of the Wind Energy Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said in response to a previous version of this Trump claim: “No one is suggesting that the wind alone would supply all the electricity in any large electricity network. It could supply a very large fraction, however, with no adverse impacts.”

While some property values might fall when wind turbines are built nearby, major academic studies have found no statistically significant decrease.

Air quality

“And we’re not taking chances. And we have the cleanest air and water we’ve ever had in our country right now. The cleanest we’ve ever had.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: By several measures, US air was cleaner under Obama than it’s been under Trump.

Three of the six types of pollutants identified by the Clean Air Act as toxic to human health were more prevalent in the air as of 2018 than they were before Trump took office, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. 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.

Hillary Clinton on coal and steel

“Remember, she wanted to close up all coal. She was in an area where they didn’t do the coal. And she said, ‘Well, I look forward to closing up all coal. It’s going to be closed. Steel – going to be in big trouble.’ She forgot: In three weeks, she was going to West Virginia. That didn’t work out too well.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: While Clinton did make a comment during the 2016 campaign about putting coal miners and companies out of business, she did not say anything in that vein about steel. In fact, she said during her campaign, “Steel is crucial to our manufacturing base, crucial to our national security, and I will not let this vital industry disappear.”

At a CNN town hall on March 13, 2016, Clinton said, “I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right? And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people.”

Later, in West Virginia, Clinton apologized for what she called a “misstatement.” She also said her comments were taken out of context.

Louisiana LNG plant

“But this is just the beginning. My administration is clearing the way for other massive, multi-billion-dollar investments. We just did one in Louisiana. It’s a $10 billion plant. There’s more pipes in that plant that I’ve ever seen in my life…And you haven’t had a plant like that built in this country, really, ever, because there’s never been anything that big. But you didn’t build plants like that because, environmentally, they weren’t letting you. And yet, environmentally, it’s so good what they’ve done and what they can build today.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: The permits for the facility Trump visited were granted by the Obama administration.

Trump spoke at Sempra Energy’s Cameron liquefied natural gas export facility in Louisiana in May. The company says on its website: “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized the project in June 2014.” The company confirmed to FactCheck.org: “You are correct, Cameron LNG was approved in 2014.”

The facility made its first shipment in late May.

Energy production

“We have the greatest resources, which really came about over the last few years. Nobody knew this. Fracking made it possible. Other new technologies made it possible. And now we’re the number-one – think of it, as I said – the number-one energy producer in the world. I’m so proud of that because we wouldn’t have been number five. They were going to close it up. They were going to close it up.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

“We ended the last administration’s (cruel) war on American energy and we are delivering a policy of American energy independence like you’ve never seen before…And the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: The US has not just “now” become the world’s top energy producer: it took the top spot in 2012, under the very administration Trump was accusing of perpetrating a “war” on the industry, according to the US government’s Energy Information Administration. 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.

Trump was clearly exaggerating when he said that “they” were going to “close it up.” In his 2013 State of the Union address, Obama called for the US to go “all in on clean energy,” but he immediately added, “Now, in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. We need to encourage that. And that’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. That’s got to be part of an all-of-the-above plan.”

China’s oil and gas production

“We’re lucky. You go to places like China, they don’t have oil and gas. They don’t have it under their – they have to go buy it and then they devalue their currency and manipulate their currency. And that costs them a fortune to go out and buy it. They hurt themselves in the long run.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: China is among the world’s leading producers of both oil and natural gas.

The US Energy Information Administration says on its website, “EIA estimates that China holds the largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas in the world, and China was among the first countries outside of North America to develop its shale resources.” The EIA ranked China the 6th largest producer of natural gas in 2017 and 5th for “total petroleum and other liquids production” in 2018.

The EIA also notes a 2015 estimate that “China holds 24.6 billion barrels of proved oil reserves…the highest in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding Russia).” China’s oil production does not meet the increasing domestic demand, but the government is actively seeking to increase production.

Obama and fracking

“The last administration tried to shut down Pennsylvania coal and Pennsylvania fracking.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: Obama did try to reduce the use of coal, but he did nothing to stop Pennsylvania hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. In fact, the boom in fracking from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale occurred under Obama.

A representative for Marcellus Protest, a volunteer activist group in Western Pennsylvania, called Trump’s claim “pure invention,” saying in an email, “We have no evidence or recollection that the Obama administration did anything at all to ‘shut down…Pennsylvania fracking.’ To the contrary, President Obama will be remembered for describing his energy policy as ‘all of the above.’ ” (The representative asked to be quoted anonymously because the group does not have a single designated spokesperson.)

Obama said in his 2012 State of the Union: “This country needs an all-out, all of the above strategy that develops every available source of American energy…We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years. And my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.” Obama boasted in his 2013 State of the Union: “We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it.”

Obama did put forward new regulations on fracking, such as one requiring companies to disclose the chemicals being used in the fracking process, but this is not even close to an attempt to shut down the whole Pennsylvania industry.

Pennsylvania ethane cracker plant

“It was the Trump administration that made it possible. No one else. Without us, you would never have been able to do this.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

“And we have incredible things going on in Pennsylvania. We just opened up a $10 billion plant. We have many of them going up. A lot of jobs…Pennsylvania, would have never happened, they wouldn’t have allowed them to frack. So they would have never been able to build it. But what a place that is.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Shell announced in June 2016, during the Obama administration, that it had made a final decision to build the plant. A federal regulatory commission chaired by a Trump appointee did approve a pipeline that will feed ethane to the plant, but Trump is wrong to take sole credit for the plant.

Shell has said that the key factors in its decision to build in Pennsylvania were the proximity to low-cost ethane, proximity to customers, and tax incentives from the state government.

Shell’s US president did give Trump credit when introducing him before his speech at the plant on Tuesday, saying, “We couldn’t do this without the President’s focus, also, on energy infrastructure. That focus has enabled us to break ground on the Falcon pipeline.” Still, “no one else” is an obvious exaggeration.

Read our full fact check on this claim here.


Mortgage rates

“Mortgage rates are at an all-time low.” – August 18 exchange with reporters

Facts First: Certain mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been during Trump’s administration but not the lowest of all-time.

Last week, Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.6%, which was the lowest rate only since November 2016. Freddie Mac said that was “near” a historical low, not a historical low itself. The all-time low was 3.31% in 2012.

Interest rates

“You know, you say you want low taxes, good education, strong military, strong borders, you want to have safe homes, you want a house, you want low interest rates, you got low – hey, you got low interest rates, the lowest ever.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

“Borrowing costs are at an all-time low.” – August 18 exchange with reporters

Facts First: Interest rates are low by historical standards, but they are not at a record low.

There are various ways to measure interest rates and borrowing costs, but the major measures aren’t at an all-time low. The effective federal funds rate, the rate banks charge one another for overnight lending, was 2.4% at the end of July; it was well below 1% for the entirety of Obama’s presidency. (It was above 5% in 2007, then plummeted during the recession of 2008.)

Trump himself has contradicted this “all-time low” claim, noting repeatedly that Obama had the benefit of working with lower interest rates than he has had to work with.


“And all of the jobs, you know, we set records on jobs. Jack, we have the highest number of people working in the United States right now that we’ve ever had, almost 160 million people, and unemployment rates at the lowest.” – August 15 interview with Jack Heath of New Hampshire Today

Facts First: It’s true that more people are working than ever before – this number tends to rise with population growth – but not that the US has its lowest unemployment rate ever.

The unemployment rate over this spring and summer – 3.7% each month in July and June, 3.6% each month in May and April – has been the lowest since December 1969, but not the lowest ever. The record is 2.5% in 1953.

Asian American unemployment

“And you’ve heard me say it, but now it’s even better. Numbers just came out. African American unemployment – lowest in history. Asian American, Hispanic American – lowest in the history of our country.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

“Unemployment for African Americans – you’ve heard me say this many times, I’m very proud of it – Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans have all reached their lowest rates ever recorded in the history of our country.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Trump was accurate about the black and Hispanic unemployment rates, but not the rate for Asians.

Black Americans are at their lowest unemployment rate since the government began tracking employment statistics for them using its current methodology (in the 1970s); Hispanic Americans were slightly lower earlier in Trump’s term, but he can still accurately say they have not been lower under a previous president.

However, the rate for Asians was 2.8% in July – higher than the 2.6% rate in December 2016, Obama’s last full month in office.

Auto production

“The energy revolution is also creating new jobs in West Virginia, [New] Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, all across our beautiful land. You have no idea what’s going on, including, as I said before, car companies. We didn’t make cars.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: It is obviously not true that “we didn’t make cars” before Trump was President. The US produced 3,934,357 cars in 2016, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

Car production has actually decreased under the Trump administration. In 2018, 2,795,971 cars were produced.

Manufacturing jobs

“Remember President Obama, ‘You need magic to bring back manufacturing jobs. You need a magic wand.’ You remember? ‘Not going to happen.’ Well, so far, we’ve brought back 600,000 manufacturing jobs.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: Between January 2017, when Trump took office, and July 2019, the most recent month with available data, the economy had added 496,000 manufacturing jobs; Trump was slightly more accurate if you start in November 2016, the month of his election, but in that case it’s 523,000 jobs.

In addition, Obama did not say that creating manufacturing jobs was “not going to happen.” He did say that some manufacturing jobs were gone for good, but he also boasted of how many were still being created.

At a PBS town hall in Elkhart, Indiana, during the 2016 campaign, Obama mocked Trump for claiming, without outlining a specific plan, that he would bring back manufacturing jobs that had been lost to Mexico; he asked, “What magic wand do you have?”

But Obama didn’t say all manufacturing was gone. He also noted that some manufacturers were indeed coming back, and he boasted that “we’ve seen more manufacturing jobs created since I’ve been President than any time since the 1990s” and that “we actually make more stuff, have a bigger manufacturing base today, than we’ve had in most of our history.”

Michigan’s auto industry

Telling a story about his 2016 campaign in Michigan and his past complaints about automotive companies leaving the state, Trump claimed, “We have 17 companies now coming back in.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Trump was vague on what he meant by companies, but there are not 17 automakers operating in Michigan, and an expert on the industry says there have not been 17 auto companies of any kind that have left and come back.

“There are not 17 automakers doing anything in Michigan, let alone leaving and coming back,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president for industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research. “At most there are nine or 10 doing any sort of corporate business (other than dealerships and sales offices) in the state.”

Checking the activity of smaller supplier companies in the industry is harder, but Dziczek said the “back” part is clearly false, since “that implies a company or plant that left and returned. There haven’t been 17 reversals of plant investments that physically left and returned since January 2017.”

Wage growth

“For the first time in 20 years, wages are rising…” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Wages have been rising since 2014, using one common measure.

There are various ways to measure wage growth. Median usual weekly earnings, one way that is frequently cited, began increasing in mid-2014 – though slowly – after a decline that began in the recession year of 2009. Median usual weekly warnings went from $330 per week in the second quarter of 2014 to $349 per week in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Trump could accurately boast that wage growth during his presidency has been faster than under Obama, but he is wrong that this is the first time there has been any increase in 20 years.

Popularity and accomplishments

Man of the Year in Michigan

“In fact, five or six years before I even thought about running, for whatever reason, they named me man of the year in Michigan. I said, ‘How come?’ I didn’t even understand it myself, but I was named man of the year.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: CNN and other news outlets have found no evidence Trump was ever named Michigan’s man of the year.

You can read our full fact check on this claim here.

The opioid epidemic

“We have really worked hard on the opioid, as you know, tremendous lawsuits going in against the pharmaceutical companies, and we have it down 16, 17% which is tremendous. That doesn’t satisfy anything, but we have it down…So we’re working on that, but we’re down 17% as of this moment.” – August 15 interview with Adam Sexton of WMUR TV

Facts First: Trump didn’t explain what exactly he was referring to, but the most prominent statistic associated with the opioid epidemic, the number of overdose deaths, is not down 16% or 17% nationally, according to the latest available data.

Overdose deaths were down an estimated 3.4% between January 2018 and 2019, according to preliminary data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In New Hampshire, where Trump was speaking when he made these remarks, it was 6.6%.

Overdose deaths

“…last year, we saw the first nationwide decline in drug overdose deaths in 31 years. It’s pretty amazing.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: This was one of Trump’s trademark exaggerations. Overdose deaths declined in 2018 for the first time since 1990, or 28 years, according to preliminary data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Judicial appointments

“We’re going to be up to 179 federal judges within the next two months. Nobody would have believed that’s possible. And that was because President Obama was unable to get them completed. So I inherited about 138 empty seats. Nobody can believe it.” – August 15 exchange with reporters

“I don’t know what happened to them but I came to office and I had 138 judges that were not appointed by President Obama. So I say, ‘Thank you Mr. President, very good.’ And they’ll say, ‘He was a great president.’ The fake news, ‘He was a great president.’ If he was a great president, how come he left me 138 judges to appoint when everybody says that’s the single most important thing a President of the United States has to do.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

“And equally importantly, we will have, within another 90 days, 179 federal judges…President Obama did not do his job and I inherited 138 empty positions.” – August 18 exchange with reporters

Facts First: Trump did not enter office with 138 judicial vacancies. 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 Jan. 1, 2017, just before Trump took office, plus a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the confirmation of many of Obama’s judicial nominees late in his term.

The crowd in New Hampshire

“Look, we had, I think they said, 17,000 people outside that couldn’t get in. The fire marshals close it at a certain level. The arena announced – I don’t know the people at the arena – that I broke Elton John’s record.” – August 18 exchange with reporters

Facts First: Trump did break attendance records at the arena, and did beat Elton John, but he is exaggerating the amount of people who were stuck outside unable to get in.

SNHU Arena assistant general manager Jason Perry confirmed that Trump had a bigger crowd than John did at the Manchester facility, saying Trump had over 11,500 people and John just under 11,400. But Perry also said, “As for the outside, best estimate would be between 3,500 and 4,000 that gathered and couldn’t get in.”

Mitch Cady, the fire marshal assigned to Trump’s rally, said the overflow crowd outside appeared closer to half what the President claimed. “We estimated the size to be, conservatively, in the ballpark of 8-9,000 persons. Again, this is just an estimate based upon factors we use to establish occupant loads and the square footage the crowd was taking up,” Cady said.

Prescription drug prices

“Our ambitious campaign to reduce the price of prescription drugs has produced the largest decline in drug prices in 51 years and the only decline in 51 years.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: This was a slight exaggeration. Prescription drug prices declined last year for the first time in 46 years, according to one of several measures.

The Consumer Price Index for prescription drugs showed a 0.6% decline between December 2017 and December 2018, the first calendar-year decline since 1972. As The Washington Post pointed out in its own recent fact check, some experts say the Consumer Price Index is a flawed measure of trends in drug prices, since it doesn’t include rebates that drug companies pay to insurers.

The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, which studies drug prices, found that “net drug prices in the United States increased at an estimated 1.5% in 2018.” Trump can reasonably cite the Consumer Price Index. He was just off on the number of years.

Right to Try

“And to help patients with life threatening illnesses, we also passed something I am so proud of – 44 years they couldn’t get it passed. Right to Try.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: There had not been a 44-year push for a federal Right to Try law, experts said.

Similar laws have been passed at the state level only since 2014, after the Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank, began pushing for them.

Right to Try laws seek to make it easier for terminally ill patients to access experimental medications that have not received Food and Drug Administration approval for widespread use.

“I have no idea what ‘they’ve been trying to get’ for 44 years. 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,” said Alison Bateman-House, assistant professor of medical ethics at New York University’s Langone Health.

Veterans Choice

“And we’re taking care of our military, and we’re taking care of our vets. Veterans Choice: You’ve been hearing it about for 45 years. I got it approved. Veterans Choice. We’re taking care of our veterans. We’re taking care of our military like never, ever before.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

“You look at the military, you look at what we’ve done with VA Choice, we had VA Choice approved. I used to talk about it all the time in New Hampshire. We got VA Choice approved.” – August 15 interview with Jack Heath of New Hampshire Today

“From forever, five decades, we passed for our great veterans VA Choice… ” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Trump did not get the Veterans Choice program passed. The program was signed into law by Obama in 2014.

In 2018, Trump signed the VA MISSION Act, which expanded and changed the Choice program.

Trump was not clear at the rally about what he meant by “five decades,” but he has previously claimed that people had been trying to get Veterans Choice passed for “44 years.”

Electoral votes in 2016

“They came from the hills, they came from the mountains, from the rivers, they came from all over the place. And they showed up, and they voted like nobody’s seen before and it was 306 to 223, remember?” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Hillary Clinton earned 232 electoral votes to Trump’s 306, not 223. This was not a one-time slip: Trump has habitually said it was “223” for Clinton.

Visits to Pennsylvania

“And this is my 13th visit to Pennsylvania during my administration, which is more than any other president to this point in the term.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: According to CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller, who has been maintaining comprehensive records on presidential travel since 1996, George W. Bush had made 21 visits to Pennsylvania at the same point in his term.

Beaver County, Pennsylvania

“This Shell petrochemical plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania – I did very well here. We did very well. How many points did we win by? Does anybody know? I’ll tell you. Isn’t it, I think, 28 points? That’s a lot.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: Trump won Beaver County by 18.7 points in 2016, not 28 points.

Trump received 57.6% of the vote in the county, Hillary Clinton 38.9%.

The time of day

“Now, the press will try and spin that differently, but I’m right, okay? The fake news. That’s a lot of people back there for a – like an 11 o’clock speech. That’s a lot of people. That’s a lot.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: The speech was scheduled to begin at 2:10 p.m. Trump made this comment at about 2:40 p.m.

This might well have been a slip rather than intentional deception, but Trump was using the inaccurate time of day to suggest that the size of the media crowd was especially impressive, so we’re counting it.

Wollman Rink renovation

“Even when I was doing the Wollman Rink, the city couldn’t build it. Took them nine years. They had no idea what they were doing.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: Trump took over the renovation of the Wollman Rink in Central Park in 1986 after the city attempted to renovate it for six years, not nine.

Wollman rink size

“And I had that whole big – about 70,000 feet – it’s like a massive office floor, bigger than an office floor.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: Wollman Rink in New York City’s Central Park, which Trump renovated in the 1980s, is 33,000 square feet, according to the Central Park website.

Mental institutions

“They closed so many – like 92% – of the mental institutions around this country over the years, for budgetary reasons.” – August 18 exchange with reporters

Facts First: There is no evidence that backs up the President’s claim that 92% of mental institutions have closed. He appeared to be conflating a decrease in the number of available beds at mental hospitals with the institutions themselves.

While the number of mental institutions has not decreased as drastically as Trump claims, the Treatment Advocacy Centre, a national nonprofit “dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illness,” found that the amount of staffed state mental hospital beds has decreased by 96.5% from peak hospital population numbers in the 1950s to 2016.

D. Imelda Padilla-Frausto, a research scientist at UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research, said she thinks Trump has “misunderstood” the situation.

“There has never been a time period in the US where 92% of mental institutions were closed,” Padilla-Frausto told CNN. “From 1950 to 2015 there has only been a 39% reduction in state and county psychiatric hospitals – which are often referred to as ‘mental institutions.’ As of the most recent data in 2017, there has actually been about a 5% increase.”


Democrats and the economy

“Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed, but the Democrats are trying to ‘will’ the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election. Very Selfish!” – August 19 tweet

Facts First: There is no evidence the Democrats are trying to damage the economy to hurt Trump.

Many Democrats have called on Trump to end his trade war with China, which has been cited by many economic analysts as a major factor impeding economic growth. Democrats have also urged him to pass a major infrastructure spending bill, which would serve as economic stimulus.

Joe Biden

“I think Sleepy Joe may be able to limp across the finish line. But today they announced that they’re going to cut way back on his appearances because he is such a disaster, they’re going to have fewer appearances. You’ve heard that, right? This is certain. They’re going to cut way back on his appearances. Can you believe it? If I ever did that, it would be over.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign did not announce that he would be cutting back on his appearances.

Trump was likely referring to an article in The Hill that said unnamed Biden “allies” were “floating” the idea of limiting his schedule to reduce his gaffes – but the article also quoted deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield as saying Biden didn’t plan to change his approach.

Democrats’ health care plans

“Every major Democrat running for president supports a massive government takeover of health care that would raid Medicare and destroy the private health insurance plans of millions of American families that they love.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Biden, the frontrunner in the Democratic polls, is proposing to allow people to keep their private insurance plans. So are several other candidates, including South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Biden’s plan would let people opt into a program similar to Medicare, but they could also stay on their current insurance if they preferred.

“Medicare for All” health care proposals endorsed by other Democratic presidential candidates, like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, would mandate a Medicare-style single-payer system for everyone. These plans would indeed ban private insurance except for supplemental coverage for anything not covered by the single-payer system.

Sanders’ bill, which Warren has co-sponsored, would indeed replace the current Medicare program with a new national program. But his proposal is essentially to offer a more generous version of Medicare to a greater number people, so it is misleading to say such plans would “raid” Medicare and not make clear that Medicare enrollees would still be covered.

Democrats and the border

“Yet Democrats want to open borders and Republicans want strong borders. That’s your difference. One wants open borders. Who can even think of an open border? Think of it.” And: “Democrats want open borders, they don’t mind crime. We do mind crime. And that’s the way it is.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

“All my rhetoric is that we have to have borders, they want to have open borders.” – August 15 interview with Jack Heath of New Hampshire Today

“Democrats want Open Borders and Crime! So dangerous for our Country.” – August 19 tweet

Facts First: Some Democrats, including Warren and former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, another Democratic presidential candidate, have advocated for a significant loosening of immigration law, including a decriminalization of the act of illegally crossing the border. But none of them have proposed literally opening the border to unrestricted migration.

During the Trump era, Democrats have voted for billions of dollars’ worth of fencing and other border security measures. In 2018, Democratic leaders offered Trump $25 billion for border security in exchange for a path to citizenship for the “Dreamers,” young undocumented immigrants brought to the US illegally as children.

Obama’s book deal

“I got sued on a thing called ‘emoluments.’ Emoluments. You ever hear the word? Nobody ever heard of it before. They went back. Now, nobody looks at Obama getting $60 million for a book. That’s okay. Even though nobody in history ever got that money for a book. Obama got $60 million. Think of it: $60 million for a book. Nobody looks.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: Obama did not receive $60 million for “a book.” Barack Obama and Michelle Obama secured a reported $65 million joint deal for a book by each of them.

Also, of course, the Obamas received their book deal in 2017, while out of office. The Constitution’s emoluments clause is about payments from foreign governments to current officeholders.

Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming,” has spent 39 weeks on The New York Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list. The parent company of its publisher said in March that it had sold nearly 10 million copies.

The $65 million figure would make the deal the largest book deal involving a former president, with a former first lady or not.

Foreign affairs and the military

Payments to Greenland

“It’s hurting Denmark very badly because they’re losing almost $700 million a year carrying it. So they carry it at a great loss.” – August 18 exchange with reporters

Facts First: Denmark’s annual subsidy to Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, is for less than $600 million.

According to a representative from Greenland’s Ministry of Finance, Head of Division Anders Fonnesbech-Wulff, the grant for 2019 is expected to amount to 3.86 billion Danish kroner (DKK), which is approximately $573 million. The amount has increased slightly over the years, from $547 million (3.68 billion DKK) in 2016 to $553 million (3.72 billion DKK) in 2017 to $568 million (3.82 billion DKK) in 2018. All US dollar amounts are based on the Tuesday exchange rate.

The Iran deal

“You saw we ended the Iran disaster. How about that? We paid them $150 billion, $1.8 billion in cash. Cash, cash, cash. We got nothing.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: The second figure is roughly correct, but the first is exaggerated.

The Iran nuclear deal allowed the country to access tens of billions in its own assets that had been frozen in foreign financial institutions because of sanctions; experts say the total was significantly lower than $150 billion.

Trump did not invent the $150 billion figure out of thin air: Obama himself mused in a 2015 interview about Iran having “$150 billion parked outside the country.” But experts on Iran policy, and Obama’s own administration, said that the quantity of assets the agreement actually made available to Iran was much lower.

In 2015, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew put the number at $56 billion. PolitiFact reported that Garbis Iradian, chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, put it at about $60 billion.

Adam Szubin, a senior Treasury Department official, testified to Congress in 2015 that the “usable liquid assets” would total “a little more than $50 billion.” The rest of Iran’s foreign assets, he said, were either tied up in “illiquid” projects “that cannot be monetized quickly, if at all, or are composed of outstanding loans to Iranian entities that cannot repay them.”

As Trump regularly notes, the Obama administration did send Iran $1.7 billion to settle a decades-old dispute over a purchase of US military goods Iran made before its government was overthrown in the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

The war in Afghanistan

“Just completed a very good meeting on Afghanistan. Many on the opposite side of this 19 year war, and us, are looking to make a deal - if possible!” – August 16 tweet

“I think just that we’ve been there for 19 years. We’re like a police force.” – August 18 exchange with reporters

Facts First: This was a small exaggeration. The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, less than 18 years ago. This was not a one-time slip though; Trump habitually says “19 years.”

NATO spending

“And my biggest fan is Secretary General (Jens) Stoltenberg from NATO. He said, ‘Until President Trump came along, we were going like’ [moves hand in a downward sloping motion] boom, they would have been finished very quickly.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Military spending by NATO members other than the US was not declining, nor was NATO on the brink of being “finished,” prior to Trump’s presidency.

According to official NATO figures, spending increased by 1.8% in 2015 and 2.6% in 2016, before Trump took office. Trump-era increases have been higher – 6% in 2017 and an estimated 3.8% in 2018 – and Stoltenberg has credited Trump for his role in prompting the increase. But the upward trend started two years before Trump’s tenure began.

In 2014, NATO countries who were not yet meeting the alliance guideline of spending 2% of their Gross Domestic Product on defense re-committed to meeting the target. Spending began rising after that.

Venezuela’s wealth

“You see what happened to Venezuela with socialism. Venezuela 15 years ago was one of richest countries. Now, they don’t have water, they don’t have food, they don’t have anything.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Venezuela was not one of the world’s richest countries 15 years ago.

The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook ranked Venezuela 67th in the world in 2004 by GDP per capita, at $4,019 (US) – better than more than half of the world’s countries, but nowhere near the top.

“Venezuela was one of the richest countries in the world 60 years ago. The richest in Latin America 40 years ago. But not 20 years ago,” Ricardo Hausmann, a former Venezuelan planning minister and central bank board member, said in response to a previous version of this Trump claim. Hausmann, now a Harvard University professor of economic development, was chief economist of the Inter-American Development Bank from 1994 to 2000.

The Golan Heights

“And just three months ago, we also recognized the Golan Heights as being a part of and protected by Israel.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights in March, nearly five months prior. (He has often moved the date of past achievements closer to the present.)

Military planes

“When I took over our military was sad. We weren’t flying half of our planes, they were old.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: In fiscal year 2016, 72.1% of the Air Force’s fleet was flyable. It was 71.3% in fiscal year 2017, the Air Force Times reported.

The readiness of Air Force planes was on the decline before Trump took office, but “we weren’t flying half our planes” is an exaggeration.


Who is paying for the tariffs on China

“No, we’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on US customers, which, so far, they’ve had virtually none.” – August 13 exchange with reporters

“Through massive devaluation of their currency and pumping vast sums of money into their system, the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. is receiving is a gift from China. Prices not up, no inflation. Farmers getting more than China would be spending. Fake News won’t report!” – August 13 tweet

“Good things were stated on the call with China the other day. They are eating the Tariffs with the devaluation of their currency and ‘pouring’ money into their system.” – August 14 tweet

“We are winning, big time, against China. Companies & jobs are fleeing. Prices to us have not gone up, and in some cases, have come down.” – August 14 tweet

“We are taking in billions of dollars in tariffs. And again, China is devaluing their currency, they’re pouring out money, the prices haven’t gone up. So that means we are taking in billions of dollars, we are not paying for it and ultimately their devaluations are going to hurt them very badly.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

“The tariffs have really bitten into China. They haven’t bitten into us at all – except for the reporters that want to make it look that way, but they don’t understand what’s happening. The tariffs, we’ve taken in close to $60 billion in tariff money. And the consumer has not paid for them. Now, at some point, they may have to pay something. But they understand that.” – August 15 exchange with reporters

“Import prices down, China eating Tariffs.” – August 18 tweet

“…We’re not paying for the tariffs, China is paying for the tariffs, for the 100th time. And I understand tariffs very well. Other countries, it may be that if I do things with other countries, but in the case of China, China is eating the tariffs, at least so far.” – August 18 exchange with reporters

Facts First: American importers make the actual tariff payments, and economic studies have found that Americans, not people and companies in China, have borne most of the cost.

This same week, Trump acknowledged at least the possibility that tariffs on China might hurt US consumers when he delayed planned additional tariffs until December 15. Peter Navarro, his trade adviser, described the move as a “Christmas present to the nation.”

A March paper from economists at Columbia, Princeton and the New York Federal Reserve found that the “full incidence” of Trump’s tariffs has fallen on domestic companies and consumers – costing them $3 billion a month by the end of 2018. The paper also found that the tariffs led to a reduction in US income by $1.4 billion a month.

A separate academic paper also found that the tariffs led to higher consumer prices. It estimated that the tariffs will result in a $7.8 billion-per-year decline in income.

The White House’s Economic Report of the President also acknowledged that American consumers do pay some of the cost of these tariffs. Domestic producers, according to the report, benefit from price increases from the tariffs, but “offsetting these benefits are the costs paid by consumers in the form of higher prices and reduced consumption.”

Some Chinese suppliers might take on some of the burden of the tariff by reducing their prices to maintain a market in the United States, but these studies show that the burden heavily falls on US consumers and companies.

Trade deficit with China

“China is taking out $500 billion a year, and much more than that, if you include the theft of intellectual property.” – August 13 exchange with reporters

“China has taken out over $500 billion a year for many years from our country. And that’s not going to happen anymore.” And: “We can’t allow China to take, out of our country, $507 billion every year, not including intellectual property theft and so many other things.” – August 15 exchange with reporters

“China is ripping our country like has never happened before in history with any country. They were taking out $500 billion a year, $500 billion, and that’s not including intellectual property theft, which they were stealing like crazy.” – August 15 interview with Jack Heath of New Hampshire Today

“While others allowed China to freely loot the US economy, $500 billion dollars a year. Not million, not million. Billion, with a B.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: The US has never had a $500 billion trade deficit with China.

The 2018 deficit was $381 billion when all kinds of trade were considered, $420 billion when counting goods alone and excluding services. Those were both record figures.

We’ll ignore Trump’s suggestion that a trade deficit amounts to China taking or looting money from the US, which is rejected by most economists.

Farmers and China

“And by the way, the biggest beneficiary, you know who have been great? Our great farmers have been so incredible because they have been targeted by China.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: While farmers have not unequivocally benefited from the tariffs, the Trump administration has attempted to compensate for losses due to tariffs as part of the ongoing trade war between the US and China.

The New York Times reported on July 15 that Trump’s tariffs on China had generated about $21 billion as of July 10. As Trump noted later last week, he has promised a total of $28 billion in aid to farmers over the last two years – so the tariff revenue so far does not even cover the cost of his pledge.

Many farmers and agricultural groups continue to speak out about the harm the tariffs are causing them and to say that they would prefer the elimination of the tariffs to continued government aid.

Trade deficit with Japan

“I told (Japanese) Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe – great guy. I said, ‘Listen, we have a massive deficit with Japan.’…But the deficit is massive, which – changing rapidly…But we’re losing $78 billion.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: The US trade deficit with Japan in goods and services was $58 billion in 2018. It was $68 billion when counting trade in goods alone and ignoring trade in services.

Exports to Japan

“Many car plants – they’re coming in from Japan. I told Prime Minister Abe – great guy. I said, ‘Listen, we have a massive deficit with Japan.’ They send thousands and thousands – millions – of cars. We send them wheat. Wheat. That’s not a good deal. And they don’t even want our wheat. They do it because they want us to at least feel that we’re okay. You know, they do it to make us feel good.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: The US exports far more than just wheat to Japan. Japan is the 4th biggest export market for the US, buying $120.4 billion in US goods and services in 2018.

In 2018, the US exported to Japan $8.8 billion in mineral fuels, $8.2 billion in machinery, $7.5 billion in optical and medical instruments and $13 billion in agricultural products, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Wheat is not even the top agricultural export to Japan. Wheat exports totaled $698 million in 2018, behind corn, beef, pork and soybeans.

There is no apparent basis for Trump’s claim that Japan only buys US wheat to make Americans feel good.

The steel industry

“Pennsylvania steel raised the skyscrapers that built our cities. And, by the way, steel – steel was dead. Your business was dead. Okay? I don’t want to be overly crude. Your business was dead.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: It is not true that “steel was dead” before Trump imposed his tariffs last year. Though US Steel had significantly declined from its heyday and had faltered for much of the decade, it had earned a profit in 2017. Other American steel companies, notably Nucor, were thriving before the tariffs.

Bloomberg reported in an October 2018 fact check: “In fact, US steelmakers Nucor Corp. and Steel Dynamics Inc. were two of the healthiest commodity companies in the world before Trump took office.” Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $1.3 billion for 2017 and $796 million for 2016. Steel Dynamics earned $813 million in 2017 and $382 million in 2016.

Once-dominant US Steel, a company Trump has regularly referenced, earned $387 million in 2017, the year before Trump imposed the tariffs. The company had struggled so badly in the years prior that it was dropped in 2014 from the S&P 500 stock index, but it was certainly not dead.

Steel plants before the tariffs

“I’ll tell you what: Those steel mills – US Steel and all of them, all of them – they’re expanding all over the place. New mills. New expansions. We hadn’t have – we didn’t have a new mill built in 30 years, and now we have many of them going up.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: It is not true that no steel mills had been built in 30 years prior to Trump’s presidency or prior to his tariffs.

V&M Star announced a $650 mill in Ohio in 2010. Big River Steel announced a $1 billion mill in Arkansas in 2013. Benteler Steel/Tube broke ground on a $975 million mill in Louisiana the same year.

Various other plants were idled or closed over the past 30 years, but it’s simply false that none were built.

World Trade Organization record

“And, you know, we were losing all our cases until I came along. We were losing all our cases in the World Trade Organization. Almost every case, we were – lost, lost, lost. They thought we were stupid. They were the ones ruling. And then I came along. Now we’re winning a lot of cases because they know that they’re not on very solid ground. We will leave, if we have to. And all of the sudden, we’re winning a lot of cases. We’re winning most of our cases. And it’s only because of attitude, because we know that they have been screwing us for years. And it’s not going to happen any longer. They get it. They get it. So they’re giving us victories. They’re giving us victories.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: There is no basis for Trump’s claim that the US was losing “all” of its WTO cases before he came along. Contrary to Trump’s repeated assertion, the US has long been successful in WTO disputes: his own Council of Economic Advisers said in a report in February 2018 that the US had won 86% of the cases it has brought since 1995.

The global average was 84% and China’s figure 67%. As is standard for the WTO, the US tended to lose cases where it is defending the case rather than bringing it – but even in those cases, Trump’s advisers noted that it did better (25% victory rate) than the world average (17% ) or China’s record (just 5%).

A Bloomberg Law review in March of this year found that the US success rate in cases it brings to the WTO had increased extremely slightly since Trump took office, from 84.8% in 2016 to 85.4%. So there’s a kernel of truth to Trump’s claim, but an increase of 0.6 percentage points does not seem to justify his story about his “attitude” producing a significant change.

The WTO and China

“By the way, World Trade Organization, it made China. China made themselves. They did a good job. But they ripped off our country for years, and with our money and World Trade Organization backing. And then they took advantage of the rules of the World Trade Organization. And I’m being nice when I say ‘took advantage.’ Much more than ‘took advantage.’ They went up like a rocket ship. They were flat-lined for 100 years. And then, one day, World Trade Organization – a terrible move.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: China’s economy was not “flat-lined for 100 years” before it became a member of the World Trade Organization in late 2001. China had experienced significant growth for years prior.

According to World Bank figures, China grew by 7.7% in 1999, 8.5% in 2000 and 8.3% in 2001. It then grew by 9.1% in 2002, 10.0% in 2003 and 10.1% in 2004. Its post-WTO growth peaked at 14.2% in 2007 – almost identical to its growth in 1992.

Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics wrote in 2008: “China has been the fastest growing economy in the world over almost three decades, expanding at 10 per cent per year in real terms.” In an email to CNN in July, when Trump made another version of this comment, Lardy said, “Uninformed would be the best characterization of the President’s comment.”

Japan and auto plants

“But what they’re doing is they’re buying a lot of our stuff, including our military equipment. They’re building car plants now in the United States – in Michigan, in Pennsylvania. Many, many of the Japanese car companies are coming over and building car plants in the United States.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Facts First: Japanese automakers are not building new plants in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Two Japanese automakers, Toyota and Mazda, have announced plans to build a US plant during Trump’s presidency; their joint venture is under construction in Alabama.

Trump has said since last year that Japan’s Abe, has told him that more Japanese automakers will soon announce major US investments. But none of the companies has announced a new US plant since Toyota and Mazda introduced the joint venture in early 2018.

“There are no Japanese automakers currently building plants or making announcements that they plan to build manufacturing plants in Michigan or Pennsylvania,” said Kristin Dziczek, the Center for Automotive Research’s vice president for industry, labor and economics.

Japanese automakers have made additional investments in existing facilities.

Tariff revenue

“I just see where we’ve collected close to $59 billion in tariffs so far. And, in my opinion, the consumer has not paid for it because of the devaluation by China. They devalued and they pumped a lot of money into their system. So, it’s really been an amazing – it’s been an amazing period of time.” And: “The only impact has been that we’ve collected almost $60 billion from China – compliments of China.” – August 13 exchange with reporters

Facts First: The figure that is close to $60 billion is for revenue generated by duties on all countries this year, not just tariffs on China.

In its monthly report to Congress for July, the Treasury Department noted that the US has collected $57 billion in customs duties this year.

The New York Times reported in July that Trump’s tariffs on China had generated $20.8 billion as of then.

US Steel

“Together, we’re restoring this nation’s industrial might and we are doing it with American iron, American aluminum and American steel. We’re doing steel. Steel industry is hot. They were dumping steel all over. They were destroying our companies. US Steel now, all of them – they’re all expanding. The steel industry is back, it’s doing great.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: We give Trump broad leeway to claim that the industry is doing well, but US Steel is not currently expanding. It announced in June that it would idle two of its blast furnaces in the US, one in Indiana and one in Michigan, plus another furnace in Europe.

US Steel revealed the week after Trump spoke that it would temporarily lay off 200 workers at the Michigan facility. Though the company has been profitable since Trump imposed his tariffs on foreign steel last year, its stock price has plummeted more than 70%.

The New York Times

“The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office, hopefully in 6 years. They have Zero credibility and are losing a fortune, even now, especially after their massive unfunded liability. I’m fairly certain they’ll endorse me just to keep it all going!” – August 18 tweet

Facts First: The New York Times Company is making profits and is not on the verge of going out of business.

Two weeks before Trump’s tweet, the company announced second quarter operating profit of $37.9 million. Its first quarter operating profit was $34.6 million.

Building the wall

“Think of it, we protect the border of South Korea, but we don’t protect our own border. But now we are. And the wall is being built…The wall is being – and we’re going to have a lot of it. We’re going to have anywhere from 400 to 500 miles built by the end of next year. We’re building a lot of wall and we need it.” – August 13 energy speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania

“…We’re building the wall. It’s going up now, you know, we won the big lawsuit three weeks ago. The wall is proceeding very rapidly. We need it.” – August 15 interview with Jack Heath of New Hampshire Today

“…the Wall is under major construction! ” – August 15 tweet

“…and by the way, the wall is being built.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: Nothing resembling the wall Trump campaigned on has been built at any speed. Zero additional miles of border barriers had been erected as of mid-June.

About 50 miles have been built over his two and a half years in office, but all of them are replacement barriers rather than additional miles.

According to Customs and Border Protection, 47 miles “of new border barriers in place of dilapidated design” had been completed as of June 14. The Washington Examiner reported on July 20 that the total was up to 51 miles of such replacement barriers, but that no additional miles had been built. (Customs and Border Protection did not respond to our request for updated information in the wake of the Examiner story.)

Trump has started arguing since this spring that replacement fencing should be counted by the media as his “wall,” since he is replacing ineffective old barriers with effective modern ones. This is subjective, but we think it’s fair to focus on the new barriers he promised during his campaign.

Pre-existing conditions

“And you have to remember this: Republicans, and I speak for every one of them, we will always protect pre-existing conditions. We are going to protect, always.” – August 15 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire

Facts First: We usually don’t fact-check promises, but this one has already proved untrue. The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have repeatedly put forward bills and lawsuits that would weaken Obamacare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump is currently supporting a Republican lawsuit that is seeking to declare all of Obamacare void. He has not issued a plan to reinstate the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions if the suit succeeds.