President Donald Trump made 192 false claims between May 4 and June 7. Many of them were repeated from earlier periods of his presidency and May 3. For a list of new false claims from this period, click here. The coronavirus pandemic Responsibility for the initial testing problems Trump blamed the Obama administration for “broken” coronavirus tests: “We came up – don’t forget, the cupboard was bare. The other administration – the last administration left us nothing. We didn’t have ventilators, we didn’t have medical equipment, we didn’t have testing. The tests were broken. You saw that. We had broken tests.” – May 5 interview with ABC News’ David Muir Facts First: The faulty initial test for the coronavirus was created during Trump’s administration, in early 2020, by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since this is a new virus that was first identified during Trump’s presidency, tests couldn’t possibly have been inherited as “broken.” You can read a longer fact check here. US testing vs. the world’s testing Trump claimed six times that the US had done more coronavirus tests than the rest of the world combined. Facts First: This claim was not true at any of the times Trump made it. Trump initially made an accurate narrower claim, saying on April 19, while reading from a prepared text, that the US had done more tests than the combined total of France, the UK, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Austria, Australia, Sweden, and Canada – but then inflated it to the inaccurate claim that the US had done more tests than the entire world combined or all “major” countries combined. When you add in all of the dozens of countries that were not on Trump’s initial list, including Spain, Germany, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Belgium, New Zealand and the Netherlands, the world total has consistently been millions of tests higher than the US total. It’s true that the US had, as of mid-May, conducted more tests in total than any other single country, though it had not conducted the most per capita. The COVID Tracking Project, which cautions that it can only count tests reported by a state, had counted 11.8 million US tests as of May 18, after Trump made all six of these claims. The safety of hydroxychloroquine Trump said three times that it’s clear that hydroxychloroquine will not cause harm to people who take it for the coronavirus because it has been around for many years for other ailments, such as malaria and lupus. For example, he said on May 19: “And what has been determined is it doesn’t harm you. It’s a very powerful drug, I guess, but it doesn’t harm you.” Facts First: It’s not true that we know hydroxychloroquine can be safely used by coronavirus patients because it has previously been used for other ailments, or even that we know it will not cause death in coronavirus patients. While data is still being gathered about the impact of the drug on coronavirus patients, it is already clear that it can pose risks. You can read a longer fact check here. Trump’s travel restrictions on China Trump exaggerated 15 times about his travel restrictions on China, repeatedly describing it as a “ban,” a “stoppage of Chinese people coming in,” or similar. On four of these occasions, he acknowledged that US citizens were exempted from the restrictions. Facts First: Trump was exaggerating. The travel restriction policy his administration announced January 31, which took effect February 2, was not a complete ban on China or a total border closure, and citizens were not the only people exempted. The restrictions prohibited most people who had been in China in the previous 14 days from entering the US, but it made significant exceptions – for not only US citizens but permanent residents, many of the family members of citizens and permanent residents, and some other groups of people. The New York Times reported April 4 that nearly 40,000 people had flown to the US from China since the restrictions went into effect in early February. People who did return from China were put through an enhanced screening process, and all travelers who had been in China’s Hubei province in the two weeks prior to their return were subject to a mandatory quarantine of up to 14 days. Trump’s travel restrictions on Europe Trump said of his actions to fight the coronavirus: “I banned Europe because we saw what was going over – what was happening in Europe.” – May 5 interview with ABC News’ David Muir Facts First: Trump was exaggerating or speaking too broadly. Trump never imposed a complete “ban” on European nationals or people traveling from Europe. Rather, he imposed restrictions on travel from most European countries – but exempted other European countries. And his restrictions did not apply to some people traveling from Europe: US citizens, permanent US residents, certain family members of both citizens and permanent residents, and some other groups of travelers. Trump’s restrictions initially applied to the 26 countries in the Schengen Area, a European zone in which people can move freely across internal borders without being subjected to border checks. Trump later added the United Kingdom and Ireland. That still left out some European countries, including Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and Russia. The ventilator stockpile Trump claimed on 13 occasions that the country was left no ventilators or entirely empty shelves of medical supplies by the Obama administration. (He sometimes qualified the claim by saying “basically” or “essentially,” but other times made a blanket assertion. For example, he told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo in an interview: “When we took over, we didn’t have ventilators. Nobody knew what a ventilator was.”) Facts First: It’s not true that the Trump administration was left no ventilators. While the exact number of ventilators in the national stockpile at the time of Trump’s inauguration in 2017 is not known, one expert on respiratory care says thousands of ventilators were purchased for the stockpile during the Obama administration and were not used before Trump took office. In addition, journalists personally saw ventilators in the stockpile when they visited facilities in 2016, as FactCheck.org has noted. Richard Branson, a professor at the University of Cincinnati’s medical school and editor of the medical journal Respiratory Care, told CNN that thousands of ventilators were purchased for the national stockpile between 2000 and 2016, including more than 14,000 under President Barack Obama. He said that the coronavirus crisis is the first time ventilators from the stockpile have had to be distributed, so it is clearly untrue that there was nothing left to Trump – though he said some of the older ventilators have likely been removed from the stockpile in recent years. Branson said he could tell from the appearance of ventilator boxes shown being distributed during the coronavirus pandemic that they were the ventilators purchased for the stockpile under Obama. You can read a fact check here about Trump’s broader claim about being left empty shelves and cupboards. A new coronavirus projection Asked twice about how a model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) had, in early May, nearly doubled its projected coronavirus death toll, up to more than 134,000 by early August, Trump said both times that the model assumed there would not be any mitigation efforts. For example, he said in an April 5 interview, “Those models that you’re mentioning are talking about without mitigation. Well we’re mitigating, and we’ve learned to mitigate…” Facts First: It’s not true that the University of Washington model assumes there will be no mitigation efforts, as Amelia Apfel, spokeswoman for the IHME, said in an email: “The statement that our model assumes no mitigation is not correct. Our model has always included social distancing policies.” The availability of coronavirus testing Trump said, “If somebody wants to be tested right now, they’ll be able to be tested.” – May 11 press conference on coronavirus testing Facts First: This was not true. Some states said at the time that they were offering tests to everyone. But multiple states still said tests should go to people who meet certain criteria – such as having symptoms of the virus, having had contact with an infected person or working in a health care facility or in a grocery store. In addition to official guidelines on who should get a test, some jurisdictions continued to experience shortages of key testing materials – which may prevent even people with symptoms from being tested. Trump was implicitly corrected by assistant secretary for health Brett Giroir, the administration’s testing coordinator, who said that “everybody who needs a test” – not, as Trump said, “wants” a test – “can get a test.” (Giroir explained that he was talking about people “who are symptomatic with a respiratory illness” or who “need to be contact traced,” meaning they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.) But Trump returned to his original language, saying, “If people want to get tested, they get tested.” You can read a longer fact check here. An FDA warning Trump was reminded by a reporter that the FDA had said that anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine should not be used to treat the coronavirus outside of a hospital setting or research studies. Trump interjected: “No. That’s not what I was told. No.” – May 19 exchange with reporters at Cabinet meeting Facts First: The reporter was right. The FDA issued a safety warning on April 24 that was headlined, “FDA cautions against use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of the hospital setting or a clinical trial due to risk of heart rhythm problems.” We don’t know what Trump might have been personally told, but he was incorrect when he said “no” in response to the reporter’s accurate premise. Worship and the law “Now, the ministers, the pastors, the rabbis, the anybody you want to say, the religious leaders, all religious leaders, they want to keep their people safe too. But when you see that they’re arresting people and they’re in parking lots in cars with windows closed and the people are being arrested, it’s a disgrace.” – May 24 interview with Sharyl Attkisson Facts First: Trump was mistaken or slightly exaggerating. There had not been any reports of churchgoers “getting arrested” for listening to a church service in their cars. Trump may have been attempting to refer to what happened outside a church in Greenville, Mississippi, where local media reported people attending a drive-in service in their cars were given $500 tickets, but not arrested, for allegedly violating the mayor’s distancing executive order. The mayor later announced they would not have to pay the $500. Trade The trade deficit with China Trump claimed four times that the US previously had trade deficits with China of up to $500 billion a year. Facts First: There has never been a $500 billion trade deficit with China. (Trump describes trade deficits as “losing,” though many economists dispute that characterization.) The 2018 deficit was $381 billion when counting goods and services, $420 billion when counting goods alone. The history of tariffs on China Trump claimed that, prior to his tariffs on China, China “never paid us 10 cents, by the way, before that. Before Trump, they never paid anything.” – May 19 remarks on supporting farmers Facts First: Study after study has shown that Americans, not China, are paying most of the cost of Trump’s tariffs. Aside from that, it’s not true that the Treasury had never previously received “10 cents” from tariffs on China. The US has had tariffs on China for more than two centuries. FactCheck.org reported that the US generated an “average of $12.3 billion in custom duties a year from 2007 to 2016, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission DataWeb.” Trump was also wrong if he was talking broadly about Chinese spending on American products. China purchased more than $100 billion worth of American exports from 2011 to 2016, and billions per year dating back to at least 1985. China’s economic performance Trump said on three occasions that, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, China had its worst economic performance in “67 years.” On another occasion, he said it was “56 years.” Facts First: China’s officially reported 2019 growth rate, 6.1%, was the lowest since 1990, 29 years prior. While China’s official figures are unreliable, there is no basis for the “67 years” claim; Trump has habitually exaggerated how long it had been since China’s growth was as slow as it was in 2019, steadily inflating the figure over time. Who is paying Trump’s tariffs on China Trump claimed three times that the revenue from his tariffs on China is being paid by China. Facts First: Study after study has shown that Americans are bearing most of the cost of the tariffs. And it is American importers, not Chinese exporters, who are responsible for making the actual tariff payments to the federal government.” China’s agricultural spending Trump said of China’s agricultural spending on US products: “The most they ever did was $15 [billion] or $16 [billion], and now they’re going to $50 [billion]. Anywhere between $40 [billion] and $50 [billion], in terms of farm.” – May 6 exchange with reporters at meeting with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Facts First: Fifteen billion dollars or $16 billion was not the most China ever spent on American agricultural products. China spent $25.9 billion in 2012, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture. US auto tariffs Trump said of the European Union: “They send cars over, no tax.” – May 14 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo Facts First: The US has a 2.5% tariff on imported European cars and a 25% tariff on imported European pickup trucks. Trump could make an argument that the car tariff is too low, but “no tax” is false. US car sales in Europe Trump said of the European Union: “If we want to sell a car over there, it’s an impossibility.” – May 14 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo Facts First: It is not impossible for the US to export cars to Europe. According to a European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association report in 2019: “Today, the US is the fourth biggest exporter of cars to the European Union: 19% of the total value of US car exports heads for the EU, representing 12% of EU car imports by value.” The EU’s Eurostat statistical office says that car imports from the US hit a new peak in 2019, about 9 billion Euro (about $10 billion at current exchange rates). The size of the USMCA “But USMCA is actually the largest trade deal ever made anywhere in the world. People don’t realize the amount of mon- – of business that we do with Canada and with Mexico is monumental. It’s the biggest trade deal in the world.” – May 19 remarks at Cabinet meeting Facts First: “Biggest” can be defined in different ways, but trade experts say the USMCA was not the biggest trade deal in US history. “Since ‘biggest trade deal’ has no standard meaning, it may be possible to justify his statements by constructing a measure that fits it and by limiting the number of trade agreements that one compares to. But by any sensible interpretation, he’s wrong,” said Alan Deardorff, a University of Michigan professor of international economics who focuses on trade. Deardorff said that both the USMCA and Trump’s trade deal with China, “measured in terms of the volume of trade that they cover, are smaller than the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Obama negotiated, and much smaller than the Uruguay Round that created the World Trade Organization.” The free trade agreement between Japan and the European Union, which came into effect in 2019, covered more people than the USMCA: more than 600 million compared to less than 500 million. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump pulled the US out of upon taking office, included all three countries that were part of the USMCA, plus nine additional countries. It’s also worth noting that the USMCA is not an entirely new agreement. It is an update to NAFTA, which took effect in 1994, and retains many of NAFTA’s key provisions. Canada’s dairy tariffs “Canada has been very tough. Canada charged, in Wisconsin – before I got up and changed it – 287% tariffs on dairy products…So, think of it. And they kept it at 287. They didn’t want to make it 300 because they thought somebody might find out. And until I became President, nobody knew. I ended it. But they were charging Wisconsin and our farmers 287% tariffs to send dairy products to Canada…But the deal has worked. You know, the new deal is a good deal. It’s got rid of all that stuff.” – June 5 remarks at roundtable on supporting commercial fishermen Facts First: Most of the Canadian dairy tariffs Trump repeatedly denounced during the USMCA negotiations were left in place by the agreement. (Trump did secure concessions from Canada to allow greater market access for American dairy farmers, but the tariffs themselves – which apply to American exports that exceed Canadian quota maximums – were not altered.) The exception is whey and margarine, for which both Canada and the US agreed to eliminate tariffs. Immigration Mexican soldiers on the border “…as an example, Mexico – great relationship with Mexico. They’ve been very nice to us. They have 27,000 of their soldiers on our border because I insisted on it.” – May 14 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo Facts First: Trump exaggerated how many Mexican soldiers are being stationed near the US border. While Mexico has deployed around 27,000 troops, its defense minister said in October that it was about 15,000 on the US border, about 12,000 on Mexico’s own southern border. Progress on the border wall “We’re up to over 200 miles of brand new, beautiful border wall.” – May 21 speech at Ford Rawsonville Components plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan Facts First: Trump was exaggerating. As of May 22, the day after Trump spoke there, 194 miles of barriers had been constructed on the Mexican border since January 2017, according to an official update sent to CNN by US Customs and Border Protection. Democrats and borders Trump claimed six times that Democrats want “open borders.” Facts First: Prominent Democrats, including presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden, do not support completely unrestricted migration, as Trump suggests. While Biden has proposed a liberalization of immigration policy, including a moratorium on deportations for his first 100 days in office and taking in more refugees, he is not proposing to allow people to walk across the borders unfettered. His immigration plan says, “Like every nation, the U.S. has a right and a duty to secure our borders and protect our people against threats.” In 2019, Biden explicitly opposed Democratic opponents’ proposals to decriminalize the act of crossing the border illegally, saying, “It’s a crime.” Though the Democratic majority in the House opposes Trump’s signature proposal for a border wall, congressional Democrats have long supported other border security measures. Migrants and court Trump said only a tiny percentage of migrants end up showing up for court after they have been apprehended and then released pending a hearing: “You’d release them into the country, by law, and then you’d say, ‘Come back in five years for your trial.’ And only the very stupid people came back. About 2%.” – May 21 speech at Ford Rawsonville Components plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan Facts First: There is no apparent basis for the claim that a mere “2%” of migrants show up for court hearings. While there are numerous ways to measure court absenteeism, Trump has not provided any data to suggest that any reasonable measure shows only “2%” of people show up – and experts say they do not believe such a figure exists. In 2017, 89% of asylum seekers appeared in court to receive decisions on their cases, according to official federal data. Among all kinds of migrants, 72% appeared in court. No matter what subset of the data you look at, “I don’t know how you could get to 2%,” said Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. Kevin McAleenan, then the acting Secretary of Homeland Security, testified to Congress in 2019 that 90% of people who were part of a particular pilot project in 10 cities – to expedite hearings for families – were not present for the final decision on their cases. But this was data for a particular “rocket docket” fast-track project that is not representative of the immigration court system more broadly. Absenteeism rates “for this docket fails to give an accurate picture of how many migrants do and don’t show up to court,” Pierce said. Pierce said that migrants on this docket may not have received their notices to appear or have had time to arrange travel to court, retain counsel, or otherwise prepare Also, McAleenan was citing preliminary data on who showed up for the day of the final decision on a case, so his numbers would not have captured still-in-progress cases that had been prolonged by the fact that the person in question did show up to contest the case. Pierce also noted that, by early 2020, the absenteeism number McAleenan was citing had fallen to 67% from that early 90%. And, even if you want to use McAleenan’s outdated data, 10% being present is not “2%” being present. Foreign and military affairs The formation of the European Union “If you take Europe, European Union, it was formed for the benefit of themselves against us. OK. It was formed to hurt us.” – May 14 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo Facts First: Experts on the European Union say it was not formed to hurt the US. “The President’s claims are preposterous. The European Communities (forerunner of the EU) were formed in the 1950s as part of a joint US-Western European plan to stabilize and secure Western Europe and promote prosperity, by means of trade liberalization and economic growth, throughout the shared transatlantic space,” Desmond Dinan, a public policy professor at George Mason University who is an expert in the history of European integration, said in response to a previous version of this claim. US presidents have consistently supported European integration efforts. “The EU was launched in 1993, on the shoulders of the European Communities, to promote peace and prosperity in the post-Cold War era, an era also of rapid globalization. American officials may have had their doubts about the feasibility of monetary union, and about the possibility of a Common (European) Security and Defense Policy, but the US Administration strongly supported further European integration in the 1990s,” Dinan said. Veterans Choice Trump claimed eight times to have gotten the Veterans Choice health care program passed. Facts First: The Veterans Choice bill, a bipartisan initiative led by senators Bernie Sanders and the late John McCain, was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2014. In 2018, Trump signed the VA Mission Act, which expanded and changed the Choice program. European countries and military spending Trump criticized European countries for their military spending before his presidency, saying of NATO: “…you know, we were paying more and more. They were paying less. You have to see the chart of what they pay.” When he said “they were paying less,” he drew a diagonal line downward with his hand. Facts First: Military spending by European NATO members had increased for two years prior to Trump’s presidency. According to NATO figures released in November, spending by European members and Canada increased by 1.7% in 2015 and 3.0% in 2016 after declining 1.0% in 2014 and 1.2% in 2013. Spending on military equipment “Under my administration, we have invested two and a half trillion dollars in new planes, ships, submarines, tanks, missiles, rockets – anything you can think of.” – May 30 remarks after viewing SpaceX launch Facts First: Trump was exaggerating how much money has been spent on military equipment during his presidency. “When he says $2.5 trillion, he can’t possibly mean the amount spent on military equipment. That figure is roughly the total of military spending since he took office, and about two-thirds of it is for things other than equipment, like pay and benefits,” said Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. The Turkey-Syria border Trump claimed that others had policed the Turkey-Syria border “for 2,000 years” before the US had a military presence there: “The border has been fine without us. They’ve been policing their border for 2,000 years. All of a sudden, we had thousands of soldiers there doing their work, for what? Guarding Syria and Turkey on a border – a very long border?” – May 26 exchange with reporters at event on protecting seniors with diabetes Facts First: There is no basis for the claim that someone has been policing the Turkey-Syria border for 2,000 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. Trump’s popularity and accomplishments Trump’s approval rating with Republicans “Wow! 96% Approval Rating in the Republican Party (and I believe this was before the ‘GREAT’ Jobs Numbers yesterday). Thank you!” – June 6 tweet Facts First: We could not find any recent poll in which Trump had a 96% approval rating with Republicans, though he was consistently in the high 80s or low 90s.Trump has regularly exaggerated his Republican approval rating even though the actual number has usually been high. Judicial appointments Trump exaggerated, seven times, about the number of judges he has gotten confirmed, claiming the number was as high as 280. Facts First: According to Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who tracks judicial appointments, Trump had gotten 197 judges confirmed as of June 2. A record on judges? “And one other thing, I’ve always heard judges are the most important thing that a president can do. I set a record on judges. 252 judges. It’s unthinkable. Every judge is so important. 252 judges, two Supreme Court justices.” – May 5 interview with ABC News’ David Muir Facts First: Trump had gotten 193 judges, not 252 judges, confirmed to federal courts (district courts, appeals courts and the Supreme Court) as of the date he spoke here, according to Wheeler – and that was not a record at the time. President Jimmy Carter had gotten 208 judges confirmed as of the same day in his presidency, Wheeler said. Trump had also not set a record for the percentage of the federal judiciary he had filled as of the date he spoke here: he was at 22%, while Carter was at 31% at the time and President Richard Nixon was at 33% at the time, according to Wheeler’s data; President Bill Clinton was also at 22%. Hillary Clinton’s electoral votes Trump said of his 2016 margin in the Electoral College: “And we won pretty easily too: 306 to 223.” – May 22 speech at Rolling to Remember ceremony honoring veterans and prisoners of war Facts First: Hillary Clinton earned 232 votes in the Electoral College, not 223. This was not a one-time slip; Trump has habitually said “223.” Joe Biden Joe Biden and the debates Trump said of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden: “I know that they want to get out of the debate. They’re saying that they won’t be able to debate because of Covid-19…And they said that they won’t be able to debate. Well, I’d like to debate. As you know, I did well on the debates. I wouldn’t be standing here, but no, I heard there’s a rumor that…I don’t know if you guys have been seeing this, but they don’t want to debate because of Covid, okay.” – May 14 interview with The Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito Facts First: There is no apparent basis for the claim that Biden is trying to get out of debating Trump. Biden has repeatedly and explicitly said he is eager to debate Trump, even if it cannot be in person because of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden said at an April fundraiser that “I can hardly wait to debate Donald Trump. Are you kidding?” According to a pool report from Washington Post reporter Annie Linskey, Biden then added: “Look, I’m ready to debate him. Zoom or Skype or Slack or Hangouts or in person, anytime, anywhere he wants.” Biden made a similar comment in an interview on March 31, Bloomberg News reported: “I’m ready to debate President Trump on Zoom or Skype anytime he wants.” “I can hardly wait to get him on a debate stage,” Biden said on ABC’s “The View” in February. “Come on, Mr. President. I can hardly wait,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in early March. Trump might have been thinking of a remark Biden made in late March, two weeks before Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic primary; Biden said he was focused on the pandemic crisis and did not think there should be another debate against Sanders, over whom he had an overwhelming delegate lead. But Biden has never said he thinks the pandemic should prevent a debate against Trump. Joe Biden’s dealings with Ukraine Trump tweeted a clip of Joe Biden talking at a 2018 event about some of his dealings with Ukraine as vice president; Trump wrote, “A disgrace. Total corruption!” – May 24 tweet Facts First: The video clip Trump tweeted does not show Biden acting corruptly. There is no evidence of corruption in Biden’s dealings with Ukraine. You can read a longer fact check here. Hunter Biden’s career Trump made unproven allegations about how Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president and now presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, had secured a major investment from China while Joe Biden was vice president. Trump said he had talked about this with Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman: “He said it’s impossible. You can’t get that money. He said, ‘This guy had no experience. He didn’t even have a job.’” – May 14 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo Facts First: It’s not true that Hunter Biden had no experience or job before his father became vice president or before he traveled to China with his father in December 2013. And Schwarzman denies that he has ever had any such conversation with Trump – or any conversation with Trump about the Bidens. Hunter Biden, a lawyer who graduated from Yale Law School, served during his father’s vice presidency as chairman of World Food Program USA, chief executive officer and chairman of investment advisory firm Rosemont Seneca Advisors, lawyer at the firm Boies Schiller Flexner, and as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s foreign service program. Before Joe Biden became vice president in 2009, Hunter Biden worked as a lobbyist. He became a partner at a law and lobbying firm in 2001. (He stopped lobbying late in the 2008 election.) Before that, he had worked for financial services company MBNA, rising to senior vice president and worked for the US Commerce Department. When Trump made a similar claim in 2019, a spokesperson for Schwarzman, Jennifer Friedman, told the Washington Post that “Steve never spoke to the President about Joe Biden or his family, nor has he had any conversations with the Chinese about Biden or his family.” Friedman told CNN this week that this previous statement still stands and that Schwarzman still has not had any conversations with Trump about the Bidens. Joe Biden’s supposed apology Trump claimed that, when he imposed his travel restrictions on China, former vice president Joe Biden called him xenophobic, but that “he later apologized!” – May 25 tweet Facts First: Biden has not apologized for having called Trump xenophobic, or admitted he was wrong. Furthermore, it’s not clear the former vice president even knew about Trump’s China travel restrictions when he called Trump xenophobic on the day the restrictions were unveiled; Biden’s campaign says he did not. Russia, Ukraine and impeachment The accuracy of the whistleblower Trump called the whistleblower who filed a complaint about his administration’s dealings with Ukraine “a fake whistleblower” who “wrote down a conversation that was totally different from the conversation I actually had with the President of Ukraine.” He added that the whistleblower’s account of the July call “bore no resemblance to the conversation that I had with the President of Uk- – Ukraine. Nothing whatsoever.” – May 18 exchange with reporters at roundtable with restaurant executives Facts First: The whistleblower’s account of Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been proven highly accurate. In fact, the rough transcript released by Trump himself showed that the whistleblower’s three primary allegations about the call were correct or very close to correct. You can read a full fact check here. The timing of Rep. Adam Schiff’s comments Trump claimed that, before he released the rough transcript of his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff uttered an inaccurate rendition of the call: “It was a total lie. And then when they read it, that’s why I had to release it. I released the conversation for the world to see.” – May 8 interview with Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Facts First: Trump can reasonably criticize Schiff’s comments at a House Intelligence Committee hearing in September; as we’ve written before, Schiff’s mix of near-quotes from Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, his own analysis, and supposed “parody” was at the very least confusing. But Schiff spoke the day after Trump released the rough transcript, not before Trump released the transcript. Trump has repeatedly inverted the timing of Schiff’s comments in relation to the release of the rough transcript. The legality of the Russia investigation Trump five times described the investigation into his campaign’s relationship with Russia as “illegal.” Facts First: The investigation into the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia was not illegal. Multiple federal courts have upheld the legality of special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment and endorsed actions he took, such as subpoenaing witnesses to testify before a grand jury and bringing criminal charges against some senior Trump aides. The inspector general for the Department of Justice conducted an exhaustive review and determined that the FBI had a legitimate basis for opening the Russia investigation in July 2016, prior to Mueller’s appointment in May 2017, though he also criticized the FBI for problems with its use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Trump has begun using the phrase “Obamagate,” claiming that this supposed scandal is the biggest “political crime” in American history – but he has never explained what he believes the actual crime is. A Trump tweet about Obama “Remember when they got me, when I said wiretapping, meaning ‘wiretapping’ in quotes or spying, but it was in quotes because I’m talking about the modern day version. I said, ‘They’re wiretapping. They’re spying on me.’ Remember how you thought that was such a terrible tweet, right? I was right. They’re spying on me. They spied on me. And that’s not being paranoid. That’s being fact.” – May 24 interview with Sharyl Attkisson Facts First: Trump was not correct with his 2017 claims that President Barack Obama was wiretapping him. Trump appeared to be referring to the 2017 tweet in which he said, “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” (He repeated the allegation in additional tweets the same day, saying, for example, “I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”) There is still no evidence that Trump was wiretapped, let alone that Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump. The Justice Department said in a 2017 court filing that there are no records related to wiretaps like the ones Trump described. Then-FBI Director James Comey told Congress in 2017 that “we have no information to support those tweets.” Robert Mueller and the FBI director job “Mueller lied to Congress. He said he didn’t interview for the FBI job. He did. And we have that down definitely. Mueller lied to Congress…” – May 24 interview with Sharyl Attkisson Facts First: Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has corroborated Mueller’s statement that he was not interviewing for the job as FBI director when he spoke to Trump about the job in May 2017. According to both of them, Mueller was asked to speak with Trump in an advisory capacity, not as a candidate. Mueller served as FBI director for 12 years between 2001 and 2013. Bannon told Mueller’s investigators that Mueller’s conversation with Trump in May 2017 was not in the capacity of a candidate to return to the job and that Mueller “did not come in looking for the job.” According to the Mueller report, rather, Bannon said “the White House had invited Mueller to speak to the President to offer a perspective on the institution of the FBI.” Mueller said in his congressional testimony on July 24 that while he had discussed the job with Trump, it was “not as a candidate.” “I was asked to give my input on what it would take to do the job,” Mueller testified. The “interview,” he said, “was about the job and not about me applying for the job.” The cost of the Russia investigation “And the whole thing, the Russian thing is a total hoax. Think of it. They spent $40, $45 million investigating…” – May 24 interview with Sharyl Attkisson Facts First: The Mueller investigation Trump keeps saying cost “$45 million” actually cost $32 million, according to figures released by the Justice Department, and the government is expected to recoup about $17 million as a result of the investigation, most from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to a CNN analysis of the sentences handed out to people charged by Mueller. Health care The situation before Right to Try “And we have a case where somebody was very sick and they’d go to Asia, they’d go to Europe, they’d go all over the world looking for a cure. You know, they were terminally ill or very sick, very ill. If they didn’t have the money, they’d go home and die. They’d go home.” – June 5 speech at Puritan Medical Products in Guilford, Maine Facts First: It is not true that terminally ill patients who did not have the money to travel to Europe or Asia would simply have to go home and die until Trump signed a Right to Try law in 2018. Prior to the law, patients did have to ask the federal government for permission to access experimental medications – but the government almost always said yes. Scott Gottlieb, who served as Trump’s FDA commissioner until April, told Congress in 2017 that the FDA had approved 99% of patient requests. “Emergency requests for individual patients are usually granted immediately over the phone and non-emergency requests are generally processed within a few days,” he testified. Pre-existing conditions Trump claimed three times that he will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions. Facts First: Congressional Republicans have repeatedly put forward bills, supported by Trump, 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. The status of Obamacare “I said this yesterday: We took over Obamacare. We got rid of the individual mandate, which basically was the end of Obamacare. In a formal sense, it was really the end of Obamacare.” – May 6 exchange with reporters at proclamation-signing event for National Nurses Day “And we got rid of the individual mandate, which is a disaster. The worst part of Obamacare was the individual mandate. When we got rid of the individual mandate, essentially we got rid of Obamacare, if you want to know the truth. You can say that in the truest form.” – May 26 remarks at event on protecting seniors with diabetes Facts First: The individual mandate, which required Americans to obtain health insurance, was indeed a key part of Obamacare – but Trump hasn’t ended Obamacare, essentially or otherwise; key parts of the law remain in effect. For example, Trump has not eliminated Obamacare’s expansion of the Medicaid insurance program for low-income people, the federal and state marketplaces that allow people to shop for coverage, or the consumer subsidies that help many of them make the purchases. Media An apology from Lawrence O’Donnell Trump claimed MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell had cried during a televised apology in 2015 after he questioned Trump’s salary for reality show “The Apprentice”: “Really sad, but even ‘sadder’, watch flunky @Lawrence CRY when I whipped his mind & he was FORCED to apologize to me over Apprentice fees.” – May 16 tweet Facts First: O’Donnell, a host on MSNBC, did not cry during his 2015 apology for questioning Trump’s salary on “The Apprentice,” the video shows. (He did not seem even close to crying.) The editor of the New York Times Insulting Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, Trump said, “Called it all wrong from the beginning, was forced to apologize (Fake News!) after the seriously wrong call of the 2016 Election…” – May 22 tweet Facts First: As the Times has noted, it did not apologize for its election coverage. A post-election letter, from Baquet and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., did say the election had raised several questions, including this: “Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?” But the letter did not issue any apology, to Trump or anyone else. It went on to say: “As we reflect on the momentous result, and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you. It is also to hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly.” Voting Mail voting and voter fraud On 10 separate occasions, Trump made various versions of his claim that mail voting is rife with fraud and abuse – such as forged signatures and phony ballots. Facts First: All evidence shows that voter fraud is extremely rare in the United States, though it does happen on occasion; experts say it is slightly more common with mail voting than with in-person voting, but still represents a minuscule fraction of votes cast. Mail ballot fraud is exceedingly rare in part because states have systems and processes in place to prevent forgery, theft and voter fraud. You can read a longer fact check here. Voting fraud in California “You look at California. Look at Los Angeles, where Judicial Watch settled a case where they agreed that a million votes were fraudulent. A million votes in one area were fraudulent. And they could have done a lot more, but it was almost – it was so ridiculous, there was no reason to go any further. They came to a settlement. They agreed on a million votes.” – May 14 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo Facts First: California’s settlement with conservative group Judicial Watch was not about fraudulent voting; rather, it was about inactive voters who remained on voter lists. The settlement did not include any admission or revelation of people voting illegally. You can read a longer fact check here. Economy Manufacturing jobs “America must be a manufacturing nation. We’re bringing it back. Six hundred thousand jobs…Six hundred thousand jobs – until we had to turn it off. And now we’re going to turn it back on like never before.” – May 21 speech at Ford Rawsonville Components plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan “Manufacturing, which we had up to 600,000 jobs prior to the plague…” – June 5 speech on the jobs report Facts First: Trump was exaggerating. In February 2020, the highest point for manufacturing jobs this year before the coronavirus-related collapse began, there were 12,852,000 manufacturing jobs. In January 2017, the month Trump took office, there were 12,369,000 manufacturing jobs. That is a difference of 483,000, not 600,000. Barack Obama and manufacturing jobs “The previous administration said, ‘Manufacturing, we’re not doing that. It’s gone from this country.’ They were wrong.” – May 21 speech at Ford Rawsonville Components plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan “Remember, the previous administration said, ‘Oh, there’ll not be any more manufacturing jobs in our country.’” – June 5 speech at Puritan Medical Products in Guilford, Maine “You remember, Paul, under the previous administration, they said there’d be no manufacturing.” – June 5 remarks at roundtable on supporting commercial fishermen Facts First: Trump appeared to be referring to a remark President Barack Obama made at a PBS town hall in 2016 – but he was inaccurately describing what Obama said. Obama scoffed at Trump’s promises to bring back what Obama called “jobs of the past” without providing specifics on how he would do so. Contrary to Trump’s repeated claims, though, Obama didn’t say manufacturing was dead or gone; Obama boasted of how many manufacturing jobs were being created during his presidency, saying, “We actually make more stuff, have a bigger manufacturing base today than we’ve had in most of our history.” The estate tax Trump claimed that he eliminated the estate tax, saying, “No, but we eliminated that horrible death tax, and most of the kids – many of the kids lost the farm. They go borrow to pay the tax and then they ended up losing the farms, right? You don’t have to pay that tax anymore.”– May 19 remarks on supporting farmers Facts First: Trump has not eliminated the federal estate tax. His 2017 tax law raised the threshold at which the tax must be paid, from $5.5 million to $11.2 million for an individual, but did not get rid of the tax entirely.