Republican National Convention 2020: Day 4

By Rebekah Metzler, Melissa Macaya, Jessica Estepa, Veronica Rocha and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 1:21 PM ET, Fri August 28, 2020
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12:48 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Fact check: Trump's claims about Biden's tax plans

From CNN's Alex Rogers

President Donald Trump claimed that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “has pledged a $4 trillion tax hike on almost all American families.” 

Facts First: This overstates the tax increase Biden has proposed and experts say it would fall largely on corporations and wealthy Americans, rather than on the middle class. 

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, an independent bipartisan nonprofit, estimated that Biden’s tax plan would raise between $3.35 trillion and $3.67 trillion over a decade by concentrating its tax increases on corporations and the country’s highest earners.  

“The Biden tax plan is highly progressive, increasing taxes for the top 1 percent of earners by 13 to 18 percent of after-tax income, while indirectly increasing taxes for most other groups by 0.2 to 0.6 percent,” wrote the CRFB in a recent report. 

11:46 p.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Fact check: Trump's claims that China wants Biden to win

From CNN's Daniel Dale and Holmes Lybrand

President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday in Washington.
President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday in Washington. Alex Wong/Getty Images

During his speech, President Donald Trump claimed that he has "very good information" that China wants Biden to win because Biden cheers for China.

Facts First: While we don’t know what information Trump may have, a recent assessment from the intelligence community reported that China preferred Trump lose the election because he was "unpredictable" and because of the many actions he has taken against China.  

William R. Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, in a statement on August 7 updating the election threat landscape heading into the election, noted that "China prefers that President Trump -- whom Beijing sees as unpredictable — does not win reelection. The statement went on to note that China has been critical of Trump's "COVID-19 response, closure of China's Houston Consulate" and "actions on Hong Kong, TikTok, the legal status of the South China Sea, and China's efforts to dominate the 5G market." 

Evanina's report makes no mention of China preferring Biden because he would weaken the US economy.

12:49 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Fact check: Trump's claim on suspending removal of all undocumented immigrants

From CNN's Holmes Lybrand

According to Trump, “the Biden-Bernie manifesto calls for suspending all removals of illegal aliens.”

Facts First: The Sanders-Biden "unity task forces" actually recommended a "100-day moratorium on deportations of people already in the United States" to allow for the development of transformative changes to enforcement practices at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

So, there was some basis for Trump's claim here, but a moratorium is not a permanent halt. And even a moratorium would not apply to people who are apprehended trying to cross the border during the 100-day period.

 

11:42 p.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Fact check: Trump's misleading claim about the US economy and jobs gained

From CNN's Daniel Dale

Trump claimed the US economy has gained a record nine million jobs over the past three months. 

Facts First: This is highly misleading. The economy did add about 9.3 million jobs combined in May, June and July -- but that record increase immediately followed a much bigger record loss of about 22.2 million jobs in March and April.  

 In other words, the economy is still down nearly 13 million jobs because of the coronavirus crisis. (Also, many of the jobs added were simply people returning to work after temporary layoffs.)  

You can read a longer fact check here

11:37 p.m. ET, August 27, 2020

Trump says he wants more police and to "increase penalties for assaults on law enforcement"

President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump doubled down on his support of law enforcement tonight during the Republican National Convention with promises to grow their ranks if elected to a second term.

"We will hire more police, increase penalties for assaults on law enforcement, and surge federal prosecutors into high crime communities," Trump said.

Trump's remarks come as protests continue after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.

Two Kenosha officers were placed on administrative leave, state officials said.

Officials identified Officer Rusten Sheskey as the person who shot Blake when he tried to enter his vehicle. The officer, who has been employed by Kenosha police for seven years, was placed on administrative leave, DCI said.

The local police union has urged the public to withhold judgment until a state investigation is complete.

12:51 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Fact check: Trump’s claims on the Paycheck Protection Program

From CNN's  Katie Lobosco

President Donald Trump claimed that the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, a key part of the federal government’s response to the pandemic, has “saved or supported more than 50 million American jobs.” 

Facts First: This is likely a significant overstatement. A private-sector report found that far fewer jobs, about 13.6 million, have been saved by the program. 

The Trump administration maintains that more than 50 million jobs were saved by the program, which lent forgivable loans to small business owners so that they could keep their workers on payroll.  

But a report from S&P Global found that the money saved about 13.6 million jobs. S&P’s estimate is based on the average size of a small business, rather than the specific loan recipients. 

Separately, a half-dozen economists interviewed by Reuters put the number of jobs saved at only a fraction of 50 million – ranging between 1 and 14 million. Reuters said officials from the Small Business Administration, which oversees the program, said the claims about more than 50 million jobs refers to the total number of workers reported by businesses approved for loans  – not the number of jobs that were saved. 

12:32 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Fact check: Trump claims he's done more for African American community than any other president since Lincoln

From CNN's Daniel Dale and Holmes Lybrand

President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump claimed that he has done more for the African American community than any other president since Abraham Lincoln.

Facts First: While we give Trump lots of latitude to express opinions, this one is simply ridiculous even if he is comparing himself only to previous presidents and excluding other Black heroes. It's absurd to say Lincoln is a "possible" exception; emancipating the slaves was obviously more important for Black Americans than anything Trump has done. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, monumental bills whose impact dwarfed the impact of any legislation Trump has signed.

You can make an argument that numerous additional presidents did more for Black Americans than Trump, but we'll stop there. It's worth noting, though, that Black people themselves do not, on the whole, agree with Trump's self-assessment. Trump has had a consistently abysmal approval rating with Black citizens -- just 4% in one recent Quinnipiac University poll, for example, versus 93% disapproval.

 

12:33 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Fact check: Trump falsely claims he passed Veterans Choice

From CNN's Daniel Dale

President Trump falsely claimed he passed the Veterans Choice program.

Facts First: The Veterans Choice bill, a bipartisan initiative led by Sens. 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.

Trump has told this lie more than 150 times.

12:38 a.m. ET, August 28, 2020

Trump glosses over why Kenosha is protesting

President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Aug. 27, in Washington.
President Donald Trump speaks from the South Lawn of the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Aug. 27, in Washington. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Like Vice President Mike Pence a night before him, President Donald Trump restated his commitment to law enforcement and condemned the "rioting, looting, arson and violence" occurring in "Democrat-run cities."

He included Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the list of those cities. Kenosha has been gripped with protests and ongoing unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake — a 29-year-old Black man that was shot seven times in the back Sunday by an officer as he tried to enter an SUV where three of his children were waiting. 

"When there is police misconduct, the justice system must hold wrongdoers fully and completely accountable, and it will. But we can never have a situation where things are going on as they are today, we must never allow mob rule. We can never allow mob rule," Trump said. "In the strongest possible terms, the Republican Party condemns the rioting, looting, arson and violence we have seen in Democrat-run cities all, like Kenosha, Minneapolis, Portland, Chicago, and New York, and many others Democrat-run."

The President was expected, in some form, to address the unrest in Kenosha in his speech tonight. It was unclear if he would make any statement of sympathy to Blake's family or Black Americans once again angered by police brutality. So far Trump has refused to answer questions about the incidents in Wisconsin or to say whether he watched the video of Blake being shot by police.

"There is violence and danger in the streets of many Democrat-run cities throughout America. This problem could easily be fixed if they wanted to. Just call, we're ready to go in, we'll take care of your problem, in a matter of hours. Just call. We have to wait for the call. It's too bad we have to, but we have to wait for the call," Trump said. "We must always have law and order. All federal crimes are being investigated, prosecuted, and punished to the fullest extent of the law," he continued.

Trump slammed Joe Biden, saying that last week during the Democratic National Convention, he and his supporters "remained completely silent about the rioters and criminals spreading mayhem in Democrat-run cities."

Trump used a portion of his speech to tout the work of law enforcement.

"We must remember that the overwhelming majority of police officers in this country, and that's the overwhelming majority, are noble, courageous, and honorable. We have to give law enforcement, our police, back their power," Trump said.

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