A look at recent statements by Trump, lawyer
TRUMP tweet Friday: “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”
THE FACTS: This apparent slap at Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, is at odds with Trump’s own account of how
It’s also an oversimplification to say he’s being investigated for firing Comey. Presidents have the authority to get rid of the FBI director. The issue is whether Trump criminally obstructed justice.
By Comey’s account, the president leaned on him to back off the FBI’s investigation of his former national security adviser,
THE FACTS: You can decide whether to believe the lawyer or the president and the multiple unidentified sources who told The
Sekulow said Trump was merely reacting to the newspaper story, suggesting the president had no first-hand knowledge whether he was being investigated. Indeed Trump is known to react viscerally to what he sees on TV or reads in a paper. On the other hand, he can tap the vast information-gathering capabilities of the
SEKULOW, explaining on
TRUMP: When Trump wants to say more on a subject than one tweet’s 140-character content limit allows, he simply does what other Twitter users do: He writes more tweets about it. There’s no limitation on doing that.
TRUMP tweet Sunday: “The new Rasmussen Poll, one of the most accurate in the 2016 Election, just out with a Trump 50% Approval Rating. That’s higher than O’s #’s!”
THE FACTS: No other pollster has released a recent survey putting Trump’s approval rating anywhere close to 50 percent. Most other estimates are near or below 40 percent. Rasmussen’s final 2016 poll found
Rasmussen’s methodology uses automated phone calls, which have a mixed track record of accuracy in election polling. Federal law prohibits automated phone calls to cell phones, so Rasmussen must supplement its main sample with online interviews to reach the more than half of Americans who do not have landline phones. The details of how that online sampling is done are not clear.
TRUMP tweet Friday: “After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my ‘collusion with the Russians,’ nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!”
THE FACTS: The president once again shows a lack of understanding of how law-enforcement investigations work, or a willingness to misrepresent the process. He’s done this on several occasions.
Investigators follow evidence, interview witnesses and track down leads to assemble the most complete picture of events possible, then turn over their findings to prosecutors to assess whether a criminal case is warranted. Only if they decide to file charges and go to court is evidence shown.
The government’s investigation, begun by the FBI last summer, is far from that stage and is still growing.
TRUMP: “Effective immediately, I am canceling the previous administration’s completely one-sided deal with
THE FACTS: Not so. He’s preserving most of the important elements of
Trump’s policy keeps a
The policy does, though, restore a requirement for most American travelers visiting
TRUMP: “You see the unemployment rate is at a very, very low level. Job enthusiasm and manufacturing, business enthusiasm is at record levels; never been higher… We’ve got it going.” — remarks at a
THE FACTS: Trump has gone from “hoax” to hype on this statistic. Running for president, he took a swipe
Through his campaign, Trump asserted the official jobless rate is phony because it leaves out millions who stopped looking for work. He vastly overstated that case, counting retired people and others who are choosing not to work as part of the problem. But now that a healthy official rate is reported under his watch, he grasps it as evidence of his success.
TRUMP: “Great success, including MS-13. They’re being thrown out in record numbers and rapidly. And they’re being depleted. They’ll all be gone pretty soon.” — remarks Monday at a segment of a
THE FACTS: There’s no publicly available information to back up Trump’s claim that this violent gang is about to disappear.
Deportations are actually down slightly compared with the same time last year, as arrests of people caught crossing the Mexican border have dropped to historic lows. More than 100 MS-13 gang members have been arrested in recent weeks, though the government hasn’t said how many of those people have been deported.
In any event, deportations alone cannot eradicate MS-13, a homegrown gang with ties to
The gang was in decline in
TRUMP: “I recently returned from a trip overseas that included deals for more than
THE FACTS: Trump’s
Arms sales make up the vast majority of Trump’s total, but those must be approved by the
TRUMP: “I will say that never has there been a president — with few exceptions; in the case of FDR, he had a major Depression to handle — who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than what we’ve done, between the executive orders and the job-killing regulations that have been terminated. Many bills; I guess over 34 bills that
THE FACTS: He has little to show for his first five months in office, in concrete ways, other than the confirmation of a justice.
Trump’s two immediate predecessors, Obama and
Trump’s big agenda items, like his promised tax overhaul, have yet to pass or even reach
By contrast, Obama signed a
TRUMP, on getting his presidential appointees cleared to start work: “That’s a very long process also, including ethics committee, which has become very difficult to deal with.” —
THE FACTS: He means the
If there’s any foot-dragging, it’s by Trump. As of
THE FACTS: It’s certainly not in a literal death spiral. A figurative one? Even that seems premature.
To be sure, subsidized private insurance markets like HealthCare.gov have serious problems in many states. Premiums have gone up sharply and some major insurers have pulled out. About one-third of
But in other states, officials say the markets are working reasonably well. And when they declare Obamacare careening toward death, Pence and Trump ignore the law’s other half — the Medicaid expansion that has helped bring the uninsured rate to a historic low.
PENCE: “Back when Obamacare was first passed, just over seven years ago, the
THE FACTS: He — along with the chart he pointed to — omitted the estimated 12 million low-income people covered under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. That’s the other arm of the coverage provided under Obama’s law.
It’s true that only 10.3 million people are enrolled this year in the subsidized health insurance markets like HealthCare.gov. That’s far short of the 23 million projected by the budget office for 2017. But together, those markets and the Medicaid expansion have reduced the number of uninsured by about 20 million people.
As for the health insurance markets, the Trump administration shares some of the blame for the turmoil. Insurers have complained that the failure of the
If Obamacare ultimately goes into a death spiral, the Trump administration’s dismissive approach will be seen by many as part of the reason.
Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd
EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures