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Fact Check: Trump starts on familiar note — with exaggeration


    President Donald Trump pumped his first at the end of his speech after bring sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington today.

WASHINGTON >> Donald Trump’s inaugural address held familiar echoes of the campaign speeches that led to his presidential win: downbeat about the state of the nation, to the point of hyperbole. A look at some of his assertions Friday:

TRUMP: “The jobs left, and the factories closed … the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.”

THE FACTS: The American economy is a lot healthier than the wreck Trump describes. Jobs have increased for a record 75 straight months. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in December, close to a nine-year low and to what economists consider full employment.

From July through September, the economy expanded at a 3.5 percent annual pace — fastest in two years. The Federal Reserve is so confident in the resiliency of the economy that it raised interest rates last month for only the second time in a decade.

Still, Trump’s talk of “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation” rings true in communities that lost factories to low-wage competition from China and Mexico. And the jobless rate is low partly because so many Americans have stopped looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed.

Wage growth has been sluggish since the Great Recession ended in mid-2009. But declining unemployment and steady job growth are starting to force businesses to offer higher pay to find and attract new workers.

And in 2015, the income for a typical household jumped 5.2 percent to an inflation-adjusted $56,516, the largest annual growth in nearly five decades, according to the Census Bureau. Average hourly pay rose last year at the fastest pace in more than seven years.

TRUMP: “We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own.”

THE FACTS: Hardly. Since 2001, the U.S. has more than doubled the ranks of the Border Patrol, which now has nearly 20,000 agents. The vast majority of those are stationed along the Mexican border, where about 408,000 people were apprehended during the budget year that ended in September.

TRUMP: The U.S. has “subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.”

THE FACTS: The U.S. military may have shortcomings, but it remains the world’s most advanced, expensive and far-flung fighting force. American military spending is nearly three times that of second-place China, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The Pentagon says it does have additional needs, including more ships, a replenished air fleet and bigger training budgets to prepare for large-scale combat.

TRUMP: “We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones, and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.”

THE FACTS: Quelling radical Islamic terrorism worldwide is a heavy lift in which the U.S. has been engaged for years, and Trump has offered no plan for how he will deliver on this promise.

A U.S.-led coalition began battling Islamic extremism even before 9/11. In Afghanistan alone, the coalition has fought for more than 15 years to prevent al-Qaida and other radical groups from regaining a safe harbor there. Getting the help of NATO allies might prove diplomatically challenging since Trump has called NATO “obsolete” and says European members aren’t paying their fair share.

The threat is only growing. The Islamic State has a global reach, and attacks linked to radical extremism have occurred in the United States, France, Belgium, Turkey and countries throughout northern Africa.

Associated Press writers Alicia A. Caldwell, Robert Burns and Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.

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  • Aides to Donald Trump have drafted a list of environmental policy and energy-related changes that he could sign within hours after he is sworn in as U.S. President on Friday, Bloomberg reports, quoting two people familiar with the transition team’s plans.

    The list of immediate energy policy changes reportedly includes measures to rescind Obama’s orders that federal agencies take into account climate change when they give the go-ahead to pipelines or decide which areas should be open for drilling, Bloomberg sources say.

    In addition, Trump’s advisers are said to be targeting the social cost of carbon and are proposing to suspend the use of that metric until reviewed and recalculated.

    The transition team is also advising Trump to rescind an executive order from 1968 that gave the power to the State Department to determine if a cross-border pipeline and other energy projects serve the national interest, Bloomberg reports. It was that order that allowed the State Department to review the Keystone XL pipeline proposed by TransCanada and ultimately rejected by the Obama administration.

    A day after Trump was elected U.S. President, TransCanada issued a statement, telegraphing its interest in reviving the defunct Keystone XL Pipeline, which would take Alberta tar sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

    • Thanks for the awesome update, Sarge22.

      Trump is now POTUS so he has the power to make our nation great by wrecking the planet.

      And he’ll do with style and class.

      Not like that whimp Odummer tried to do. Save the planet for future generations? Gimme a break. Sad.

      Palm Beach weather in DC in the winter will be great! Donald can work on his beautiful chip shot. Fore!

      #MAGA? (Make America into a Greenhouse Again?)

      • The EPA’s power will be in check. They sure were out of control the past eight years. The planet will do just fine even though Al Gore’s carbon footprint is still huge. The pipeline will also be built.We have a great start to Make America Great Again. Turn off your AC and open the windows.

    • Is exaggeration what we now call outright lies? Trump has always been an entertainer and shibai artist. His real agenda is to shovel money to the rich and to quicken the end of the middle class and working class that eh has such contempt for. His real agenda to hasten the end of the world is also manifest. Just a horrible candidate and POTUS.

      • Allie,
        As much as I appreciate your insight to the problems that plague our country. It would be very prudent to hold off on your comments until he has actually done something.
        Why do people go to volleyball matches. It is to view the game, not to anticipate the outcome before it has been played out.
        Let’s let Trump play it out, THEN, you can critique.

    • What’s embarrassing about it? Aren’t you glad someone’s catching the mistakes? It’s a fact our military is not “depleted”; we spend more on our military than any country in the world.

      There were certainly other exaggerations; like the claim about factory jobs coming back. Nope. Those manufacturing jobs are gone, folks; doesn’t matter who’s president. That era is over.

      I suggest you cancel your sub and subscribe to a news outlet you like better.

      • There are lot of people with jobs, and alot of people with no job and no hope. Trump is speaking to the latter. Why do journalists have a problem with that?

        • Why doesn’t he want to speak to the people with jobs, does he not like us??? Is it harder to rain doomsday on people with jobs??? Is it easier to bulls!!t people without jobs??? #MAGA

        • A President is elected to fix problems, so one would expect that he would direct his attention accordingly.

    • Exactly. The msm is incredibly biased against him and will continue to be no matter what good he does. They leave out the things that back up what he says. Right now we have the highest labor non-particpation rate. Thats just for starters. That’s okay, the more they try to bash him the stronger his support grows and distrust of the media grows. Their fact checking always stops at a certain point leaving out the real truth. The liberals lost and they need to get over it.

    • When the President lies and lies and lies, it is news and should be reported, in spite of the fact that, in one sense, Trump lying again is hardly news.

    • An America First Energy Plan
      Energy is an essential part of American life and a staple of the world economy. The Trump Administration is committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans and maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.

      For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.

      Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America. The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own. We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well.

      The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology, and to reviving America’s coal industry, which has been hurting for too long.

      In addition to being good for our economy, boosting domestic energy production is in America’s national security interest. President Trump is committed to achieving energy independence from the OPEC cartel and any nations hostile to our interests. At the same time, we will work with our Gulf allies to develop a positive energy relationship as part of our anti-terrorism strategy.

      Lastly, our need for energy must go hand-in-hand with responsible stewardship of the environment. Protecting clean air and clean water, conserving our natural habitats, and preserving our natural reserves and resources will remain a high priority. President Trump will refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.

      A brighter future depends on energy policies that stimulate our economy, ensure our security, and protect our health. Under the Trump Administration’s energy policies, that future can become a reality.

  • This is nothing more than an idiotic and amateurish attempt by the media in its never-ending quest to discredit Trump. Take, for example, the doubling the number of border control agents. It did little to protect our borders because of the Obama administration’s policy of “catch and release” with instructions to the illegals to report to some court in two or three years, appointments which most failed to keep.

    • Reporters are printing what Mr. Trump said. Trump discredits himself. No one needs to help him do that – he’s been doing it his entire adult lifetime.

      • Klastri, Trump said “We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own.” The media says that is hardly correct and cite the doubling of border control agents to support its position. I am saying the doubling of border control agents does not defend our borders when most illegals apprehended crossing into the US have been let go by the Obama administration pending some mythical court date. How does Trump’s comment discredit him?

        • Exactly, lespark.

          Why can’t the Trump haters be reasonable, respectful and open minded like we are? Pathetic losers. Sad.

      • klastri an a supposed lawyer, your analysis and failure to think critically makes one wonder how you possibly graduated from law school.
        The writers of this article put out the premise that Trump’s claims are at least exaggerated if not false. The AP writers dispute Trump’s claim that we have failed to defend our own borders by citing the number of border agents hired. What they conveniently fail to mention as Ronin006 pointed out is that despite the hiring, Obama’s directive to release and not detain illegals (catch and release) makes a mockery of having borders. All illegals have to do is to claim without any verification that they are seeking asylum in this country and the Border Patrol is bound to release them into this country because of Obama’s ill-guided directive. What’s the use of hiring more agents if they are not allowed to fulfill the responsibilities of the job? Therefore, Trump’s claim is factually correct – we [Obama] have refused to defend our own border.

    • What do you have against facts?

      This is the guy statistically shown to tell one untruth every 3 minutes, 15 seconds. Did you know that he pushed the Obama birther theory for years? And when reality slapped him in the face, he was forced to stop that LIE—then he tried to take credit for “putting it to rest.”

      We don’t know if he’s going to fulfill any of his promises (probably just one or two at the most). But he’s already made a significant contribution to popular culture, inspiring a new term for the journalism dictionary: FAKE NEWS.

      That is why there are “Fact Check” articles. They’ve been around for decades, but now they come out daily, in most every mainstream (normal) newspaper. Facts are good. Use them wisely.

      Don’t hide from the truth.

      • Stop being a mindless slave to the facts, Monkey-man.

        Haven’t you figured out by now that the truth is whatever Trump says or tweets? Get with the rest of the country. Solidarity.

        Trump said it best today: “We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.”

        I’m sure that we can all agree that when we disagree the only way to obtain the beautiful solidarity of patriotism is to defer to a strong authority. And who is now the strongest, classiest, most luxuriously patriotic authority on the planet than President Donald J. Trump?

        Answer: No one is more authoritative than Yrump.

        And even if there were others, how would those “experts” be able to achieve the patriotic solidarity America needs on politics, religion, science, economics, criminal justice, Healthcare, climate, energy and the rest? Never.

        So, now that America is great again, we can debate our differences openly, but when it comes to fact checking, just wait for the all-knowing tweets.

        • Yes, you have made me see the light, the shiny orange light of Herr Tweeter. Here in my hillbilly castle (yuk-yuk, it’s a rusty trailer—but a man’s home is his…you know what) I don’t got me one of them tweeter boxes so I’ll take your word for it. Mayhaps my tin hat would get me some tweeter signals, but I reckon one of them aliens (yuk-yuk, from south of the Texas border) snuck in and stole it. It’s time we got some o’ that MAGA. MAGA, MAGA, MAGA! (yuk-yuk, I don’t even know what that means, I ain’t no good speeler or reeder)

          You have made me seen the light. MOGA MOGA MOGA! (yuk-yuk, baaaad speeeeler!)

        • Exactly, Monkey.

          Welcome to Trump’s America and the power of the Dark side.

          #MAGA? (Make America Grim Again?)

  • Fox News has hired a new “analyst” — Nigel Farage, the Brexit advocate who, after the vote, admitted that his arguments against the EU we were lies.

  • Fact Checks? Typical partisan diatribe using the seemingly objective word “fact” to attack one’s political enemies. Yes, most of the mainstream media are Trump’s enemies. Granted the use of “fact” this way is true, unfortunately, for all politicians from the extreme left to the extreme right.

    • Fact is it wouldn’t be printed if he didn’t say it. The screwball- idio- is an embarassment to the nation and right now we may have a body in the presidency but he will never be presidential. Only a matter of time—–

      • Make Him Crack, Make Him Crack, Make Him Crack!!! Keep it coming SA, liberals outnumber these Trumpers, play to your crowd…Make Them Leave, Make Them Leave, Make Them Leave!!! #MAGA

        • Trump says he had support from a majority of voters, so it must be true. Solidarity. Mandate.

        • He has a 43% approval rating. President Obama is leaving with a 60% approval rating. No other words need to be said unless you are absolutely ignorant. The old far- with the pea brain will not last. Melania looks like she is embarrassed to be with papa. We will overcome just a matter of time—-

  • You know, I didn’t vote for Trump and Clinton either but given the surprise outcome of this election, there is a possibility, remote as it may be, that positive changes may come out his term. However, I’m not holding my breath either.

  • “The American economy is a lot healthier than the wreck Trump describes.”
    Then explain to me why HOMELESSNESS HAS INCREASED so dramatically under Obama’s reign? You get an increase in homelessness when the economy is BAD, not good!
    Just because the liberal media refuses to blame Obama (imagine if it were Bush…the press would not give HIM the pass that it gave Obama) doesn’t mean that the homelessness is not a result of a poor economy.

  • And Obama leaves a crippled Democratic Party nationwide over the course of his two terms. ‘Between state legislatures, governorships, and the U.S. Congress, Democrats lost over 1,000 seats. Twenty-five states now have a total Republican-controlled government, compared to just five with total Democrat-controlled government. Thanks to the outgoing president, the Republican Party is the strongest it has been since the 1920s.’

  • No substance behind Trump’s initiatives. Watch Trump’s cabinet struggle with no facts with building the wall, deporting immigrants, wiping out Isis, repealing Obama Care, getting tough on trade agreements. You will see each of his claims get watered down to insignificant changes. All talk but no meaningful action.

    • A apt description of sentiments following the 2009 inauguration as well. As long as you’re cognizant of that reality, then you’re a reasonable person. If not, then you merely mimic the bulk of surrounding comments.

      • BS, jusris.

        The majority of Hawaii supports Trump and his passionate, thoughtful, open-minded loyalists.

        Trump is love, and he tweted it out to the world: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”

        If that’s not the Aloha spirit, then none of us Trump supporters have a clue what is. Love!

        • You got one part of it right, “none of us Trump supporters have a clue..”. Like sheep cheering the farmer that is leading them to slaughter. You will soon find yourself in the same boat that the thousands that bought into the propaganda of Trump University, only to later find out that it was a fraud and the promises were lies.

  • So what part of the AP report is not true? I listened to the speech and he did say all those things. You might want to go check US unemployment rates and compare them. You might want to check the US Census Bureau data. You might want to check the US Border Patrol data. The amount of illegal entries that were caught, the numbers went up. After we build and pay for the “wall” we might be able to keep more out. As far as forming new alliances outside of NATO, who do we form them with and how?
    Clean coal?…I think it’s a fallacy. We can’t even burn clean gasoline.
    We won and you lost….if this administration fails, we all lose..including you.

      • So you consider Hitler a classy winner. Hitler the murderess, racist, bigot, sadist, insecure, unstable and hate monger. Now we know where your heart is dannoboy. You will reap what you sow. Hate and suffering is the destiny that awaits you.

        • What do you have against Germans? Seems like bigotry to me.

          Just because Trump is a beautiful, strong, German Uberman?

          Prejudice? Sad.

          Trump embodies the glory of Deutschland and he respects the greatness of Russia. He will rule America with a firm hand.

          As Trump decreed today: “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.” With Putin a close second.

          #MAGA? (Make America Germanic Again?)

  • It appears that hyperbole is a staple of inaugural speeches.

    Barrack Obama circa 2009: “The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
    Obama’s Nomination Victory Speech In St. Paul June 3, 2008.”

  • Don’t believe anything the msm puts out, unless you’re a glutton for lies and more lies. The left has been enriching themselves and feeding us the scraps plus telling to be satisfied with it. Wake up, the professional pols tell us what we want to hear then does nothing about it. Remember, rail will be built on time, on budget and the reserves will not be needed? How soon do people forget! Auwe!

  • The media will be laughing, all the way to the bank, for the next few years. They know which buttons to press! Look at all of the comments and time spent written on this article. Relax people, relax. Don’t believe everything you read!

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