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Fact check: Trump piles up questionable assertions

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump spoke during a news conference, Thursday, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

WASHINGTON >> President Donald Trump made a messy case that he “inherited a mess” from his predecessor. Economic stats and territorial losses of Islamic State insurgents don’t support his assertions about the problems handed to him on those fronts.

A look at some of his claims in a news conference Thursday and how they compare with the facts:

TRUMP: “To be honest I inherited a mess. It’s a mess. At home and abroad, a mess.”

THE FACTS: A mess is in the eye of the beholder. But by almost every economic measure, President Barack Obama inherited a far worse situation when he became president in 2009 than he left for Trump. He had to deal with the worst downturn since the Depression.

Unemployment was spiking, the stock market crashing, the auto industry failing and millions of Americans risked losing their homes to foreclosure when Obama took the oath of office. None of those statistics is as dire for Trump.

Unemployment is 4.8 percent, compared with a peak of 10 percent during Obama’s first year as president. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was cratering until March 2009, only to rebound roughly 200 percent over the rest of Obama’s term— gains that have continued under Trump on the promise of tax and regulatory cuts.

When Trump assumed office last month, a greater percentage of the country had health insurance, incomes were rising and the country was adding jobs.

The Trump administration has noted that a smaller proportion of the population is working or looking for jobs. But even this measure began to turn around toward the end of the Obama era.

Yet it’s true that jobs at factories and coal mines have been disappearing for more than three decades, while many Americans with only a high school diploma have seen their incomes fall after adjusting for inflation. The home ownership rate has slipped even as the economy has improved, leaving many pockets of the country feeling left out of a recovery that technically began more than seven years ago.

TRUMP: “ISIS has spread like cancer, another mess I inherited.”

THE FACTS: The Islamic State group began to lose ground before Trump took office, not just in Iraq and Syria but also in Libya. The gradual military progress achieved in Iraq during Obama’s final two years has pushed IS to the point of collapse in Mosul, its main Iraqi stronghold.

It remains a potent danger beyond its shrunken territory, encouraging adherents to stage acts of terrorism. The analogy with cancer is an echo of Obama’s last defense secretary, Ash Carter, who repeatedly cast Obama’s counter-IS campaign as an effort to reverse the extremists’ “metastasis” beyond the “parent tumor” in Iraq and Syria.

TRUMP: “I see stories of chaos. Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can’t get my Cabinet approved.

THE FACTS: Did he just say a “fine-tuned machine”?

Trump’s first month has been consumed by a series of missteps and firestorms, and produced far less significant legislation than Obama enacted during his first month.

Republican-led congressional committees will investigate the Trump team’s relations with Russians before he took office and the flood of leaks that altogether forced out his national security adviser in record time. His pick for labor secretary withdrew because he didn’t have enough Republican support.

By many measures, the administration is in near paralysis in its earliest days, leaving allies unsettled and many in Congress anxious about what Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., called the “constant disruption.” To many Republicans — never mind Democrats — the “fine-tuned machine” seems in danger of its wheels coming off.

In his first month, Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus package into law, as well as a law expanding health care for children and the Lilly Ledbetter bill on equal pay for women. Trump has vigorously produced executive orders, which don’t require congressional approval and typically have a narrow effect. The one with far-reaching consequences — banning entry by refugees and by visitors from seven countries — has been blocked by courts.

Trump’s biggest initiatives, such as tax cuts and a replacement for Obama’s health care law, have not emerged. On Thursday he was signing into law a rollback of Obama-era regulations on mining near streams. Congress has sent him little else.

TRUMP, bragging again about his Electoral College vote total: “We got 306 because people came out and voted like they’ve never seen before, so that’s the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.”

THE FACTS: Not even close. In the seven previous elections, the winner of five of those contests won a larger Electoral College majority than Trump. They were George H.W. Bush in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996; and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

When a reporter pointed out that Trump was overstating his winning margin, the president said: “Well, I don’t know, I was given that information.” He then called it “a very substantial victory.”

Trump actually ended up with 304 electoral votes because of the defection of two electors in December, but he had won enough states in November to get to 306.

TRUMP, saying the appeals court that blocked his selective travel ban “has been overturned at a record number.”

THE FACTS: Other appeals courts have seen their decisions overturned at a higher rate than the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit that froze his action on immigration.

In the most recent full term, the Supreme Court reversed 8 of the 11 cases from the 9th Circuit. But the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit went 0 for 3 — that is, the Supreme Court reversed all three cases it heard from that circuit. And over the past five years, five federal appeals courts were reversed at a higher rate than the 9th Circuit.

The 9th Circuit is by far the largest of the 13 federal courts of appeals. In raw numbers, more cases are heard and reversed from the 9th Circuit year in and year out. But as a percentage of cases the Supreme Court hears, the liberal-leaning circuit fares somewhat better, according to statistical compilations by Scotusblog.

Most cases decided by appeals courts aren’t appealed to the Supreme Court, and the high court only accepts for review a small percentage of those that are.

But the very act of the Supreme Court’s agreeing to hear a case means the odds are it will be overturned; the court reverses about two-thirds of the cases it hears.

Associated Press writers Robert Burns, Mark Sherman and Jim Drinkard contributed to this report.

Find all AP Fact Checks here: http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

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  • Trump is sly as a fox and in my opinion, the press conference was horrible, full of lies and exaggeration. The press conference energized his base. It is important to keep the press (news media) healthy so they can disclose Trumps lies.

    By forwarding mis-information and silencing the press, Trump is consolidating power and dividing our country. A fascist in Germany did this. We live in dangerous times.

    • MichaelG> You have an interesting point of view and I must say that it is contrary to my assessment of what transpired at the WH press meeting. I do agree that POTUS is one clever guy and he knows exactly what he is doing. The lies are just bait for the VFN/MSM to latch onto so that they can go back to their network and spread more real lies of what transpired at the meeting. Good for Trump and good for the people of America. He has a lot of fortitude where can stand toe-to-toe with all of the hostile MSM and prevail. Loved every bit of the press conference. BTW the MSM is now called “Very Fake News (VFN).” It’s really funny but true.

      • Iit seems that it is the media that is baiting Trump WITH THEIR “lies”, and it is Trump who is takin the bait. Media interest is on the rise because of Trump, they are winning in these exchanges…They are standing toe-to-toe with a hostile Trump…BTW Trump is now called a lot worse by the public. It’s really funny but sad…#MAGA

        • juris> Very clever of you to twist my post. But what you changed was the truth and you converted it to VFN. Too bad, but good try. But if you believe what you say then that’s fine with me. You are entitled!! Really funny abd getting more by the minute. Aloha!

      • I respect your loyalty to Trump but can you really say with a straight face that you believe in a man, not to mention our POTUS, that asserts that he is “the smartest man in the world.” Trump has claimed that “no one knows business, taxes, military, foreign policy, health care, labor, racial sensitivity, running a government…better than he does.” Aren’t you just a little embarrassed about Trump’s behavior?

        • IRT ChrisJ: Of course they see all this and are a little embarrassed but there is no way they can admit it, it would be admitting defeat and doubt in Trump…They rather go with the ship then speak up and actually save the ship…#MAGA

        • ChrisJ> My loyalty to Trump is what it is. I do believe he is a very smart man, but probably not the “smartest man.” Embarrassment is only for the the beholder, and I am not embarrassed by his actions. He is old enough to know what he is doing and I don’t see him as the type to purposely do himself in. He is a very proud man and maybe it shows on occasion, overall he is fully aware of what’s going on. Aloha!!

      • NP5491 – Well, that’s a very interesting analysis. So you think it’s good that the President of the United States is a pathological liar, who is unable to be truthful about any subject at any time?

        You think that replaying video of what Trump said is “spreading lies/”

        The news media is called VFN by people who don’t know anything. You are certainly a Trump supporter!

      • Thank you, remember this is the man who carried on about Obama being born in Kenya up to 2016. Didn’t believe Hawaii State Birth Certificate. Sheppard Smith of Fox News sided with CNN and other networks asking Trump that he owes us the truth regarding the relationship with Russia.

        • What does the Kenyan have to say? Where is the lady that signed off on the birth certificate? Expect that from Shep. So what’s new.

        • And the grandmother who claimed Berry boy was born in Kenya. The real interesting part is how the head of the department that produced the birth certificate died in a plane crash where no one else was hurt. Dead people can tell no stories.

          The truth about Russia ? There were conversations , would you not expect the leaders of the most powerful nation in the world not to talk to them ? Everything else in that story is pure speculation distorted by the haters once again.

      • To ALL> Thanks for your opinions and valued feedback on my post. I truly believe that POTUS is a smart man and knows exactly what he is saying and doing. You all consider him to be a liar of some sort, but believe me he is playing with the MSM and having them tell things that are exaggerated and twisted to make him look bad. C’mon now, let’s get real here and be honest with ourselves. It’s all a game that he’s playing as part of strategy to minimize the effects of all the negative VFN. The MSM did not win and only made them look childish and vicious. Like I previously stated ” piranhas looking for fresh meat and blood.” Hey, believe what you choose to believe, I make my point and whether you either agree or disagree with my opinions, you are all entitled to do so..More and more lies will not change anything and it will get really old after time, and will nullify itself in the end. Mahalo, for giving me the opportunity to express my 1st Amendment rights.

      • IRT NP5491, fully agree with your post. The VFN is real and spread by CNN, MSNBC, etc. when they claim it’s news from unsubstantiated leaks, the leak, without a responsible person taking credit for it, is “Fake News”. If one does not stand behind his/her statement, for certain in todays environment, it’s “Fake News.”

        • Klastri> Isn’t it obvious that I am a Trump supporter? I, also at one time was an BHO supporter, till I saw what was happening. I really didn’t like what he did in the last waning days of his Admin. BHO was more worried about his legacy than the safety of the country. I wish you were a Trump supporter also. I’m not a psych MD, so I can’t make that analysis as whether POTUS is or is not a PL. You seem to think he is, so what are your credentials in making that determination that the POTUS is a PL??? From what I see on these posts people think you are an ambulance chaser, is that correct???? The MSM VFN is really bad for the people of America. Aloha!!!

        • kuroiwaj> Thank you for your feedback. If we all give POTUS the opportunity to do his job, we will be the recipients of a greater, more prosperous, and vibrant nation. All the VFN will pass eventually, because it is ineffective and does nothing for telling the truth and nothing but the truth. Stand your ground and don’t let these libs/dems sway you from what you truly believe in. Aloha!

      • IRT Allie, is it not interesting that President Trump has past Hawaii born ex-President Obama in job accomplishments, and we are only 1/3 of the way to a 100 days in office?

        • What accomplishments has he accomplished? The fastest dumbing of a cabinet officer? Actually his administration appears to be in caos.

        • Kuroiwaj> Right on!!!! Kep it up.

          Allie and Boots> Allie, first – POTUS may not be all the “chocolate mouth” that BHO was, but he sure is a hell of a lot more positively productive. That you cannot deny because it’s all in black and white. Go check it out instead of spreading your useless lies about POTUS. ou
          Boots – You, just like allie should do some research on the positive actions that POTUS has accomplished just within the first month in office. Amazing, simply amazing!!! Aloha!

        • “The fastest dumbing of a cabinet officer? Actually his administration appears to be in caos.” Come on bootsie you can’t handle the truth. Stop trying so hard. Take a deep breath.

    • Stephen Colbert: “It was a robust one hour and 17 minutes long. That is beefy. So beefy, you could eat it with a fork. But you’re going to want to use a spoon to get every drop of the crazy.”

      • BluesBreaker> Stephen Colbert has no standing in this matter because he is a liberal political coward as most of the Bollywod debilitated are. Talk nice about POTUS, lose your favor with the Bollywood bigshots. Controlled cowardice in broad daylight. He is not even a marginally “good” comedian at that!!! Aloha!!

        • NP5491 could you really be the Chump himself? You seem to really think and express yourself a whole lot like him.

        • keaukaha> Good try!! To be honest, I am older than him and it is amazing that the things he does and says are like what is in my mind. My self analysis is that I’m not a psycho by any chance, some posters on this post may think otherwise, but it’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their opinion(s) right or wrong. I have my opinions and they aren’t always right, but I can live with it. I’m not Chump but I applaud him for what he is trying to accomplish to help America get back to the greatness it once had. I did vote for TRUMP and when BHO ran the first time, I voted for him also, but not the second time. I take it as a compliment coming from you even knowing how you feel about the POTUS, but I’m willing give him a chance to hopefully make America the power she once was. Our country has deteriorated in so many ways and it’s about time someone did something positive for a change. Aloha!

  • Trump is full of it and always has been. He lies about everything to make himself look better than he really is. He says his IQ is 158…Really? He says his golf handicap is a 5…Really?

    • makiki123> REALLY!!! From what I heard it’s all true. And he isn’t full of it as you stated. He is too smart for the VFN/MSM to catch. He will offer a tidbit here and there to make them feel good about themselves, but other than that he has them in his back pocket. The VFN/MSM will continue their pursuit to make him look incompetent and as a liar. In both instances, they will undoubtedly FAIL BIG TIME! Aloha!!

        • NanakuliBoss> Excuse my ignorance, but can you tell me what “thos” means? I’ve seen it in other posts but not at all familiar with the meaning, so if you would so kindly please enlighten me, I will be very appreciative of your kindness. Aloha!

  • The media just doesn’t get it… they are lost in their little world of “hate Trump” and do not realize that the majority of people were cheering after watching the press conference. Laughing as they watched President Trump play the media like a well tuned fiddle.

      • Hi, keaukaha> At least he has your attention, right? Good enough for me. You are definitely entitled to your own opinion of POTUS as are the other posters. Aloha!!

    • Could it be the media playing Trump, they are pushing his buttons to increase their viewership and subscriptions, bottom line they are making more money off of Trump…It is our inability to see things another way that is the problem…We fit the world to our narrative not the other way around…#MAGA

      • Watched Trump at Boeing today, now that’s what he should sound like when he talks, not like yesterday’s fiasco…Have him read from the TelePrompTer more often instead of free styling…#MAGA

    • “The majority of people were cheering after watching the press conference.” Really, stanislous? Where did you see that? Among trump sycophants planted around the room like cheerleaders? Or is it like trump’s claims that he saw thousands of people cheering when the world trade center towers go down?

  • So now, the media is the biggest threat to our country over Russia? What alternative universe is Trump living in? And if you do your job right you shouldn’t have to “play” the media.

    • I don’t understand how he is “playing” the media like Trumpers are saying, it seems like the poking comes from the media, and Trump responds in a way that helps the media get attention…#MAGA

      • juris> Isn’t it the opposite? Trump gets all the media coverage and makes the VFN/MSM still look silly. In the press meeting the media/VFN/MSM doesn’t have control, POTUS has all the control. They are nothing but “puppets and bobbleheads.” Aloha!

        • But aren’t there readership and revenue going up by covering him, the more he draws attention to media the more money they make…Poke him and he gets the people interested in what the media is saying again…Even the heel in WWE gets paid when the crowd hates him…#MAGA

        • juris> The WH Press Meeting is his show. They are there based on his invite. He knows exactly what he is doing and he isn’t afraid to say whatever he chooses to say. MSM with the their VFN is out to make money and through sensationalism they accomplish their ultimate goal of making a profit. The people that watch their channels are mostly the Dems and Libs. Probably, GOD himself George Soros watches also. Since its his goal to destroy America and our way of life. He is perhaps worst than ISIS. Aloha!!

        • IRT NP5491 and any other Trumpers: So the media IS winning when Trump has his meetings…You keep saying they’re losing but they make more money by Trump having his meetings, they could give a rats a** if people like them, bottom line they win by making money off of Trump…And all they have to do is poke and offend him and he’ll respond like Pavlov’s Dog calling a meeting or Tweeting a message that the medias money train begins…He can control the meeting all he wants to but the media still wins…So Fox isn’t media??? #MAGA

  • Anyone who believes this slough is as delusional as the POTUS. He is a great manipulator and he continues to campaign and pander to his followers by implying anything that he says is the truth- all else lies. When confronted about his “biggest Electoral college margin win” and presented with real facts about 3 presidents who had more votes than him, all he said was’ “well, that’s what I was told”. Really? So he accuses the media of peddling fake news and then stands there and tells a bald-faced lie? What’s the purpose, why should this crap even be discussed in the course of a presidential news conference? Being contentious in press conferences is not going to win anybody over unless you really believe that Trump’s media bashing is good for America and that they’re “getting what they deserve” while he gets to squash the truth, which more and more seems to be a dangerous thing to him. Caveat emptor.

  • What criteria did the Obama administration use in presenting these jobs numbers? Even more compelling, why has welfare and food stamps usage doubled since Obama took office.?? I’m not a Trump loyalist but I’m all for fixing what’s broken in America. The President may not be PC in the ways he is doing thing but at least he is taking action to make America better. Cut him some slack AP!!!!

  • Even life-long conservatives and Republicans (like David Brooks) are now writing openly that Mr. Trump appears to be mentally ill.

    This is not good for an administration less than one month old.

  • IMO the AP articles analysis has several parts in it that are more opinion than fact. Though Trump stumbled on some facts (electoral college results was glaring) at least we know what we see and get. With much of the so called main stream media, we don’t. Under the guise of objectively reporting the news we get their bias and obvious disdain for our President. Do not be fooled…our east coast centric, left of center media has a bias, agenda, and ego also.

      • I would submit that your comments about fake and real could also apply to your obviosly biased views also? The difference is I preface by saying my comments are opinion whereas you seem to want to resort to personal attacks and bullying.

        • 3ocean3000> You have see the reality of what is happening. POTUS makes a misstatement, the press corrects him, and he brushes it off like water off a ducks back. “NO ONE IS GOING TO CALL HIM A LIAR TO HIS FACE, FOR THAT IS LIKE COMMITTING SUICIDE!!” He absolutely knows what he can and cannot do, and do you think otherwise? The VFN/MSM knows what they can push and how far they can push before they get slam dunked. So, they likewise toss caution to the wind. Self preservation kicks in for them. Aloha!!

        • IRT NP5491: I just don’t know what you mean when you say the media gets slam dunked, what actually happens to them??? #MAGA

        • juris> Just like Sarge22 said. Are you really that slow? There is obviously no fine print or reading between the lines here, just take it for whatever its worth!!! Aloha!

        • Alternative yapping.
          Hey don’t you know what “slam dunk” is? Something a white guy can’t do.

        • Lol, new trumpie on board ,that supported Obama before. Yeah right. Probably a psycho trumpie that was axed by SA and now uses another name. Funny goo aid drinkers.

        • NanakuliBoss> You are truly an outstanding example of the human race with all your boo hoo talk and insults. Grow up and be a real good person. Or, are you an example of the area your name so boldly displays – Nanakuli? Get a grip of your A—S and speak when only spoken to. Comment if you like but keep the lousy filthy name calling to your F____G self. Aloha!!!!!!!!!!!

        • NP why all the hostility? Thought you said everyone is entitled to their opinion? You seem to be going through a meltdown. I’m convinced that you are the Chump.

        • NP also aloha should never be used in a rude manner which convinces me that you are not Hawaiian in spirit. To end your comments with aloha and exclamations after it is very inappropriate and non Hawaiian.

        • NanakuliBoss> Please accept my apology for my uncouth behavior and poor taste in use of the english language. I did let my emotional self get the best of me and the ability to properly carry on a simple dialogue between you and I.

          Keaukaha> Thanks for kicking my butt and the absolutely improper use of ALOHA in my post with NanakuliBoss. Mahalo, bro!!!

        • NP if there is anyone who understands about losing it it’s me. It’s a common human trait to react with passion either negative or positive when speaking from the heart. Your turn to reel me back in next time I go astray. You may be a Chumpster but you are one with a whole lot of class. Aloha

    • Dtpro1, you are being way too generous when you say that trump “stumbled on some facts.” He constantly tells outright, verifiable lies. Along with his flirtations with white supremacists and bromance with vladimir putin, his disdain for the truth makes him dangerous. If cowardly republican congressmen will not rein him in, the media plays a more important role in exposing his questionable agenda. If it comes off as “biased,” so be it.

    • waokanaka> Yes!!!! It has come out and it’s just a matter of you putting aside your prejudices and take it for what it”s worth. Do not attempt to include your prejudices into it or else you will fail to see the truth. Believe me, you have to almost block everything to see through all the fog and BS in order to see the truth, but it is there for your enlightenment!!! Aloha!

      • Np5491, putting aside one’s prejudices does not make trump’s claims any more true. A lie is a lie, not “alternative facts.” Non-partisan fact checkers note that the level of trump’s lying is unmatched. I only wish more republican congressmen would have the guts to call him out on his lies.

        • skinut> No one is going to outright call him out about the same old same old erroneous statements that he makes. His “white lies” don’t harm anyone in particular, so he uses it time and time again, because he knows the MSM will immediately jump on it. This makes their day. So what about the lies, they’re all old stuff that he keeps tossing it out to the MSM. They eat it up and twist it and put out on the news as VFN. Aloha!!

        • NP are you sure you are not the Chump. Your reasoning just doesn’t add up for a relatively intelligent person.. a lie is a lie. A blatant lie that can be immediately confirmed is just ridiculously stupid. We are not talking about grade schoolers telling white lies but the POTUS. Don’t you think that there is a huge difference when making a comparison.

        • keaukaha> Simple tactic to keep the MSM from pressing their attack on him. Make them lose their focus and redirect their focus on the same old “lie” that you keep telling them time after time. The MSM will jump on it as they have always done before. They will use it again and again, eventually they’ ll catch on to the trick. Change the topic which is another “lie” of no consequence and let them feed on it. It may sound stupid but you can see how well it is working for the POTUS. My ALOHA to you!!!!

  • IRT Trumpers: So the media IS winning when Trump has his meetings…You keep saying they’re losing but they make more money by Trump having his meetings, they could give a rats butt if people like them, bottom line they win by making money off of Trump…And all they have to do is poke and offend him and he’ll respond like Pavlov’s Dog calling a meeting or Tweeting a message that the medias money train begins…He can control the meeting all he wants to but the media still wins, along with Trump whose base goes crazy every time he speaks, a WIN WIN situation for BOTH…So Fox isn’t media??? #MAGA

  • AP news feed. Are we to believe what they report? Mainstream media doesn’t not have the credibility that would warrant them reporting fact checking. Mainstream media has more of credibility issue than President Trump. Shades of Randolph Hearst. Just saying… 🙂

  • If you’re one to believe in the media, you would have believed Britain would not leave the European Union, Clinton would comfortably win over Trump, etc. Most of us would never have imagined Brian Williams of NBC nightly news to change a story he reported on in Iraq. “In a study by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, eighty percent of the American public said they believe journalists chase sensational stories because they think it will sell papers, not because they think it is important news. Another 85 percent of the public believes that newspapers frequently over-dramatize some news stories just to sell more papers.”

    • Exactly, with Trump the media WINS, with the media Trump WINS…More clicks equals more revenue…Trump knows this and they joined forces to feed off the American people, to say one is worse than the other is ridiculous …#MAGA

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