Donald Trump made 62 false claims last week

Trump made 24 false claims last Monday at the G7 summit in France. He uttered 10 at his closing press conference, five to reporters while meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, five more to reporters while meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and four to reporters while meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Trump also made 17 false claims on Twitter and 10 in a Fox News Radio interview with Brian Kilmeade. The remaining 11 came in other exchanges with reporters and in his hurricane briefing.

Sixty-two false claims is above Trump’s recent average: 55 per week since we started counting in early July.

The most egregious false claim of the week: The Iraq War

Trump took a break for a while from repeating one of the most serious false claims of his 2016 campaign: his insistence that he had opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning. But he told Kilmeade: “Look, we should have never been in Iraq. I’ve said that from day one and I was a civilian and it was covered but it was — you know, I was a civilian so who cares, right? But I said from day one, we should not go to Iraq.”

As CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski thoroughly documented while working at BuzzFeed, Trump expressed mild support for the invasion when radio host Howard Stern asked him for his stance six months before it occurred. The day after the invasion, he said “it looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint.”
It is only in 2004, more than a year later, that we have evidence of him explicitly opposing the war.

The most confusing false claim of the week: Category 5

In September 2017, Trump said of Hurricane Irma: “I never even knew a Category 5 existed.”

This was strange to hear from the leader of a country, since it is rather common knowledge that Category 5s exist, but fine, sure, none of us can know everything.

Then Trump said it again. Twenty months later. About another Category 5, Hurricane Michael. “Never heard about Category 5s before,” he said.

And then … during a Sunday briefing on Hurricane Dorian, he offered his most confounding version yet.

“I’m not sure that I’ve ever even heard of a Category 5. I knew it existed. And I’ve seen some Category 4s; you don’t even see them that much. But a Category 5 is something that I don’t know that I’ve even heard the term other than I know it’s there,” he said.

Either the President is in an eternal cycle of learning of and promptly forgetting the existence of Category 5 storms or this is something he has decided to say on purpose over and over again. Either way, we are confused.

The most absurd false claim of the week: Melania and Kim

First lady Melania Trump was present for her husband’s press conference at the G7 summit in France. This might explain why he decided to mention her while talking about his relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

“Kim Jong Un — who I’ve gotten to know extremely well; the first lady has gotten to know Kim Jong Un, and I think she’d agree with me — he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential,” Trump said.

This seemed at first like a claim that was very likely inaccurate but that would be hard for us to definitively declare false. We knew Melania Trump had never met Kim Jong Un, but perhaps the President meant she had spoken to him over the phone or something of the sort.

Nope.

In a rare turns of events, the White House essentially did the fact check for us. Behold a real quote from the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham: “President Trump confides in his wife on many issues including the detailed elements of his strong relationship with Chairman Kim — and while the First Lady hasn’t met him, the President feels like she’s gotten to know him too.”

That is not good spin.

Here is this week’s full list of 62:

Economy

Japanese auto companies

“And my first step with Japan was to say, ‘You have to move car companies into the United States.’ And they did. Many car companies are now operating plants in the United States and building plants in the United States.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Facts First: “Many” is an exaggeration. Two Japanese car companies, Toyota and Mazda, have announced plans to build a US plant (together) during Trump’s presidency; their joint venture is under construction in Alabama. There is no evidence Trump was personally responsible for this investment decision.

Trump has said since last year that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told him that more Japanese carmakers will soon announce major US investments. But none of these companies have announced a new US plant since Toyota and Mazda introduced the joint venture in early 2018, though Japanese automakers have made additional investments in existing facilities and Japanese truck company Hino Motors has built a truck-cab assembly plant in West Virginia.

General Motors

“General Motors, which was once the Giant of Detroit, is now one of the smallest auto manufacturers there. They moved major plants to China, BEFORE I CAME INTO OFFICE. This was done despite the saving help given them by the USA. Now they should start moving back to America again?” — August 30 tweet

Facts First: While General Motors does have plants in China, the company has not moved US plants to China, as Trump either claimed or strongly suggested. “No plants were closed in the US and opened in China to serve the US market. China plants are nearly 100% focused on serving that large and growing domestic Chinese market,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president for industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research.

GM sold more vehicles in China than in the US in both the first half of 2019, 1.57 million versus 1.41 million, and 2018. GM says it exports only one vehicle, the Buick Envision, from China to the US; those exports accounted for about 30,000 sales in 2018, or about 1% of the company’s US total sales.
Trump’s claim about GM being “one of the smallest auto manufacturers” in Detroit was based on a Bloomberg article about how the company “now employs fewer union-represented American workers than its domestic rivals for the first time since the United Auto Workers started organizing Detroit’s carmakers eight decades ago” — 46,000 UAW workers, which Bloomberg said trails Ford by about 9,000 and Fiat Chrysler by about 1,200. The Detroit News pointed out, “GM has about 100,000 hourly and salaried employees in the United States. Ford has about 85,000 and Fiat Chrysler has about 62,000.”

Inflation

“And, frankly, there’s been no inflation.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
“And you know that prices haven’t gone up and there’s been no inflation.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Facts First: There is inflation: 1.8% for the 12 months ending in July, up from 1.6% for the 12-month period ending in June. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy costs, was up 2.2% for the 12 months ending in July, the highest level since January.

Trump could fairly say that inflation is low, but “no inflation” is incorrect.

Unemployment

“Our country is doing well. Our unemployment numbers are the lowest they’ve been in over 50 years.” — August 26 G7 press conference.
Facts First: This was one of Trump’s trademark small exaggerations. The unemployment rates in June and July, 3.7% each, and in April and May, 3.6% each, were the lowest since August 1969 — just under 50 years ago, not “over 50 years.”

Asian unemployment

“Our unemployment numbers for African American — African American, Asian, for Hispanic are the best they’ve ever been.” — August 26 G7 press conference

Facts First: Trump was accurate about African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates, but not the rate for Asians.

Black Americans are at their lowest unemployment rate since the government began tracking employment statistics for them using its current methodology (in the 1970s); Hispanic Americans were slightly lower earlier in Trump’s term, but he can still accurately say they have not been lower under a previous president. However, the rate for Asians was 2.8% in July — higher than the 2.6% rate in December 2016, former President Barack Obama’s last full month in office.

Hurricanes

Hurricane Dorian and Alabama

“And, I will say, the states — and it may get a little piece of a great place: It’s called Alabama. And Alabama could even be in for at least some very strong winds and something more than that, it could be. This just came up, unfortunately. It’s the size of — the storm that we’re talking about. So, for Alabama, just please be careful also.” — Remarks at September 1 briefing on Hurricane Dorian
“Alabama is going to get a piece of it, it looks like.” — September 1 exchange with reporters
“In addition to Florida – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated. ” — September 1 tweet
Facts First: Forecasters did not expect Alabama to be “hit” by Hurricane Dorian. The National Weather Service account for Birmingham, Alabama tweeted a correction of the President 20 minutes after his own tweet, saying, “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east.”

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokesperson Chris Vaccaro confirmed to CNN on Monday afternoon that this was still the case.

Category 5 hurricanes

“I have — not sure — I’m not sure that I’ve ever even heard of a Category 5. I knew it existed. And I’ve seen some Category 4s; you don’t even see them that much. But a Category 5 is something that I don’t know that I’ve even heard the term other than I know it’s there.” — Remarks at September 1 briefing on Hurricane Dorian

Facts First: Trump has heard of Category 5 hurricanes before. We know this because he has commented on them on multiple occasions — and said in both 2017 and in May 2019 that he had not known until then that Category 5s existed.
It is possible that Trump just keeps forgetting about the Category 5s he has learned about, but regardless, he has indeed heard the term. Hurricane Dorian is the fourth Category 5 to threaten the US during his presidency.

Puerto Rico disaster relief

“Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end? Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for ‘anywhere.'” — August 27 tweet
“Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten, and it is sent to Crooked Pols.” — August 28 tweet
Facts First: Congress has not approved $92 billion for Puerto Rico hurricane relief, and the relief funding for Puerto Rico is not a record. As of September 3, the federal government’s relief tracking website said $42.7 billion had been allocated to Puerto Rico between 2017 and 2019, $13.8 billion actually spent. By contrast, Congress appropriated approximately $120 billion in relief money after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
As the Washington Post first explained, the $92 billion is an approximate long-term estimate of hurricane-related obligations to Puerto Rico, including money not yet being considered by Congress.

Immigration

The border wall

In separate tweets, Trump said the wall on the Mexican border is “going up rapidly” and “going up very fast.”

Facts First: Trump is not building a border wall “rapidly” or “very fast.” No new miles of wall have been built during Trump’s presidency as of August, Customs and Border Protection told CNN. Sixty miles of existing barrier have been replaced.

Dan McCready

“Looking forward to being with Dan Bishop in two weeks, in North Carolina. His opponent believes in Open Borders and Sanctuary Cities, and won’t protect your Second Amendment!” — August 27 tweet
“The Great State of North Carolina has EARLY VOTING for a very important Congressional (Ninth) race. Please vote early (now), or on Election Day, September 10th, for Dan Bishop, a great guy. His opponent wants Open Borders, Sanctuary Cities & is weak on Crime, Military & Vets!” — August 30 tweet

Facts First: Trump was referring to Bishop’s Democratic opponent in the special election in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, Dan McCready, who does not support “open borders.”

McCready’s website says he wants comprehensive immigration reform “that secures our border, respects our laws and protects our American values.” He calls for the government to “reinforce physical barriers with the technology Dan used in the Marines, like infrared cameras and drones.”

Mexican troops

“I happen to like them right now, because they’ve been great on the border. They have 27,000 soldiers on our border because the Democrats will not do anything about asylum and loopholes.” — August 29 interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade.
Facts First: The approximately 26,000 troops are split between the US border and Mexico’s southern border. Trump himself said in late July that 6,000 of the troops were near Guatemala.

Trade

Car imports from Japan

“They send us millions and millions of cars; they have for many years. They’re essentially not taxed. So they send them in from Japan. They’re essentially not taxed … we have a lot of cards with Japan. Number one is my relationship with Prime Minister Abe. So I don’t think we have to use the cards. But the ultimate card is they send us millions and millions of cars. Essentially, it’s 2.5%, but there’s ways of getting around it. Essentially, non-tariff, free.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Facts First: There is a 2.5% tariff on car imports from Japan. Trump could fairly argue that tariffs are too low, but he is wrong when he suggests that Japan avoids the tariffs entirely.

“I don’t know of any ways around import tariffs for vehicles shipped from Japan,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president for industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research.

The trade deficit with the European Union

“The EU is another one: we’ve been losing $180 billion a year for many years.” — August 26 G7 press conference.

Facts First: The trade deficit with the European Union was $114 billion in 2018, $101 billion in 2017, $93 billion in 2016.

China’s wealth

“And China has lost $20 (trillion), $25 (trillion), $30 trillion in worth.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Facts First: There is no apparent basis for any of these figures. Experts on the Chinese economy have even rejected previous Trump claims of a $10 trillion drop in Chinese wealth.

We checked one of those “$10 trillion” claims for the Toronto Star in May. We wrote then: “George Magnus, a research associate at Oxford University’s China Centre, said, ‘I can’t really make those numbers add up to anything I’m aware of.’ Magnus noted that the entire market capitalization of the Shanghai index was just over $5 trillion US at the time. Derek Scissors, an expert on US economic relations with Asia at the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank, also said a $10 trillion drop in Chinese wealth is ‘not in evidence.'”

The New York Times reported of Trump’s latest comments: “The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index has lost 259.57 points, or about 8% (since Trump took office). But given that the index’s market capitalization is about 32.4 trillion renminbi, equivalent to $4.5 trillion, it is virtually impossible for the President’s economic policies to have caused a loss of $20 trillion to $30 trillion.”

The World Trade Organization

“Well, we haven’t been happy with the WTO, but now we’re winning cases. We won the big Airbus case, as you know. And it’s a tremendous case. I mean, it’s billions of dollars. That was a very recent victory. And we’re winning cases now. We’re being treated more fairly now in the WTO, which we appreciate.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Facts First: The US has not just “now” started winning cases at the World Trade Organization. Contrary to Trump’s repeated assertion, the US has long been successful in WTO disputes: his own Council of Economic Advisers said in a report in February 2018 that the US had won 86% of the cases it has brought since 1995. The global average was 84% and China’s figure 67%.

As is standard for the WTO, the US tended to lose cases where it is defending the case rather than bringing it — but even in those cases, Trump’s advisers noted that it did better (25% victory rate) than the world average (17% ) or China’s record (just 5%).

A Bloomberg Law review in March of this year found that the US success rate in cases it brings to the WTO had increased extremely slightly since Trump took office, from 84.8% in 2016 to 85.4%, so there’s a kernel of truth to Trump’s claim.

The case involving Airbus and rival Boeing, which was decided by the WTO in March, was widely described as a mixed decision. But the WTO did side with the US on key elements of the dispute, so Trump isn’t being objectively false when he describes it as a victory.

China’s agricultural spending

“I gave the farmers $16 billion, which makes them totally whole on China. That’s what China spends in a good year. I gave — given the farmers — because they were targeted. The farmers were targeted by China.” — August 30 exchange with reporters

“China plays a vicious game. They’ve targeted our farmers and I’ve made up for it by — for two years now, $12 billion they did previously, then they did $16 (billion). I asked Sonny Perdue, our head of agriculture, is doing a fantastic job, what was the number they spent in their biggest year. And it was approximately $16 billion and out of the much more billions of dollars that we’re receiving.” — August 29 interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade

Facts First: Sixteen billion dollars is not the most China has spent on US agricultural products in a calendar year, nor what it spent in a “good year.” According to figures from the US Department of Agriculture, China spent $19.5 billion in 2017, $21.4 billion in 2016 and $20.2 billion in 2015.

China spent more than $17 billion every year from 2010 through 2017 — and more than $20 billion in five of those eight years. Over that time period, its spending peaked at $25.9 billion in 2012.

Tariff revenue

“The farmers were targeted by China. So, out of the tariffs, which are much more than $16 billion by a factor of a lot, I’ve given the farmers $16 billion.” — August 30 exchange with reporters

Facts First: Trump’s aid payments to farmers do not exceed revenues from his tariffs on China “by a factor of a lot.” As Trump has acknowledged on occasion, he has pledged a total of $28 billion, not $16 billion, to farmers; as of August 28, two days before he spoke here, his China-specific tariffs had generated $27 billion, according to US government data.

China’s economic performance

“A lot of companies have left China and a lot more are leaving. And they are not doing well. They are having the worst year they’ve had, I understand, in 61 years.” — August 30 exchange with reporters

Facts First: China’s official second-quarter GDP growth rate, 6.2%, was the worst since 1992, 27 years ago. Though experts say China’s official economic statistics are unreliable, there is no basis for the “61 years” claim.

Trump has correctly cited this “27 years” statistic in the past without questioning it. Later, though, he began adding additional years and then additional decades for no apparent reason.

The history of tariffs on China

“…the United States, which has never collected 10 cents from China…” — August 26 G7 press conference

“Because of the tariffs, we’re in an incredible negotiating position, and we happen to be taking in billions and billions and billions of dollars. And we haven’t taken in 10 cents from China.” — August 30 exchange with reporters

“You know, we’re getting in tens of billions of dollars from China. We never got 10 cents from China in tariffs.” — August 29 interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade

Facts First: The US government has been charging tariffs on imported Chinese goods for more than two centuries, and it took in hefty sums from such tariffs long before Trump imposed his own tariffs. (As always, we’ll note it is US importers and consumers, not China, who have paid these tariffs.)

The Treasury received $14 billion from tariffs on China in 2014, to look at one pre-Trump year.

The dollar

“The Euro is dropping against the Dollar ‘like crazy,’ giving them a big export and manufacturing advantage…and the Fed does NOTHING! Our Dollar is now the strongest in history. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Except to those (manufacturers) that make product for sale outside the U.S.” — August 30 tweet.

Facts First: The dollar is not the strongest it has ever been against other currencies.

You can read a longer version of this fact check here.

Unions and the USMCA

“Well, the USMCA has become very popular. That’s our deal with Mexico and with Canada. Unions are liking it.” — August 30 exchange with reporters

“Yes. The US, and it’s Mexico and Canada, USMCA, is a very popular deal. The farmers love it. The unions like it.” — August 29 interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade

Facts First: American unions generally don’t like Trump’s North American trade agreement, a revised version of NAFTA. The AFL-CIO, a large labor federation made up of 55 unions, says changes must be made to the agreement before the federation could possibly be supportive; in a Fox News appearance days after Trump’s comments here, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka called it “an unenforceable trade deal” that is “a windfall for corporations and a disaster for workers.”
Asked by Politico in June about a previous version of Trump’s claim that unions are fond of the agreement, Trumka said, “Maybe he’s talking about the unions in some other country?” Trumka said he didn’t have a “clue” where Trump had gotten that impression.

As The New York Times has reported, the United Automobile Workers and United Steelworkers, among other unions, have also demanded changes to the agreement.

Who pays for Trump’s tariffs on China

Trump claimed on six occasions that the revenue from his tariffs on China is coming in from China.

Facts First: Americans make the tariff payments, and economic studies have found that Americans have borne most of the cost.

Trade deficit with China

Trump said on three occasions that the trade deficit with China has been $500 billion or more for years.

Facts First: The US trade deficit with China has never been $500 billion; it was $381 billion last year when counting goods and services, $420 billion when counting goods alone.

Popularity and polls

Republican approval

“Can you believe it? I’m at 94% approval in the Republican Party, and have Three Stooges running against me.” — August 27 tweet.

Facts First: Trump’s approval with Republicans is very high, regularly in the 80s and sometimes creeping into the 90s, but it has not been 94% in any recent poll.

Trump was at 83%, for example, in an Ipsos poll conducted August 26 and August 27 and 85% in a Quinnipiac University poll conducted August 21 to August 26. He was at 88% in Gallup data gathered between August 1 and August 14.

Polls

“We have very strong polls in-house, but I see these phony polls, that’s another form of fake news. You know, it’s called suppression. They suppress … feelings.” — August 29 interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade

Facts First: There is no evidence for Trump’s repeated suggestion that pollsters are falsifying their numbers to dampen the enthusiasm of his supporters.

Robert Jeffress’ quote

“‘We hold that legislative prayer is government speech not open to attack via those channels.’ Third Circuit, Court of Appeals. ‘Lou, that’s why this next Election is so important, the soul of America. They want to take religion out of American lives. Thank God for judges like this (Judge Thomas Ambro, Majotity Opinion), and thank God for a President like Donald J. Trump, who will appoint judges like this. He will soon have appointed 180 new Federal Judges, not even including two great new Supreme Court Justices.’ @robertjeffress @LouDobbs” — September 1 tweet.

Facts First: Trump combined and re-ordered various parts of Jeffress’s comments in this interview on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” — and, most significantly, added words Jeffress did not say. While Jeffress has been supportive of Trump’s two Supreme Court appointments, he did not talk about them in this interview.

Jeffress, a prominent pastor who leads the First Baptist Church in Dallas, actually said this: “President Trump is appointing, I think over 180, so far, appellate judges who are going to interpret the law by what the Constitution really says not by what liberals wish it said. And they have perverted the establishment clause to try to remove religious expression from every area of American lives. And thank God, and I mean this literally, thank God for judges like this, thank God for a president like Donald Trump who will appoint judges like this.” In a subsequent answer, he said the next election “is a battle for the soul of America.”

A quote on James Comey

“Bryan Dean Wright, former CIA Officer(Dem): “In 2016 we had a Coup. We have to take Comey and others to task. Makes no sense not to prosecute him. Comey got a book deal. I fear for my Country. He tried to kneecap our duly elected president, and there are no consequences.” @fox&Fs” — August 30 tweet

Facts First: Trump quoted Wright imprecisely, combining different parts of an extended commentary on Fox News to make Wright’s remarks seem at least slightly more accusatory than they were. Although Wright suggested that he believes Comey tried to “kneecap” Trump, he did not say the words “he tried to kneecap our duly elected president.”

Wright said he was concerned about Comey setting a bad example for FBI and CIA employees. He asked, “What example does it set for them such that in 2020 or 2024 they can choose to use that information however they want to kneecap whoever they want whenever they want?” Wright continued later in the segment: “But what I fear, for my country — forget parties, for my country — is a precedent where somebody can break the law and kneecap a duly elected president and face absolutely no consequence for it.”

We tend to be generous in fact-checking Trump’s quoting of people on television; we don’t call it false when he lightly edits quotes in a way that does not change their meaning. In this case, though, his changes were substantial.

Energy

Energy independence

“My energy policies have made America energy independent while keeping prices low, just like a Tax Cut.” — August 31 tweet.
Facts First: The US is expected to export more energy than it imports by 2020, according to the government’s Energy Information Administration, but that has not happened yet. The decrease in US imports and increase in exports began before the Trump administration; former president Barack Obama presided over a boom in liquefied natural gas exports and signed a bill lifting a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports.

“The truth is that both of the presidents of this decade (President Obama and President Trump) have presided over an incredibly brisk expansion of our capacity to produce oil and refined products. Executive policy has had little to do with the explosive gains, which are attributable to technology and price,” said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service.

“The US is still a net importer of crude and refined products, although the trend of declining dependence on imports should continue due to increased domestic production of unconventional oil and biofuels and growing investment in export infrastructure following the 2015 repeal of the crude export ban,” said Josh Price, a senior analyst for energy and utilities at Height Capital Markets. “Most of these factors preceded President Trump and have not been significantly altered by administration policies.”

Renewable fuel waivers

“The Farmers are going to be so happy when they see what we are doing for Ethanol, not even including the E-15, year around, which is already done. It will be a giant package, get ready! At the same time I was able to save the small refineries from certain closing. Great for all!” — August 29 tweet.

Facts First: Trump was vague here, but energy experts were confident he was referring to his administration’s controversial decision, announced in August, to exempt 31 small oil refineries from the requirement to blend biofuels like ethanol into their fuel. Four experts told us they did not believe the decision saved any refineries from shutting down.

“As far as I know, there were no refineries on the brink of closing last year,” said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service.

Refiners are able to buy credits from other companies instead of meeting their obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“I haven’t heard of any closures President Trump has prevented through issuing RFS waivers. Especially given how cheap RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers, or credits) have been over the past year or so,” said Josh Price, a senior analyst for energy and utilities at Height Capital Markets.

“The refineries in question were likely not in serious danger of closing as a result of (Renewable Fuel Standard) compliance cost,” said Eric Lundin, director for biofuels at Stratas Advisors, “due to the fact that the RFS obligations for a majority of them have now been waived for two consecutive years. In addition, the costs associated with RFS compliance for the 2018 compliance year would be no more than one-third to one-half of what they were in the 2016 and 2017 compliance years due to far lower RFS credit prices.”

The White House did not respond to a request to identify any refineries Trump had supposedly prevented from closing. Since the government does not release the list of refineries to which it has granted waivers, only the number, it is not possible to go down the list ourselves.

Frank Maisano, spokesman for Fueling American Jobs Coalition, whose members include small refineries, said the issue is more complicated than simply counting the number of refineries saved.

“Small refiner exemptions are proprietary, so you won’t be able to identify any specific facilities at risk, but refineries that qualify are constantly under strain from the costs of the RFS,” Maisano said.

Energy production

“I feel that the United States has tremendous wealth. The wealth is under its feet. I’ve made that wealth come alive … But we are now the number one energy producer in the world. And soon, it will be by far, with a couple of pipelines that have not been able to get approved for many, many years.” — August 26 G7 press conference.

Facts First: The US has not just “now” become the world’s top energy producer: it took the top spot in 2012, under the very administration Trump has accused of perpetrating a “war” on the energy industry, according to the US government’s Energy Information Administration. The US became the top producer of crude oil in particular during Trump’s tenure.
“The United States has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2009, when US natural gas production surpassed that of Russia, and it has been the world’s top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013, when its production exceeded Saudi Arabia’s,” the Energy Information Administration says.

Conditions at Doral

“No bedbugs at Doral. The Radical Left Democrats, upon hearing that the perfectly located (for the next G-7) Doral National MIAMI was under consideration for the next G-7, spread that false and nasty rumor. Not nice!” — August 27 tweet.
“A made up Radical Left Story about Doral bedbugs…” — August 27 tweet.
Facts First: Trump might be right that there are no bedbugs at his Trump National Doral Miami resort, but he is wrong when he suggests that the “radical left” invented a bedbugs rumor. Trump opponents on Twitter were sharing a 2017 article about the resort settling a lawsuit with a 2016 guest who said he woke up covered in bedbug bites.
The man, Eric Linder, said he was “outraged” by Trump’s tweets, the New York Daily News reported.

Environment

The G7 climate meeting

Question: “Mr. President, were you able to attend the working session on climate and oceans earlier?” Trump: “We’re having it in a little while.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Question: “Did you make it to the climate session? Were there any conclusions that you took away from it?” Trump: “I’m going to it. In fact, it’s going to be our next session. But we haven’t had it yet.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Facts First: The climate session had already begun at the time Trump spoke here; it was not “in a little while” or “the next session.”

Trump might have been confused about his schedule rather than deliberately dishonest, but he was wrong regardless. (He ended up missing the session, though Merkel and Modi both attended.)

Air and water

“No, I want clean air and clean water. And we’re, right now, having the cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Facts First: The US does not have the cleanest air on the planet, according to the Environmental Performance Index developed by Yale University, Columbia University and the World Economic Forum; it ranked 10th. It was tied for the number-one spot on drinking water, though it ranked 29th on the “water and sanitation” category more broadly.
By several measures, US air was cleaner under Obama than it has been under Trump. Three of the six types of pollutants identified by the Clean Air Act as toxic to human health were more prevalent in the air as of 2018 than they were before Trump took office, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. Additionally, there were more “unhealthy air days” for sensitive groups in 2018 than in 2016 — 799 days across the 35 American cities surveyed by the EPA, up from 702.

It’s also worth noting that this Trump answer came in response to a question about climate change, which he did not address.

Foreign and military affairs

ISIS fighters and Europe

“Well, we talked about that just a few minutes ago. We’ve captured thousands of ISIS fighters. We have them now. They’re captured. They’re in various locations, but predominantly in one. They came from Europe, in almost all cases.” And: “We have a lot from a lot of different countries. And, for the most part, all in Europe.” — Exchange with reporters at August 26 meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Facts First: A minority of ISIS fighters captured in Syria are from Europe, not “almost all” of them. James Jeffrey, Trump’s special envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, said August 1 that about 8,000 of about 10,000 terrorist fighters being held in northeastern Syria are Iraqi or Syrian nationals; there were “about 2,000 ISIS foreign fighters” from all other countries.
Trump himself tweeted in February to ask that European countries take back “over 800” ISIS fighters captured in Syria.

The length of the Iran deal

Trump said twice that the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran “expires in a very short period of time.”

Facts First: Some central provisions of the agreement were written to expire in the next 10 to 15 years. But the deal as a whole — including a blanket prohibition on Iran developing nuclear weapons — was written to continue in perpetuity. You can read a fuller fact check here.

The Iran deal and money

On two occasions, Trump claimed that the US “gave” or “paid” Iran “$150 billion” as part of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Facts First: The money in question was Iranian money frozen in foreign financial institutions because of sanctions, not US government money — and experts say the total was significantly lower than $150 billion. You can read a fuller fact check here.

Melania Trump and Kim Jong Un

“Kim Jong Un — who I’ve gotten to know extremely well; the First Lady has gotten to know Kim Jong Un, and I think she’d agree with me — he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential.” — August 26 G7 press conference.

Facts First: Melania Trump was not present for any of Trump’s three meetings with Kim Jong Un, and there is no evidence she has ever spoken to Kim.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement later Monday: “President Trump confides in his wife on many issues including the detailed elements of his strong relationship with Chairman Kim — and while the First Lady hasn’t met him, the President feels like she’s gotten to know him too.”

We’re still calling the statement false. Trump’s phrasing, “gotten to know,” clearly suggested some level of personal interaction between Melania Trump and Kim.

Position on the Iraq war

“…look, we should have never been in Iraq. I’ve said that from day one and I was a civilian and it was covered but it was — you know, I was a civilian so who cares, right? But I said from day one, we should not go to Iraq.” — August 29 interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade

Facts First: Trump did not oppose the invasion from “day one.” Radio host Howard Stern asked him in 2002, “Are you for invading Iraq?” Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.” The day after the invasion in March 2003, he said, “It looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint.
Trump did not offer a definitive position on the looming war in a Fox News interview in January 2003, saying, “Either you attack or don’t attack.” Trump started questioning the war later in 2003, and he was an explicit opponent in an Esquire article published 17 months after the invasion.

Bowe Bergdahl

“Well the whole Bowe Bergdahl thing was a disgrace. He left. We may have lost as many as six people going out and looking for him … People were probably killed, and it could have been as many as six, trying to find him and then he gets a slap on the wrist. It was a disgrace, in my opinion.” — August 29 interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade.

Facts First: While six soldiers from Bergdahl’s unit died after he walked off his post in Afghanistan, there is no evidence that they died searching for him. As military publication Stars and Stripes reported, “They were all killed in August and September, after the exhausting search effectively had been called off and the mission had changed to secure upcoming Afghanistan elections, according to court testimony.”
It is worth noting that some soldiers from Bergdahl’s unit have said that finding Bergdahl was an element of every mission they undertook following his disappearance, even if that was not the stated goal. But the deaths occurred after the dedicated search effort had been canceled.
Sgt. Maj. Ken Wolf, appearing on the investigative podcast Serial, said of the families of the deceased: “Their sons did not die looking for Pfc. Bergdahl.” Serial obtained internal military reports on the six deaths and found “none of these investigations report that any of these men was on a mission to look for Bergdahl. Neither Bergdahl’s name, nor the term DUSTWUN (shorthand for a missing soldier), appears in any of the documents.”
And former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testified to Congress in 2014: “In the Army, in all of our reports, I have seen no evidence that directly links any American combat death to the rescue or finding or search of Sergeant Bergdahl. And I have asked the question. We have all asked the question. I have seen no evidence, no facts presented to me when I asked that question.”

Lawrence O’Donnell

“Look, Lawrence O’Donnell has been lying about me. If you remember, we had a big dispute on “The Apprentice.” He said I was never paid anything. And I said I was paid a fortune. And then the statement came out, it was released; he had to apologize, just like he did last night. And when he apologized, he was crying, because it was very embarrassing to him, because we — I made a big bet. I said if it wasn’t a certain amount, I’ll pay your whole year’s salary for you. And he had to apologize.” — August 29 interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade.

“Crazy Lawrence O’Donnell, who has been calling me wrong from even before I announced my run for the Presidency, even being previously forced by NBC to apologize, which he did while crying, for things he said about me & The Apprentice…” — August 29 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.

Chris Isidore, Nicole Gaouette, Zachary Cohen and Geneva Sands contributed to this report.

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