Trump made 30 false claims on Davos trip, 44 total last week

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Trump made 16 false claims about Ukraine, 13 about impeachment and nine about the economy.

While 44 false claims in one week would be a lot for most politicians, it is below Trump’s average of about 60 false claims per week since July 8, when we started tracking this data at CNN. The week we’re discussing here, from January 20 through January 26, ranks 22nd out of the 29 weeks we have tracked.

Trump is now up to 1,729 false claims since July 8.

The most egregious false claim: Obama and trade

Trump, who frequently seems to have his predecessor on his mind for no particular reason, is fond of claiming he has managed to do things President Barack Obama could not — whether or not Obama actually failed to do these things.

Last week, touting his trade discussions with the European Union, Trump said at the Davos press conference: “They haven’t wanted to negotiate with past Presidents, but they’re going to negotiate with me.” He continued later: “…Our country wanted to make a deal under President Obama. The EU refused to talk to him.”

The European Union didn’t only talk to Obama on trade — it engaged in three years of extensive though unsuccessful negotiations with Obama’s administration on a proposed free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

The most revealing false claim: Manufacturing jobs

The economy has added 487,000 manufacturing jobs under Trump. Manufacturing job growth slowed significantly in 2019, with a total gain of just 29,000 jobs from January through December, but the President still has a pretty good true story to tell here.

Instead, Trump often chooses to spout fiction. He said in a speech to mayors last week: “We’ve created 700,000 manufacturing jobs.”

Trump has consistently exaggerated manufacturing job growth — and as the actual number of jobs created has continued to grow, he has continually increased the inaccurate figure he uses. When the actual number was around 350,000, he said it was “almost 500,000.” When it was just over 400,000, he said it was “600,000.”

The most absurd false claim: Trump’s lying

Trump noted at the Davos press conference that he had opposed the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. He mused, though, that Clinton did “a lot of bad things” — such as “a lot of lying.”

Fair enough. But then Trump said the following with a straight face: “Now, with me, there’s no lying.”

Here’s this week’s full list of 44 false claims, starting with the ones we haven’t previously included in one of these weekly roundups.

Impeachment

Trump’s lying

Trump said of his opposition to Clinton’s impeachment: “But in a certain way, I was sticking up for Clinton — for Bill Clinton…I mean, what he did was nothing good. There was a lot of lying going on. There were a lot of things — a lot of bad things. Now, with me, there’s no lying. There’s no nothing.” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland
Facts First: Trump’s claim that “with me, there’s no lying” is itself clearly false. He has been so broadly dishonest about Ukraine and impeachment that we were able to compile a list of 65 different false claims he had made on the subject.

John Bolton and the Democrats

“They didn’t want John Bolton and others in the House. They were in too much of a rush. Now they want them all in the Senate. Not supposed to be that way!” — January 20 tweet

Facts First: Trump can criticize House Democrats for being in “too much of a rush” with their impeachment inquiry to subpoena Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser. But it’s not true that “they didn’t want” Bolton. Democrats asked Bolton on October 30 to testify voluntarily on November 7. He declined to appear — because Trump’s White House directed current and former administration officials not to participate in the inquiry.

Democrats decided against issuing a subpoena because they were concerned about the possibility of a lengthy court battle. You can read a full fact check here.

What happened after Trump released the transcript

“When Schiff made up the phony story, and he repeated it to Congress and the world — and it was a totally phony story — then I released the transcript…When we released that conversation, all hell broke out with the Democrats, because they say, ‘Wait a minute. This is much different than Shifty Schiff told us.'” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

Facts First: As we have repeatedly noted, Trump released the rough transcript of his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before, not after, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff delivered an exaggerated rendition of the call at a committee meeting. When Trump released the transcript, therefore, Democrats did not say it was different than what Schiff had said.

A Fox News poll on the impeachment trial

“Majority of people say ‘the U.S. Senate already has enough information!’ @FoxNews” — January 26 tweet
Facts First: The Fox News poll Trump appeared to be referencing found that 48% of people questioned said the Senate already has enough information to make its decision on Trump’s articles of impeachment, versus 44% who said the Senate needs to hear more witness testimony. Forty-eight to 44 is a plurality, not a majority.

Accomplishments

Mark Zuckerberg’s White House visit

“…and Mark Zuckerberg was in the White House two weeks ago and he said, ‘You’re number one on Facebook.'” — January 22 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo
Facts First: Zuckerberg, the chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook, has not been to the White House since a dinner with Trump there in October, about three months prior to this Trump claim, Facebook spokesman Dave Arnold told CNN. Arnold declined to comment on what Zuckerberg said to Trump, and Trump wasn’t clear what he meant by “number one.”
Trump has a long history of moving past events closer to the present, intentionally or unintentionally.

The individual mandate and Obamacare

“We’ve done well with health care anyway. We got rid of the individual mandate. And if you look at that, that was a big thing with Obamacare. That was the end of Obamacare.” — January 22 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo

Facts First: The individual mandate, which required Americans to obtain health insurance, was indeed a key part of Obamacare — but it was not “the end of Obamacare” when Republicans repealed the mandate in their 2017 tax bill. Key components of Obamacare remain.
The bill did not eliminate Obamacare’s expansion of the Medicaid insurance program for low-income people, the federal and state marketplaces that allow people to shop for coverage, or the consumer subsidies that help many of them make the purchases. While Trump continued to take other steps to weaken Obamacare, much of it still exists.

Obama, the European Union and trade

Trump said he was going to start negotiating a trade deal with the president of the European Commission, then added, “They haven’t wanted to negotiate with past Presidents, but they’re going to negotiate with me.” He also said: “…Our country wanted to make a deal under President Obama. The EU refused to talk to him.” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

Facts First: It’s not true that the European Union refused to talk to Obama about trade. In fact, the European Union engaged in three years of negotiations with the Obama administration on a possible US-EU free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The negotiations faltered in 2016.

Michael Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton

“But he (Bloomberg) had a deal with Hillary Clinton that he was going to become Secretary of State. It was very simple. People know that. And it wasn’t going to happen. It was going to go to Terry McAuliffe. I mean, so they were playing with Michael.” — January 22 interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen

Facts First: There is no evidence Clinton had a deal to give the Secretary of State post to either Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor now running for the Democratic presidential nomination, or McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia.

Trump may have been basing his claim on a hacked 2015 email exchange released by WikiLeaks in 2016. Clinton adviser Neera Tanden asked Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson about a media report about some Democrats having approached Bloomberg to run against Clinton in the 2016 election.
As the New York Post reported, Wolfson responded that the idea was “laughable.” Tanden soon asked what role Bloomberg might want in a Clinton administration, saying, “Is like Ambassador of China way too small.” Wolfson responded, “Secty of state Which ain’t gonna happen.”

Tanden then forwarded the exchange to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, but the emails do not show any kind of deal. Bloomberg’s campaign did not respond this week to a request for comment; Tanden told CNN this week: “There was absolutely no deal. Period. It was a random email from me to a good friend, who works for him.”

Tanden said she has never even heard any discussions about McAuliffe as Secretary of State, “like ever.” At CNN’s request, Chris Bolling, executive director of McAuliffe political action committee Common Good VA, put Trump’s claim to McAuliffe, then quickly called back laughing. He said McAuliffe had said, “I would love to be Secretary of State, but I had no deal to be Secretary of Sate.”

The length of drug trials

Praising China for cracking down on illegal fentanyl, Trump said China’s “quick trials” last merely “one day.” He continued: “Ours take 15 years; theirs take one day.” — January 24 speech to mayors
Facts First: Trump might have been intending this as non-literal hyperbole, but nonetheless, US drug trials do not last 15 years. Even the trial of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman took three months.
China’s legal system, of course, affords few rights to accused people, almost all of whom are swiftly convicted. In the US, some cases last longer than others, and appeals can extend the process, but veteran lawyers said Trump was way off. Kenyen Brown, a former US attorney in Alabama who now has a private litigation practice, said Trump’s comment was “hyperbole to the point of being ridiculous.”

“The typical possession with intent to distribute or drug conspiracy federal drug trial concludes after two to three days tops. Of course there are outliers in a few more complicated cases but the President’s comment is nonsensical,” he said in an email.

Trump was exaggerating even if he was describing the timeline for an entire case, not just the trial alone. “President Trump’s statement is a gross exaggeration and it is not true,” said David Haas, a former federal prosecutor in Florida who is now a criminal defense lawyer and has represented people accused of drug trafficking. “Most federal cases are resolved, either by plea or trial, within months of being filed. That length can vary but it would be unusual for any federal case to be pending longer than 12-18 months.”

Repeats

Here are the repeat false claims we have previously fact checked in a weekly roundup:

Impeachment

The timing of Schiff’s comments

“Remember this: When Schiff made up the phony story, and he repeated it to Congress and the world — and it was a totally phony story — then I released the transcript.” And: “We have people that are corrupt, like Adam Schiff, who misquotes — I don’t mean ‘misquotes’ — makes up a statement. He had no idea that I was going to release the transcript. He never thought I’d do that. And for that, I thank the President of Ukraine, because we got their approval. He had no idea I was going to do that.” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

“It was so bad, where he goes before Congress, and he makes a statement that I made, and it was a total fraud. I never made it…That’s why I released the conversation, because if I didn’t release it, people would have said that I made the statement that he made.” — January 22 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo

“It’s a fraud. I watched Schiff prior to this, he wouldn’t say it now — can’t — but he tried to make up a statement that I made. That’s why I released the transcript.” — January 24 interview with Fox News’ Raymond Arroyo
Facts First: Trump can reasonably criticize Schiff for Schiff’s comments at a House Intelligence Committee hearing in September; as we’ve written before, Schiff’s mix of near-quotes from Trump’s phone call with Zelensky, his own analysis, and supposed “parody” was at the very least confusing. But Schiff spoke the day after Trump released the rough transcript, not before Trump released the transcript.

Schiff’s comments and the law

“Shifty is now exposed for illegally making up my phone call, & more!” — January 26 tweet
Facts First: Schiff’s words were not illegal. As Trump previously acknowledged, the Constitution includes a specific provision that gives members of Congress immunity from legal jeopardy for comments during official meetings.

Marie Yovanovitch and Trump’s portrait

“But I am not a fan of that ambassador, just so you understand. From what I understand, and I heard this a long time ago — she wouldn’t put my picture up.” — January 24 interview with Fox News’ Raymond Arroyo

Facts First: There is no evidence that Yovanovitch refused to hang Trump’s photo at the US embassy in Ukraine. It took the Trump administration more than nine months after his inauguration to distribute an official photo of Trump to government buildings such as embassies, CNBC reported in 2017. More than seven months into the term, the White House told The Washington Post that Trump had not yet sat for the photo.

A State Department official who has recently served in Kiev said the former ambassador never sought to prevent Trump’s photo from being put up at the embassy. The official said the photo did not arrive until late 2017.

Yovanovitch’s legal team did not respond to CNN’s request for comment, but NBC received this response from a person “connected to her legal team”: “The Embassy in Kyiv hung the official photographs of the president, vice president, and secretary of state as soon as they arrived from Washington, D.C.”

The timing of aid to Ukraine

“Remember this, they got their money and they got it early.” — January 22 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo

“So they got the money. In fact they got it very early.” — January 22 interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen

“Now, here’s the other thing: they got their money long before schedule. They got all their money.” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

Facts First: The aid to Ukraine did not arrive “early” or “before schedule.”
While Trump did lift his freeze on the aid on September 11, more than two weeks before a September 30 legal deadline, the delay caused by Trump’s freeze meant that $35 million of the $391 million in aid could not make it out the door in time to meet the deadline, according to impeachment testimony from Mark Sandy, deputy associate director for national security in the Office of Management and Budget. To deal with this problem, Congress had to pass an extension of the deadline. “Had that provision not been included, then any unobligated funds as of September 30 would have expired,” Sandy testified.
The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan watchdog agency that works for Congress, concluded that the aid freeze broke a law, the Impoundment Control Act. (The office’s report was released the week after Trump made this comment. You can read a full story here.)

The whistleblowers disappearing

“There was supposed to be a second whistleblower. What happened to him?…There was supposed to be an informer. What happened to the informer? All of these people disappeared. And when they saw this transcript, they said, ‘We got problems.’ But they went ahead because they were already there because they — they had a phony, concocted story made up.” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

“…the second Whistleblower (who vanished after I released the Transcripts)…” — January 23 tweet
Facts First: There is no evidence that either the second whistleblower or a source for the first whistleblower, whom Trump calls “the informer,” have “disappeared,” much less that they said “we got problems” when Trump released the rough transcript of the July call with Zelensky. The second whistleblower’s lawyers had always said that this person — who was revealed after Trump released the rough transcript — never planned to file a separate whistleblower complaint, merely to offer corroborating information in private.
“The whistleblowers have not vanished,” Bradley Moss, a colleague of Mark Zaid, a lawyer for the two whistleblowers, said on Twitter in October, when Trump made another version of this claim.

European aid to Ukraine

“What nobody says — this is very important to me: Why isn’t Germany paying? Why isn’t UK paying? Why isn’t France paying? Why aren’t the European nations paying? Why is it always the sucker — United States? That’s one.” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

“But I want to make sure, also, in addition to collusion, there’s something else I’m always stressing. Why isn’t Germany and France and UK and all these other countries in Europe that are much more affected than us — why aren’t they paying something?” — January 22 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo

Facts First: European countries, including France and Germany, have provided hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in 2014.

Zelensky acknowledged European “help” during his meeting with Trump at the United Nations in September, though he said the world’s efforts had been inadequate so far: “And, I’m sorry, but we don’t need help; we need support. Real support. And we thank — thank everybody, thank all of the European countries; they each help us. But we also want to have more — more.”

You can read a full fact check here.

People talking about Trump’s calls with Ukraine’s President

“And I watched — they don’t talk about my conversation. They don’t talk about my transcripts.” And: “When we have the head of the World Trade Organization here, and he has to listen to this nonsense about a call that was perfect, that nobody talks about. I never see them talking about the transcription. I never see them talking about the call, because there’s nothing to say.” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

“I had a first call which was perfect, and I had a second call which was perfect. You notice they don’t mention the calls, though. They never mention the calls. They talk about everything but the calls.” — January 22 interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen

Facts First: To the contrary, Trump’s call with Ukraine’s President was the subject of widespread discussion among members of Congress and in the media at the time; it was a central focus of Democrats’ impeachment push.

Rep. Al Green’s comments

“As Congressman Green said — Al Green. He’s a beauty. As Congressman Green said, ‘We got to beat him by impeachment because we can’t beat him in the election.'” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

Facts First: Trump was at least slightly exaggerating Green’s comments. In May, Green said this: “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this President, he will get reelected.” In September, when Trump previously claimed Green had said “we can’t” beat Trump without impeachment, Green told CNN, “I never said we can’t beat the President.”

Obama’s aid to Ukraine

“President Obama gave them nothing. He gave them pillows and sheets and things like that, and I gave them tank busters.” — January 22 interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen

Facts First: Obama did refuse to provide lethal aid to Ukraine, but he didn’t send mere pillows and sheets; he sent counter-mortar radars, drones, armored Humvees and night vision devices, among other things. You can read a full fact check here.

What Ukrainian leaders said

“There was one call, which was perfect, and then there was a second call — I guess, a couple of months later — which was perfect. The President of Ukraine said it was perfect. The Foreign Minister of Ukraine said it was perfect. So if we have a transcription, we have the call, and we have the person on the other side of the call saying it was good.” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

Facts First: Ukraine’s President and foreign minister have made comments that bolster Trump’s argument that he did not pressure Ukraine to investigate his opponents in order to receive US military aid — but the President and foreign minister have never called the phone call “perfect.”

The foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, has said, “I have never seen a direct relationship between investigations and security assistance,” according to Reuters, citing Russian news service Interfax. And Prystaiko has said Trump’s July phone call with Zelensky was “friendly” and that “I think there was no pressure.”

Zelensky did say there had been “no pressure” from Trump and made other statements to that effect, but he has not gone so far as to say Trump did nothing wrong.

In an interview published by Time magazine in early December, Zelensky did say, “Look, I never talked to the President from the position of a quid pro quo. That’s not my thing.” But Zelensky continued: “I don’t want us to look like beggars. But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying.”

The accuracy of the whistleblower

In a January 23 tweet, Trump referred to the whistleblower who complained about his dealings with Ukraine as “the fake whistleblower.”
Facts First: The whistleblower’s allegations have been proven highly accurate. In fact, the rough transcript released by Trump himself showed that the whistleblower’s primary allegations about his call with Zelensky were correct. You can read a full fact check here.

Immigration

Mexican soldiers and the border

“Mexico has been terrific. Mexico has given us 27,000 soldiers at our southern border. ” — January 24 speech to mayors

Facts First: Mexico has deployed around 27,000 troops, but Trump exaggerated how many are being stationed near the US border in particular. CNN reported on November 2: “Nearly 15,000 troops are deployed to Mexico’s northern border, where they’ve set up 20 checkpoints, Mexican Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said last week at a press briefing on the country’s security strategy. At the southern border, 12,000 troops are deployed and have set up 21 checkpoints.”

Acting US Customs and Border Protection commissioner Mark Morgan has offered similar numbers, telling reporters in September that 10,000 of approximately 25,000 troops were on Mexico’s southern border.

Economy and trade

Manufacturing jobs

“I’ve created almost 700,000 manufacturing jobs.” — January 22 interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen January 22 interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen

“And we’ve created 700,000 manufacturing jobs…” — January 24 speech to mayors

Facts First: Trump was exaggerating. The economy added 487,000 manufacturing jobs between January 2017, when Trump took office, and December 2019, official data shows. The number is 514,000 jobs added if you go back to November 2016, the month of Trump’s election, as Trump often likes to do.

What Obama said about manufacturing jobs

“I’ve created almost 700,000 manufacturing jobs. The past administration said manufacturing is dead, which I said, ‘Tell me about that. How do you — you can’t do that.'” — January 22 interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen

“A lot of that goes to farmers and manufacturers. And we’ve created 700,000 manufacturing jobs, which we were told by past administrations — but one, in particular — that you would never have manufacturing jobs. I would say, you have to be — I mean, how can you not have manufacturing jobs? So we’re at 700,000 manufacturing jobs.” — January 24 speech to mayors

Facts First: Trump’s comments appeared to refer to a remark Obama made at a PBS town hall in 2016 — but he was inaccurately describing what Obama said.

Obama scoffed at Trump’s promises to bring back what Obama called “jobs of the past” without providing specifics on how he would do so. Contrary to Trump’s claims, though, Obama didn’t say manufacturing was dead or that new manufacturing jobs could not be created; Obama boasted of how many manufacturing jobs were being created during his presidency, saying, “We actually make more stuff, have a bigger manufacturing base today than we’ve had in most of our history.”

Why the European Union was formed

“But we find, I find, that the European Union is tougher to deal with than anybody. They’ve taken advantage of our country for many, many years. It was actually formed for the purpose of taking advantage of the United States, if you really think about it.” — January 22 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo

Facts First: Experts on the European Union say it was not formed to take advantage of the United States.

“The President’s claims are preposterous. The European Communities (forerunner of the EU) were formed in the 1950s as part of a joint US-Western European plan to stabilize and secure Western Europe and promote prosperity, by means of trade liberalization and economic growth, throughout the shared transatlantic space,” Desmond Dinan, a public policy professor at George Mason University who is an expert in the history of European integration, said in response to a previous version of this claim.

US presidents have consistently supported European integration efforts.

“The EU was launched in 1993, on the shoulders of the European Communities, to promote peace and prosperity in the post-Cold War era, an era also of rapid globalization. American officials may have had their doubts about the feasibility of monetary union, and about the possibility of a Common (European) Security and Defense Policy, but the US Administration strongly supported further European integration in the 1990s,” Dinan said.

The trade deficit with the European Union

Trump claimed three times that the US has long had a trade deficit with the European Union of $150 billion per year, or “more.”

Facts First: The trade deficit with the European Union was $114.6 billion in 2018, $101.2 billion in 2017, $92.5 billion in 2016. The deficit was $169.6 billion in 2018 if you only count trade in goods and ignore trade in services. But Trump, as usual, failed to specify that he was using this more limited measure.

We’ll ignore Trump’s characterization of trade deficits as losses, which is sharply disputed by many economists.

Median household income

Trump claimed twice that median household income has increased by about $10,000 during his presidency. (He once said “over $10,000 a family,” once said “almost a $10,000 increase.”)

Facts First: It’s not true that household income gains under Trump have already hit $10,000 in less than three years. A firm called Sentier Research found pre-tax income gains of about $5,500 between January 2017 and October 2019.
You can read a longer fact check here.

China’s economic performance

“You know, they’re having the worst year that they’ve had in 67 years, right?” — January 22 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo

Facts First: China’s second-quarter GDP growth of 6.2% and third-quarter and fourth-quarter GDP growth of 6% each were its worst since 1992, 27 years ago. Trump has repeatedly made clear that he knows that 27 years is the reported figure, but he has added additional years for no apparent reason.

China’s agricultural spending

“The fact is: We love our farmers, but they were doing — the maximum they ever did was $16 billion in one year to China.” — January 24 speech to mayors

Facts First: China spent $25.9 billion on American agricultural products in 2012, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture.

Highway approval time

Trump claimed that highways used to take “21 years to get approved,” but “we have that down to two years now. And we think we’ll have it down to one year.” — January 24 speech to mayors

Facts First: There is no apparent basis for Trump’s claim that it now takes just two years to get environmental approvals for highways. According to the Federal Highway Administration’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) page, the department’s median environmental impact statement completion time was 47 months in 2018, up from 46 months in 2017 and 44 months in 2016.
At a Trump event earlier in January, Council on Environmental Quality chairwoman Mary Neumayr said, “The Council on Environmental Quality has found that the average time for federal agencies to complete Environmental Impact Statements is four and half years. Further, for highway projects, it takes over seven years on average.”

Brad Karkkainen, a University of Minnesota law professor and expert on environmental and land use law, said in an email that he has “never heard of a highway project taking 18 or 20 years, though it’s certainly possible that when the median time was six or seven years, a few projects took twice as long, perhaps more.” He said some projects can “sail through” much faster than the median time, “but to suggest as Trump does that the typical time has gone from 17+ years to two years is just nonsense.”

The Electoral College margin in 2016

Trump claimed that his Electoral College margin of victory in 2016 was “306 to 223.” — January 22 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo

Facts First: Hillary Clinton earned 232 votes in the Electoral College, not 223. This was not a one-time slip; Trump has habitually said “223.”

Air quality

“We want to have the cleanest water on Earth. We want to have the cleanest air on Earth. Our numbers, as you saw — we had record numbers come out very recently. Our numbers are very, very good — our environmental numbers. Our water numbers, our — our numbers on air are tremendous…But we are doing better right now than we’ve ever done, in terms of cleanliness, in terms of numbers.” — January 22 press conference in Davos, Switzerland

Facts First: 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. Though there were significantly more “unhealthy air days” in Obama’s first term than there have been in Trump’s, the lowest amount of unhealthy air days — 598 — occurred in 2014 under Obama.

Military spending by NATO members

“Well, you look at what I did with NATO, $530 billion more. Not total. More.” — January 22 interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo

Facts First: Trump’s math was wrong. Stoltenberg explained during a meeting with Trump on December 3 that non-US NATO members have added a total of $130 billion to their defense budgets since 2016. By 2024, Stoltenberg said, “This number will increase to $400 billion.”

The $130 billion current increase cannot be added to the $400 billion increase expected by 2024; the $400 billion is a cumulative figure that includes the $130 billion.

Judicial confirmations

“191 Federal Judges (a record)…” — January 26 tweet

Facts First: Trump had not set a record for total judges appointed as of this point in a first presidential term.

According to data from Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who tracks judicial appointments, Trump had appointed 187 judges as of the day after this tweet — two Supreme Court justices, 50 appeals court judges and 135 district court judges. Wheeler said it’s possible to get to a total of 191 judges by adding Trump’s three appointments to the Court of Federal Claims and his designation of a sitting judge on that court as chief judge — though he noted that claims court judges are “generally not included in such counts.”

Regardless, Trump did not hold the record at the time: President Jimmy Carter had appointed 197 judges as of the same date in his presidency, Wheeler said. And as a percentage of the federal judiciary, Trump’s 187 appointments represented 21% of all judgeships — lower than the percentage for President Richard Nixon (32%), Carter (29%) and Clinton (22%).

Trump did have the record for the total number of appeals court judges appointed, Wheeler said.





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