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President Trump passed a historic milestone in his presidency over the weekend.
The Washington Post, which has been tracking the truthfulness of the president’s public assertions in tweets, speeches, interviews and press conferences, reports that Trump surpassed 10,000 false and misleading statements since his inauguration.
On Friday, the president passed the 10,000 mark by making 49 false or misleading claims — including 24 in a speech at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis. At his rally in Green Bay, Wis., Saturday, Trump made 61 false or misleading claims, for a total of 10,111 claims in 828 days, or an average of more than 12 per day.
According to the Post’s Glenn Kessler, who keeps a database of Trump falsehoods, Trump averaged less than five false claims a day during his first 100 days in office. And it took the president 601 days to reach 5,000, averaging about eight per day. But it took him just 226 days to double that total.
“The tsunami of untruths just keeps looming larger and larger,” Kessler wrote in his “Fact Checker” column.
There seems to be at least two reasons for the growing number of falsehoods: Trump’s belligerent reaction to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which Trump continues to falsely claim exonerated him, and the president’s inability to tell the truth about his promised border wall.
According to the Post, about 20 percent of the Trump’s false and misleading claims are about immigration issues. And his “most repeated” false claim — 160 times — is that his border wall is being built. It isn’t.
“Congress balked at funding the concrete wall he envisioned,” the Post noted, “so he has tried to pitch bollard fencing and repairs of existing barriers as ‘a wall.’”
Trump’s false claims extend to other topics as well, including environmental issues, trade, tax cuts, NATO funding and the economy.
Kessler’s count is confined to checkable matters of fact and doesn’t include what could be construed as opinion. Trump’s comments about the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, Va., that there were “some very fine people on both sides” — cited by former Vice President Joe Biden in announcing his presidential race — was not included in the count.
Fact-checking Trump, though, is not an exact science. The Toronto Star, which has also been keeping track of Trump’s false claims, had Trump at less than half the Post’s figure (4,913) through April 24.
At the rally in Wisconsin, the president launched a series of false and misleading attacks on Democrats, claiming that the Green New Deal will require every building in Manhattan be replaced (it won’t) and saying Democrats support the killing of healthy babies that have been born (they do not).
“The baby is born,” Trump said. “The mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby. I don’t think so.”
The president was referring to a Republican bill passed by the Wisconsin state legislature that says doctors who do not provide medical care to babies who are born alive after a failed abortion attempt could face life in prison. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he would veto the bill because such laws already exist.
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