Donald Trump repeatedly lied to his Florida rally crowd
During his Saturday rally in Florida, Donald Trump continually whined about a “dishonest” media. He really ought to look in a mirror.
As in his campaign speeches, Trump bemoaned the state of domestic and foreign affairs claiming, “I and we inherited one big mess” and “we don’t win in any capacity”. As in the campaign, he boasted about the size of the crowd and his victory over the Democratic party, which he said had suffered “the greatest defeat in the history of the country”.
The president was especially eager to deny a steady stream of reports of chaos, infighting and disarray in his first month in the White House, culminating last week when his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to step down amid scandal. “I promise you that the White House is running so smoothly,” Trump said. “So smoothly.”
Trump also once again continued his attacks on the ninth circuit court of appeals, which suspended the travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim nations. He claimed constitutional authority to make the ban – the courts have not ruled on its lawfulness – and said the judges were “picked by Obama”, though two of three were appointed by Jimmy Carter and George W Bush.
The president added, that the US knows “nothing” about refugees and visa-holders it has admitted into the country although approved people are extensively vetted through interviews and background checks. He said that he would roll out a new executive order in the coming days in order to address the court’s decision. “We don’t want people with bad, bad ideas coming into our country,” he said.
Trump also used his rally to repeat the claim that Intel was investing $7bn to build a factory in Arizona, creating about 3,000 jobs. However, the company had already announced the same factory back in 2011 when Barack Obama was in power.
The New York Times found four areas in which Trump lied egregiously:
Mr. Trump warned that refugees coming into the United States are not screened.
“We’ve allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country. There was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation, there was no nothing.”
Refugees are vetted, and it takes two years.
Mr. Trump repeatedly made this inaccurate claim during the 2016 campaign, and it is still inaccurate. The country’s vetting system for refugees, which begins at the United Nations, is extensive.
Applicants undergo several rounds of background and biometric checks — fingerprints and retina scans, for example — by multiple federal immigration and intelligence agencies. The system is not foolproof, and intelligence officials have raised concerns about gaps in data collection on people coming from conflict zones like Syria.
Mr. Trump claimed that Americans are optimistic about the future. “Look at what’s happening in every poll when it comes to optimism in our country.”
Some polls show optimism, others don’t.
In the immediate aftermath of Mr. Trump’s election, the majority of voters expressed optimism about the next four years in several respected polls. But the results have varied in more recent months: 53 percent said they were optimistic in a Quinnipiac University poll, while 54 percent said they were pessimistic or uncertain in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.
According to Gallup’s weekly economic optimism poll, Americans are slightly less confident in the economy in February than they were in January. In other Gallup polls, Mr. Trump’s approval rating and Americans’ view of the country’s standing in the world are the lowest in decades.
Mr. Trump extolled an increase in jobs. “Jobs are already starting to pour back in. They’re coming back in like you haven’t seen in a long time.”
Data shows modest gains so far.
The economy added 227,000 jobs in January 2017, a healthy but less than record increase, more likely attributable to the ending days of the Obama administration than the incoming president. And the unemployment rate “was little changed,” remaining at 4.8 percent for January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s 0.1 percent higher than it was the previous month.
Mr. Trump alluded to high crime in Chicago and the country at large. “Look at what’s happening in Chicago — hundreds of shootings, hundreds of deaths. I’ll tell you what’s happening in Chicago, and many other places.”
Crime is high in Chicago, but it has generally [natinally] declined.
Mr. Trump warned of soaring levels of crime during the 2016 election, ignoring data. Chicago did experience a surge in homicides last year, with more than 750 people murdered. The country’s third-largest city, along with three other urban areas, contributed to a jump in the national murder rate in 2016. But over all, both violent crime and property crime have fallen since the early 1990s.
And (hat tip to Mike in comments) don’t get us started about the horrific terror attack in Sweden that never happened…
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