President Donald Trump held a rally in support of Pennsylvania House seat hopeful Rick Saccone. The president was supposed to use this platform to back up Saconne in a very tight race in a district that was previously won by Trump by a fair margin. However, in typical Trump fashion, the president deviated from the purpose of the gathering and dwelled into various subjects including Oprah and drug dealers — all the while boasting what a positive change he has brought to the United States ever since he was chosen to rule.
However, many of these statements were either false or callously taken out of context.
“We spent $7 trillion in the Middle East over a 17-year period, $7 trillion as of three months ago,” said Trump.
This number is false— and by a huge margin. In fact, war spending is updated on a regular basis by Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. The institute does have a figure which the federal government has invested in providing war aide to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq; that number has totaled to $4.351 trillion from 2001 to 2017.
“ISIS, we have 98 percent of the land back,” the president bragged.
This claim lacks context. Although it is true that ISIS have been pushed out of almost all the territory they held in Iraq and Syria, this is not entirely due to Trump’s policies.
Columb Strack, an analyst at the research firm IHS Markit said, “I haven’t seen any major differences in the U.S. approach against the Islamic State.” Trump merely extended strategies already penned by the Obama administration for the waning of ISIS.
“So we’ve created three million jobs since Election Day. Nobody thought that was possible,” said Trump.
This also lacks context. Trump administration has indeed successfully managed to provide three million jobs in its first year; however the number also includes 600,000 jobs added in the last few months of Barack Obama’s final term which makes it 2.5 million jobs.
“African-American unemployment two months ago reached the lowest level in history and last month it went up a little bit, right? And I made the mistake, because I didn’t know it went up, and it wasn’t quite as good but it wasn’t historic. So I was in a different month and I said African unemployment is the lowest level in history. They killed me. Because it was the previous month. But here’s the good news. The new month brought it down to the lowest level. So now it’s the lowest level.”
This claim is again missing context. African-American unemployment did reach the lowest level in history at 6.8 percent but the unemployment rate has been on the decline for a few years and these numbers cannot be attributed to Trump’s administration exclusively.
In fact, the number had already gone down from 16.4 percent in August 2011 to 7.8 percent in January 2017. That’s even before Trump took office.
However, racism is still rampant as no change has been recorded in the huge gap between white unemployment and African-American unemployment, with the former being consistently half of the latter.
“We passed the biggest tax cut in the history of our country.”
This statement is false. The tax cuts passed by Trump in December, touted by him as the biggest in history, are in fact, 12th largest as the share of the economy, analysis estimated.
“We have a trade deficit of almost $800 billion a year.”
This statement is misleading. A White House representative conceded that this number used by Trump only amounts to the trade deficit in goods. However if you include trade surplus in services, the total deficit amounts to $566 billion
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: Reuters/ Joshua Roberts