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Here are 7 of Trump’s most outrageous lies and distortions during the State of the Union

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- Commentary

President Donald Trump spoke from prepared remarks Tuesday night as he delivered the State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.

As Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale has noted, Trump’s on-script speeches tend to be much more accurate than his off-the-cuff rally tirades, which are filled to the brim with lies and distortions. When he speaks from a teleprompter, his staff produce formalized comments that sometimes withstand fact-checking scrutiny better than his usual claims.

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But he still made many specific, demonstrably false claims. The greatest lie, though, was the basic premise of his speech: a supposed call for unity. Instead of a unifying rallying cry, it was filled with much of his typical divisive attacks and vicious fearmongering, particularly about immigrants.

Here are seven of his other false claims and distortions Tuesday night:

1. “After 24 months of rapid progress, our economy is the envy of the world, our military is the most powerful on earth, and America is winning each and every day.”

The implication here that Trump’s presidency oversaw a huge resurgence in the military and the economy is just flat-out false. The United States’ military has been the world’s biggest (and most wildly expensive) for generations long before Trump came around. And while the economy has continued to grow under this president, it has essentially carried on the trajectory it started under President Barack Obama.

2.  Trump claimed that the United States’ economy is the “hottest economy anywhere in the world.” 

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While “hottest” is a vague term, many economies are in fact growing much faster than the United States’. The New York Times explained:

The American economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, the most recent available data. Growth in Latvia and Poland was almost twice as fast. Same for China and India. Even the troubled Greek economy posted stronger growth. And a wide range of economic analysts estimate that the growth of the American economy slowed in the fourth quarter, and slowed even further in the first month of 2019.

3. He said that under his administration, the country has “added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs.”

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This is false, as Dale explained:

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4. Under his administration, Trump said, the economy added 5.3 million jobs. 

In fact, the economy has added 4.9 million jobs in the past two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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5. Trump said there is an “urgent national crisis” of illegal crossings at the border.

Under Trump, border crossings have actually been at record lows for recent decades. He used to boast about this fact until he realized he needed to drum up a rationalization for his border wall.

The New York Times reported:

While that is an uptick from the monthly average in the fiscal year that ended in September 2017, the numbers pale in comparison to early 2000s, when border arrests averaged about 100,000 per month.

A record number of families have tried to cross the border in recent months, overwhelming officials at the border and creating a new kind of humanitarian crisis.

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6. Trump falsely said that, after having an extremely high crime rate, El Paso became “one of the safest cities” because of a border wall.

Trump has said this many times before, and it is absolutely false.

“That is a straight-up lie about El Paso, which was one of America’s safest large cities for violent crime before the fencing was erected and did not immediately see crime fall after the fence was built,” said Dale.

7. “I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”

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This was a brazen obfuscation of his own views. Trump has previously promoted the RAISE Act, which would cut legal immigration rates in half. He has also railed against so-called “chain migration” — immigration based on family ties — and the visa lottery, and he has fought to reduce both.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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‘Rudy has got to be looking at handcuffs’: Ex-prosecutor says Giuliani will have a tough time in prison

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Another Donald Trump attorney is looking at serving prison time, a former federal prosecutor predicted on MSNBC on Friday.

MSNBC "Meet the Press Daily" host Chuck Todd asked former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner if prosecutors would be tougher on Giuliania because he had once been a prosecutor himself.

"It’s tough to figure out, first of all, how Rudy is going to play it because based on what we’ve seen and particularly if [Lev] Parnas flips, Rudy has got to be looking at handcuffs sometime soon," Kirschner replied.

"And Chuck, what does he do? As a former U.S. Attorney, does he want to run the risk of ending up in the bureau of prisons where he will not find a lot of friends in the inmate population," he explained.

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Administration blaming Lt Col Vindman for White House lying to America about the first Ukraine call

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On Friday, President Donald Trump released the rough transcript of his first phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Upon the release, many White House watchers noticed that the transcript was nothing like the summary of the call that the administration released on the day the two leaders talked.

The exchange released by the WH does not appear to be an exact transcript as it does not include talk of U.S. support of Ukrainian sovereignty and a desire to root out corruption there, two things specifically highlighted in the White House read out of the call released in April.

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Fox News viewers freak out on Bret Baier for criticizing Trump and calling Yovanovitch ‘sympathetic’

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Fox News host Bret Baier -- and his colleague John Roberts -- infuriated Fox News viewers who follow their Twitter feeds for praising the performance of former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during her House impeachment testimony while they also condemned Donald Trump for attacking her as she spoke.

According to Roberts in his tweet, "Wow....this is really unprecedented. @realDonaldTrump and Amb Yovanovitch are talking to each other in real time through @Twitter and Television... Something I never thought I would ever see."

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