During his third State of the Union address, President Donald Trump made a number of strange points — here are the weirdest of them below.
1. Backing what critics have called an attempted coup d’etat in Venezuela.
“We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom.”
During an address about the state of the United States, Trump took time to refer to Juan Guaido, the president of Venezeula’s National Assembly that declared himself interim president of the country last month.
Trump recognizes Guaido as the country’s legitimate leader over elected President Nicolas Maduro — despite many, including Noam Chomsky and dozens of other scholars, who have called Guaido’s declaration a coup.
2. Name-checking the resistance to his presidency.
“We must reject the politics of revenge, resistance, and retribution…we must choose results or resistance.”
Trump twice used the term “resistance” in a negative light — and in doing so, name-checked the #Resistance to his presidency.
3. Taking credit for more women being in the workforce.
“All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before.”
As the New York Times noted in its live fact-check of the SOTU, the number of women in the American workforce is a product of population growth.
4. A rhyme about Robert Mueller.
“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.”
Trump seemed to reference special counsel Robert Mueller when he appeared to claim, in a statement that rhymed “legislation” and “investigation,” that there will be no peace while he’s under investigation.
5. Claim that a border wall will put an end to drug cartels and human trafficking.
“Now is the time for the Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business.”
Trump claimed that a border wall with Mexico will somehow stop drug cartels and human traffickers — in spite of tunnels being found as recently as last month that are used by cartels to bring drugs into the United States from Mexico.
6. Using another “caravan” to send hundreds of thousands of troops to the border.
Trump injects caravan fear into SOTU speech: "I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our Southern Border to prepare for the tremendous onslaught."
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 6, 2019
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 6, 2019
Trump claimed than an “onslaught” of “lawless” migrants are making their way to the US-Mexico border from Central America. As CNN’s Brian Stetler pointed out, that same “caravan” was hyped on “Fox & Friends” earlier in the day before the SOTU.
7. Using graphic depictions of sexual violence as a justification for his wall
Trump’s remarks about kidnapping and human trafficking are met with uncomfortable silence pic.twitter.com/Pbye8UjKCs
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 6, 2019
The president again deployed graphic depictions of sexual violence human trafficking in Central America to justify his calls for a border wall.
Trump himself has been accused by at least 16 women of various forms of sexual misconduct, claimed the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were “all fake” and is linked to pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
8. Misleadingly saying MS-13 — a gang with Californian roots — comes through the southern border and operates in almost half of America’s states.
“The savage gang, MS-13, now operates in 20 different American States, and they almost all come through our southern border.”
The president claimed that members of the Salvadoran MS-13 gang “almost all come through” the US-Mexico border — but historical looks at the gang reveal that it was born in Los Angeles and was founded by people with “a shared taste for rock music and marijuana,” Vox reported.
9. Boasting that we’d be at war with North Korea if Hillary Clinton were president.
“We would, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea if I hadn’t been elected president.”
Trump — who once goaded North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Twitter by calling him “Little Rocket Man” — claimed that he averted a war on the Korean Peninsula that would have been inevitable if his presidential opponent had been elected.