Touting the “billions and billions of dollars” in relief money he authorized for Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 — and teasing Texas lawmakers over their requests for him to spend more — Trump said, “You made a fortune on the hurricane.”
Facts First: Texas did not make money from Hurricane Harvey.
Trump exaggerated the number of people rescued by the Coast Guard in response to Hurricane Harvey, saying, as he has before, that they saved “16,000 lives.”
Trump conflated his accusations against former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden — railing against Hunter Biden’s business dealings, then saying that Joe Biden “takes a billion-five” from China and “allows China to rip us off.” He added, “So the Bidens got rich while America got robbed.”
Facts First: There is no evidence Joe Biden has received large sums of money from China or has otherwise gained wealth as a result of his son’s business dealings abroad.
Obama and AIDS
Vowing to end the AIDS epidemic in the US within a decade, Trump said the Obama administration spent “no money on that.”
Democrats and undocumented immigrants
Facts First: This is false. The Democrats want to give these immigrants the same access to care that citizens have, not more.
The Turkey deal
Hailing his Thursday deal with Turkey, in which Turkey agreed to suspend military operations in northeast Syria for five days to allow Kurdish fighters to leave the area, Trump claimed that others had been unable to make a deal for 15 years or 20 years.
Trump said again that the whistleblower who complained about his dealings with Ukraine “got it all wrong.”
The Internal Revenue Service
Trump said, “I will never allow the IRS to be used as a political weapon — except in the case of myself, where they use it against me.”
Facts First: There is no basis for Trump’s claim that he is allowing the IRS to be used against himself. The IRS is run by a Trump appointee, Charles Rettig, and there is no evidence it is being used against Trump; Democrats are seeking access to his tax returns, but that is not the same thing.
Trump repeated his promise to “always protect patients with pre-existing conditions.”
Obama and judicial vacancies
Trump claimed that President Barack Obama left him “142” judicial vacancies.
Facts First: There were 104 vacancies on January 1, 2017, just before Trump was inaugurated, according to Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who tracks judicial appointments.
The history of judicial vacancies
Mocking Obama’s record on appointing judges, Trump claimed that presidents before him were “always” left zero judicial vacancies to fill.
Facts First: According to Wheeler, there were 53 vacancies on January 1, 2009, just before Barack Obama took office; 80 vacancies on January 1, 2001, just before George W. Bush took office; 107 vacancies on January 1, 1993, just before Bill Clinton took office. So Trump had the most judges to appoint since Clinton, but, clearly, other presidents also had appointing to do.)
Trump took credit for passing the Veterans Choice program, saying that others had tried and failed to do so for almost “50 years.”
Facts First: Obama signed the Choice program into law in 2014. Trump signed a law in 2018, the VA MISSION Act, to expand and change the program.
The unemployment rate
Trump exaggerated as usual on the impressive unemployment rate, saying it was the lowest in “51 years.”
Trump claimed to have ended “the war” on American energy, then boasted of the US “now” being the world’s “number one production of oil and natural gas.”
Trump told his usual semi-comedic story about how, if “windmills” are used for energy as he said Democrats want, people’s televisions will go out if the wind is not presently blowing.
The World Trade Organization
Trump claimed the US did not win “any cases” at the World Trade Organization before he came along — “anything for years, practically.”
China’s agricultural spending
Trump claimed China had never spent more than $20 billion in a year on US agricultural products.
Facts First: China spent $25.9 billion in 2012, according to figures from the Department of Agriculture.
The trade deficit with China
Trump claimed the US trade deficit with China has long been $500 billion per year.
Facts First: Through 2018, there has never been a $500 billion trade deficit with China. The 2018 deficit was $381 billion last year when counting goods and services, $420 billion when counting goods alone.
China and tariffs
Trump said again that his tariffs on imported Chinese products have “cost us nothing,” claiming China has “eaten” the cost.
Trump claimed that there are 27,000 Mexican soldiers “on our border” to help with migration issues.
Facts First: Defense spending for fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019 was $2.05 trillion, and that includes more than three-and-a-half months of Obama’s tenure, since the 2017 fiscal year began in October 2016.
Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said he thinks Trump must have been including military funding for the 2020 fiscal year to get to “$2.5 trillion” figure — but since the 2020 fiscal year has just started, and Harrison noted that the defense appropriation has not yet been approved by Congress.
Democrats and borders
Trump claimed Democrats support “open borders.”
Facts First: Even the most liberal of Democratic presidential candidates do not advocate unrestricted migration.
Trump said his wall on the Mexican border is “going up rapidly.”
Facts First: As of September 30, no additional miles of border wall had been built during Trump’s presidency in places where barriers had not existed before, according to a fact sheet from Customs and Border Protection. Over Trump’s tenure in office, 69 miles of barriers had been constructed in places where “dilapidated and outdated” barriers had existed before; that’s a pace of about half a mile of replacement barrier per week.
Democrats and the wall
Trump repeated his claim that “almost” all of the Democrats wanted a wall on the Mexican border five years ago.
Facts First: Democrats did support Republican demands for fencing in the comprehensive immigration reform bill six years ago, but that was fencing — and Democrats agreed to endorse it only in exchange for Republican support for their own preferred policies, like a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Urging the fire marshal to let more supporters into the arena, Trump claimed that there were “close to 30,000” outside.
Facts First: Trump’s estimate was not even close. “We didn’t have 30K outside. Probably had upward of 5K outside,” Dallas Police Department spokesman Sgt. Mitchell Warren told CNN in an email.
CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.
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