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AP FACT CHECK: Trump floats fictions about the border

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Associated Press Photo

On this Dec. 11, 2018, photograph, President Donald Trump meets with Senate Minority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Home Minority Chief Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Workplace of the White Home in Washington. (AP Photograph/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s relationship with the fact tends to be borderline, at greatest, in terms of the border.

So it was this previous week when he made a flurry of false or unsupported statements about immigration. He stated, with no proof, that migrants are plagued with illness. He asserted that Mexico has in impact agreed to pay for his border wall, whilst he threatens a partial authorities shutdown if Congress doesn’t approve billions of dollars to construct it. He twisted federal statistics to say the current arrest of 10 terrorists who don’t exist.

On one other entrance, Trump tried to forged doubt on whether or not his former nationwide safety adviser had lied to the FBI even after the aide pleaded responsible to doing simply that.

A take a look at current rhetoric and the actuality:


TRUMP: “People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in, and in many — in many cases it’s contagious. They’re pouring into our country. We have to have border security.” — assertion in Oval Workplace assembly Tuesday with Democratic leaders, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

THE FACTS: Trump offered no proof that folks coming into the nation, together with the caravan at the U.S.-Mexico border, are carrying contagious illnesses at a better price than the U.S. inhabitants. Medical screening is a part of the course of for vetting individuals who search asylum.

A research revealed this month by the UCL-Lancet Fee on Migration and Well being referred to as scares about contagion certainly one of the most pervasive myths about migrants. The research discovered no proof that migrants pose a big public well being danger to nations resembling the U.S. which have good well being methods. Actually, migrants themselves face well being threats from arduous journeys, violence alongside the approach, or overcrowding in shelters or camps, the Lancet fee stated. Whereas some might come from areas the place sure illnesses are widespread, the report famous that worldwide tourism and motion of animals unfold sickness, too.

As for the caravan and different migrants from the south, World Financial institution statistics present Mexico and Central America vaccinate most youngsters towards measles, typically at a bit greater fee than the U.S. Alongside the border between Mexico and California, public well being departments have lengthy had a system in place to observe for indicators of outbreaks of quite a lot of sicknesses, whether or not they’re immigration-related or not.


TRUMP: “Our Southern Border is now Secure and will remain that way.” — tweet Tuesday.

TRUMP: “We need border security. People are pouring into our country, including terrorists. We have terrorists. But we caught 10 terrorists. These are over the last very short period of time — 10. These are very serious people.” — assertion in Oval Workplace assembly.

THE FACTS: Trump contradicted himself, declaring the border safe and insecure on the similar day. And Trump is fallacious about the authorities lately catching 10 terrorists.

His assertion is a mangling of federal statistics displaying that U.S. Customs and Border Safety stopped a mean of seven to 10 individuals a day in the 2017 finances yr who have been denied entry to the U.S. as a result of they have been on a watch listing. That common utilized to all factors of entry, and overwhelmingly from airports, and was not particular to the southern border. The usual for putting somebody on the record is cheap suspicion, a decrease bar than the possible trigger wanted to arrest somebody for an alleged crime. The statistics don’t present what number of may need been arrested or charged with something.

In any occasion, Trump rendered a every day common as 10 just lately captured terrorists in the flesh.

As for border safety, U.S. arrests on the Mexican border jumped 78 % in November from a yr earlier to the highest degree in Trump’s presidency. Elevated arrests point out that extra individuals are making an attempt to cross the border illegally.



PELOSI: “We came at a place to say, ‘How do we meet the needs of American people who have needs?’ The economy has — people are losing their jobs.” — Oval Workplace assembly.

TRUMP: “Well, we have the lowest unemployment that we’ve had in 50 years.” — Oval Workplace assembly.

THE FACTS: Trump is right about jobs.

There might all the time be some layoffs even when the financial system is robust. Basic Motors, for example, stated final month it will reduce as many as 14,000 staff in North America in a restructuring aimed toward producing money to spend on innovation, despite the fact that U.S. auto gross sales are close to historic highs.

However the U.S. financial system has now added jobs for a document 98 straight months, courting to October 2010, throughout the Obama administration.

The Labor Division reported the unemployment fee in November stayed at three.7 %, a five-decade low, for the third straight month.

The job good points are pushing down unemployment charges to traditionally low ranges for quite a lot of teams. The unemployment fee for males aged 20 and above fell final month to three.three %, the lowest in 18 years. The speed for People with simply highschool diplomas dropped to three.5 %, the lowest since December 2000. The African-American jobless price declined to five.9 %, matching Might’s determine as the lowest on report.

That’s making it tougher for companies to seek out the staff they want. Employers have posted 7 million open jobs, outnumbering the ranks of the unemployed, which fell final month to only beneath 6 million.



SCHUMER: “The one thing I think we can agree on is we shouldn’t shut down the government over a dispute. And you want to shut it down. You keep talking about it.” — Oval Workplace assembly.

TRUMP: “No, no, no, no, no. The last time, Chuck, you shut it down.”

SCHUMER: “No, no, no.”

THE FACTS: There’s no settling any argument over who’s chargeable for a shutdown. However the final one, in January, was usually attributed to Senate Democrats in search of to pressure protections for lots of of hundreds of younger immigrants.

Elements of the authorities closed for 3 days as Democrats united towards a Republican-backed short-term spending invoice until Republicans and Trump agreed to increase the expiring Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected the youngsters of oldsters who got here to the U.S. illegally. The White Home was resisting bipartisan efforts to assist the younger immigrants.

Schumer finally gave in to GOP calls for in change for a promise from Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to deal with the difficulty at a later date, infuriating liberal activists who have been pushing Democrats exhausting for an immigration deal.

Schumer had grounds, although, for accusing Trump of wanting a partial shutdown now. The president stated he’d be “proud to shut down the government” and wanting to take duty for it if he didn’t get sufficient cash from Congress for border safety.


TRUMP: “If we don’t get what we want one way or another … I will shut down the government.” — in assembly with Pelosi and Schumer.

SCHUMER, requested after the assembly what occurs if Trump doesn’t compromise: “He will get no wall and he will get a shutdown.”

PELOSI: A “Trump shutdown” could possibly be his “holiday president to the American people.”

THE FACTS: Everybody’s exaggerating. The federal government shouldn’t be liable to closing if a deal shouldn’t be reached by the finish of this coming Friday.

About three-quarters of the authorities would proceed to manage to pay for to function. However even a partial shutdown could possibly be disruptive. Amongst the affected departments absent a deal: Homeland Safety, Transportation, Agriculture, State, Justice.

Congress has accepted continued financing of the Protection and Veterans Affairs departments, amongst different federal operations, and staff deemed important wouldn’t be idled.



TRUMP: “Well the FBI said Michael Flynn, a general and a great person, they said he didn’t lie. And Mueller said: ‘Well, maybe he did.’ And now they’re all having a big dispute, so I think it’s a great thing that the judge is looking into that situation. It’s an honor for a lot of terrific people.” — remarks Thursday.

THE FACTS: That’s not what the FBI stated. And Flynn, Trump’s former nationwide safety adviser, has agreed that he lied to the FBI. He pleaded responsible to it and is to be sentenced subsequent week — the first White Home official punished as a part of particular counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation.

The concept Flynn didn’t misinform the FBI picked up steam after Republicans on the Home intelligence committee issued a report this yr that stated ex-FBI director James Comey, in a personal briefing, informed lawmakers that brokers who interviewed Flynn “discerned no physical indications of deception” and noticed “nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them.” However Comey referred to as that description “garble” in a personal interview with Home lawmakers this month.

Comey, in essence, stated Flynn was a superb liar, having a “natural conversation” with brokers, “answered fully their questions, didn’t avoid. That notwithstanding, they concluded he was lying.”

As for Trump’s remark that the decide is wanting into the matter, it’s true U.S. District Decide Emmet Sullivan has requested for paperwork associated to the brokers who interviewed Flynn. It’s not clear from Sullivan’s order whether or not he considers there to be a dispute to resolve or if he simply needs to see the underlying paperwork as he decides Flynn’s sentence.



TRUMP: “I often stated, ‘One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall.’ This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old, very costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!” — tweet Thursday.

THE FACTS: This can be a face-saving assertion to masks the incontrovertible fact that Mexico refused to pay for a U.S. border wall, Trump gave up making an attempt to make it achieve this and U.S. taxpayers are on the hook for it.

In essence, Trump is arguing that new phrases of commerce with Mexico will improve financial progress in the U.S. and produce extra tax income. That’s what everybody hopes commerce agreements will do. As a part of that, he hopes for a decrease commerce deficit with Mexico. Neither consequence is assured.

The deal negotiated with Mexico and Canada is an replace of the North American Free Commerce Settlement he railed towards, not a transformative pact. The three nations will proceed buying and selling in an surroundings of primarily low or no tariffs, with enhancements right here and there for all three companions. There isn’t any credible approach for Trump to forecast further progress masking prices which are being charged to U.S. taxpayers if the wall is constructed. Commerce balances depend upon too many elements — shopper tastes, change charges, general financial efficiency, and the decisions of hundreds of corporations amongst them — and a few are nicely outdoors any authorities’s management.

Trump particularly promised in the marketing campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall. That isn’t the similar as making an attempt to scale back the U.S. commerce deficit, which is about the change of products and providers amongst personal entities relatively than funds between governments. Neither is a commerce deficit essentially a penalty on shoppers. It’s the results of shoppers shopping for issues made out of the country.

He needs some $25 billion from Congress for wall development over 5 years and guarantees a partial authorities shutdown if he doesn’t get a $5 billion or so portion in the subsequent week. Congress might or might not give him that. If it does, it won’t be as a result of lawmakers anticipate a refund to the treasury in future years from additional progress produced by a commerce deal.


TRUMP: “Tremendous amounts of wall have already been built.” — assertion in assembly Tuesday with Pelosi and Schumer.

TRUMP: “People do not yet realize how much of the Wall, including really effective renovation, has already been built.” ”We have now already constructed giant new sections & absolutely renovated others, making them like new.” — tweets.

THE FACTS: Large parts of the wall haven’t been constructed. Sure, some barrier renovation has occurred, however little wall development has been accomplished beneath Trump.

Congress allotted roughly $1.four billion in the spring — a bit greater than 5 % of what Trump needed — for border safety and specified that the cash was not for use for development of the prototype wall sections that stand close to San Diego. As an alternative, the cash is to strengthen or substitute present fencing with safer fencing.

Altogether, Trump promised in the marketing campaign that he’d construct a 1,000-mile (1,600 kilometer-) wall, as excessive as 40 ft or 12 meters (and have Mexico pay for it, which isn’t occurring). If some 650 miles (1,050 km) of present fencing are thought-about in the equation, that leaves him with about 350 miles (560 km) of wall to construct.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, Trump adviser: “You just want to keep saying ‘wall, wall, wall.’ … There are many ways to secure a border.” — to reporters asking Tuesday about Trump’s wall.

THE FACTS: Trump, in fact, has been saying wall, wall, wall, since the 2015 Republican primaries, in a torrent of tweets and in numerous rallies. Or, as he put it in Tuesday’s tweet, “the Wall.” He’s described the materials, the dimensions and the great thing about it, and had prototype sections constructed, and they’re of a wall, not a fence.

Federal officers, and Trump himself, at occasions, have tried to reduce expectations by noting, for instance, that “there are places where you can’t have a physical wall,” as Conway put it Tuesday. “There are rivers. There’s brush.” However Trump already accounted for that when he promised 1,000 miles of wall to complement a further 1,000 miles of rivers and different pure limitations.

“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” he tweeted in January, as if inviting voters to carry him to his literal promise.


Related Press writers Lauran Neergaard, Josh Boak, Chad Day, Eric Tucker, Matthew Daly and Colleen Lengthy in Washington, and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.


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