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AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s murky claims on weather, shutdown

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Associated Press Photo

President Donald Trump walks on the South Garden upon arrival on the White Home in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, after attending the casualty return at Dover Air Drive Base, Del., for the 4 People killed in a suicide bomb assault in Syria. (AP Photograph/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s nothing like a chilly snap to deliver out the global-warming skepticism of President Donald Trump.

The truth that durations of utmost chilly occur in a warming local weather is well-known by his authorities however Trump’s crack Sunday — “Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!” — means that hasn’t sunk in for the president.

Over the previous week and thru the weekend, Trump and his workforce misstated the truth on myriad points, many related with the partial authorities shutdown, Trump’s proposed wall and the Russia investigation. Right here’s a glance:


TRUMP: “Remember it was Buzzfeed that released the totally discredited ‘Dossier,’ paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats (as opposition research), on which the entire Russian probe is based!” — tweet Friday.

THE FACTS: Trump’s declare that particular counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe is predicated on a “discredited dossier” is fake. The FBI’s investigation truly started months earlier than it acquired a file of anti-Trump analysis financed by the Democratic Get together and Hillary Clinton’s marketing campaign. The FBI probe’s origins have been based mostly on different proof — not the existence of the file, which has not been discredited.

Final yr, the Republican-controlled Home Intelligence Committee discovered the Russia probe was initiated after the FBI acquired info associated to Trump marketing campaign overseas coverage adviser George Papadopoulos, not the file. The committee’s ultimate report was praised by Trump.



TRUMP: “Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. Amazing how big this system is. Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!” — tweet Sunday.

THE FACTS: Trump is suggesting, as he has finished earlier than, that international warming can’t exist if it’s chilly outdoors. However he’s conflating climate and local weather. Climate is like temper, which modifications every day. Local weather is like character, which is long run.

The local weather is warming, which nonetheless permits for intense chilly spells.

Whereas a lot of america was frigid Sunday, that’s nonetheless lower than 2 % of the world. Earth on Sunday was about zero.9 levels (zero.5 Celsius) hotter than from 1979-2000, in response to the College of Maine’s Local weather Reanalyzer.

The White Home in November produced the Nationwide Local weather Evaluation by scientists from 13 Trump administration businesses and out of doors scientists. It amounted to a slap within the face for many who query whether or not local weather is altering.

“Climate change is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us,” the report says.

The White Home report swept apart the thought, already discredited, that a specific plunge in temperatures can forged uncertainty on whether or not Earth is warming. It says greater than 90 % of present warming is brought on by people: “There are no credible alternative human or natural explanations supported by the observational evidence.”



TRUMP: “As a candidate for President, I promised I would fix this crisis, and I intend to keep that promise one way or the other. …To physically secure our border, the plan includes $5.7 billion for a strategic deployment of physical barriers, or a wall. This is not a 2,000-mile concrete structure from sea to sea. These are steel barriers in high-priority locations.” — remarks Saturday.

THE FACTS: His marketing campaign promise to construct a concrete border wall continues to evolve.

Through the 2016 marketing campaign, Trump pledged to construct a “big, beautiful wall” made from concrete, rebar and metal throughout the size of the southern border with Mexico. Again then, he lashed out on the suggestion that what he was proposing had something in widespread with mere fencing.

“Jeb Bush just talked about my border proposal to build a ‘fence,’ he tweeted in 2015. “It’s not a fence, Jeb, it’s a WALL, and there’s a BIG difference!”

And as just lately as Dec. 31, he tweeted, “An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED.”

He now generally refers back to the wall as “steel slats” and “steel barriers.”


TRUMP: “If we build a powerful and fully designed see-through steel barrier on our southern border, the crime rate and drug problem in our country would be quickly and greatly reduced. Some say it could be cut in half.” — remarks from White Home on Saturday.

TRUMP, on the virtues of a wall: “We can stop heroin.” — White Home remarks Saturday.

THE FACTS: His feedback fly within the face of findings by his authorities about how medicine get into the county. Medicine from Mexico are primarily smuggled into the U.S. at official border crossings, not distant lands that may be walled off. His proposal Saturday to finish the federal government shutdown implicitly acknowledges that actuality by proposing cash to enhance drug-detection know-how particularly at land ports of entry.

Even so, Trump pitched a wall as an answer to medicine and crime.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says “only a small percentage” of heroin seized by U.S. authorities comes throughout on territory between ports of entry. It says the identical is true of medicine general.

Even when a wall might cease all medicine from Mexico, America’s drug drawback can be removed from over. For instance, the federal government says about 40 % of opioid deaths in 2016 concerned prescription painkillers, made by pharmaceutical corporations. Some feed the habit of people that have prescriptions; others are stolen and bought on the black market. Furthermore, illicit variations of highly effective artificial opioids comparable to fentanyl have come to the U.S. from China.

On crime, many researchers have discovered that folks within the U.S. illegally are much less more likely to commit violence than U.S. residents.


TRUMP: “Nancy Pelosi’s in Hawaii over the holidays, now she’s in Puerto Rico with a bunch of Democrats and lobbyists, you know, enjoying the sun and partying down there.” — Fox Information interview on Jan. 12.

TRUMP: “I’d rather see the Democrats come back from their vacation and act. … I’m in the White House, and most of them are in different locations. They’re watching a certain musical in a very nice location.” — Fox Information interview.

TRUMP: “A lot of the Democrats were in Puerto Rico celebrating something. I don’t know, maybe they’re celebrating the shutdown.” — feedback Jan. 14.

THE FACTS: Removed from “enjoying the sun” in Puerto Rico, Pelosi stayed in Washington, which received an enormous snowfall. She spent that weekend working on the Capitol, stated Drew Hammill, her deputy chief of employees.

Senate Democratic chief Chuck Schumer didn’t go to Puerto Rico, both. The senator from New York spent that weekend in New York, stated spokesman Justin Goodman.

Most Democratic lawmakers have been someplace aside from Puerto Rico. Most who went are members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. They attended the annual winter retreat of the caucus’s political and fundraising arm.

Some attended “Hamilton” because the musical opened a two-week run in Puerto Rico anticipated to boost tens of millions of dollars for artists and cultural teams struggling within the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Referring to Democrats on the fundraising efficiency in his Fox Information interview, Trump referred to as it “frankly, ridiculous.”

Through the journey, lawmakers certainly met political contributors but in addition made a number of visits to native and federal establishments, stated Marieli Padro, spokeswoman for Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez. Final Saturday, a small group visited the veterans’ hospital to study its wants post-hurricane, whereas one other group met U.S. Coast Guard officers.

Trump is right that Pelosi visited Hawaii over the Christmas vacation.


TRUMP: “We need strong barriers and walls. Nothing else is going to work.” — remarks Thursday on the Pentagon.

TRUMP: “You can have all the people you want dressed in military. You can have ICE. You can have Border Patrol. If you don’t have that barrier, there’s not a thing you can do. You know, they all say, ‘We like technology.’ I like technology, too. But we can have all the drones in the world flying around; we can have all the sensors in the world, but if you don’t have a strong steel or concrete barrier, there’s no way you’re going to stop these people from rushing.” — remarks Jan. 14 in New Orleans.

THE FACTS: The proof is inconclusive on the effectiveness of border partitions or different obstacles.

The Authorities Accountability Workplace, Congress’ auditing arm, reported in 2017 that the federal government doesn’t have a solution to measure how nicely obstacles work to discourage unlawful immigration from Mexico. Regardless of $2.three billion spent by the federal government on such development from 2007 to 2015, GAO discovered that authorities “cannot measure the contribution of fencing to border security operations along the southwest border because it has not developed metrics for this assessment.”

Few individuals dispute that fences contributed to a pointy drop in crossings in cities reminiscent of San Diego and El Paso, Texas. Earlier than fences have been inbuilt San Diego, crossers performed soccer on U.S. soil as distributors hawked tamales, ready till night time fell to overwhelm brokers. However these limitations additionally pushed individuals into extra distant and less-patrolled areas akin to in Arizona, the place hundreds of migrants have perished in excessive warmth.

When limitations have been constructed within the Border Patrol’s Yuma, Arizona, sector within the mid-2000s, arrests for unlawful crossings plummeted 94 % in three years to eight,363 from 138,438. When obstacles have been inbuilt San Diego within the 1990s and early 2000s, arrests fell 80 % over seven years from 524,231 in 1995 to 100,681 in 2002. However each areas additionally noticed sharp will increase in Border Patrol staffing throughout that point, making it troublesome to pinpoint why unlawful crossings fell so dramatically.


KEVIN HASSETT, Trump financial adviser: “You know as soon as it’s resolved, then people get their paychecks and the government will go back to acting normal and the economy will go back to the 3 percent growth that President Trump’s policies have delivered.” — interview Tuesday with Fox Enterprise Community.

THE FACTS: It’s true the financial system in all probability will get a lift as soon as the shutdown ends, however few unbiased economists assume that increase will probably be sustained. The financial system is dealing with different headwinds that make it unlikely progress will return to 2018’s tempo. Earlier than the shutdown, most unbiased economists already have been forecasting that progress would sluggish this yr because the impression of President Trump’s tax credit score fades and commerce tensions and slowing international progress take a toll.

Even when the federal government shutdown finally ends up being a wash in financial phrases, with robust progress within the second quarter offsetting weak spot within the first, the financial system is more likely to be weaker this yr than final. Scott Anderson, an economist at Financial institution of the West, expects final yr’s inventory market drop will trigger many wealthier households to tug again on spending, a drag on progress this yr.

He’s not alone. A gaggle of 15 economists at main U.S. banks earlier this month projected that progress would sluggish to only a 2.1 % tempo in 2019, down from roughly three % in 2018.

The financial system’s present well being is troublesome to gauge as a result of the partial shutdown means many financial statistics aren’t being launched. Current indicators are combined: The job market is robust, with few layoffs in sight, and manufacturing output rose in December. However greater rates of interest have additionally prompted house costs and gross sales to fall.



VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: “The caliphate has crumbled, and ISIS has been defeated.” — remarks Wednesday at State Division.

THE FACTS: Pence’s comment adopted the lethal suicide bombing claimed by IS, which demonstrated the extremist group, nevertheless weakened, has not been vanquished. The bombing underscored Pentagon assertions that IS nonetheless poses a menace and is able to lethal assaults.

The assault killed at the very least 16 individuals in Syria, together with two U.S. service members and two American civilians. It was the deadliest assault on U.S. troops in Syria since American forces went into the nation in 2015.

A tweet Wednesday morning by Pence’s press secretary, Alyssa Farah, indicated the vice chairman had been briefed on the assaults earlier than he delivered his remarks claiming the defeat of IS. Pence later launched a press release acknowledging the fatalities and IS “remnants” however reaffirming Trump’s plan to withdraw troops.

“We will never allow the remnants of ISIS to re-establish their evil and murderous caliphate,” he stated.

Trump, in a Dec. 19 tweet, introduced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. He stated: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.” He stated the troops would start coming house “now.” That plan triggered instant pushback from army leaders and the resignation of Protection Secretary Jim Mattis.

Over the previous month, nevertheless, Trump and others have appeared to regulate the timeline, and U.S. officers have advised it’ll in all probability take a number of months to withdraw American forces from Syria safely.



TRUMP: “Simply introduced that Veterans unemployment has reached an 18 yr low, actually excellent news for our Vets and their households. Will quickly be an all time low! Do you assume the media will report on this and all the different nice financial information? — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Trump is improper when it comes to up-to-date month-to-month knowledge, proper when measuring veterans’ unemployment over a long run.

It’s true that the typical veterans’ unemployment price for 2018 was three.5 %, the bottom annual determine since 2000, when it was 2.9 %.

On a month-to-month foundation, the speed is extra risky. The bottom vets’ unemployment price underneath Trump was 2.7 % in October 2017, and it has risen a bit since then to three.2 % in December, the newest knowledge obtainable. Within the 18 years that the federal government has tracked veterans’ unemployment knowledge, the bottom month-to-month fee was 2.three % in Might 2000.

Veterans’ unemployment has fallen principally for a similar causes that joblessness has dropped usually: robust hiring and regular financial progress for the previous eight years.


TRUMP: “We got Veterans Choice. We got Veterans Choice approved, which is pretty amazing. They’ve been trying to get that for years and years — decades and decades.” — remarks Jan. 14 in New Orleans.

THE FACTS: No, he isn’t the primary president in “decades and decades” to get Congress to move a private-sector well being program for veterans. Congress first accepted the Veterans Selection program in 2014 in the course of the Obama administration.

This system was accepted after some veterans died whereas ready months for appointments on the Phoenix VA medical middle. It permits veterans to see docs outdoors the VA system if they need to wait greater than 30 days for an appointment or drive greater than 40 miles to a VA facility.

Trump did signal laws in June to broaden the Selection program, a part of his marketing campaign promise to provide veterans higher entry to non-public care at authorities expense. The precise scope of that new program can be topic to yet-to-be-completed guidelines that may decide veterans’ eligibility in addition to federal funding. The VA has but to resolve long-term financing resulting from congressional price range caps that would put cash for VA or different home packages in danger later this yr.


Related Press writers Eric Tucker, Christopher Rugaber, Seth Borenstein and Jill Colvin in Washington and Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.


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EDITOR’S NOTE _ A take a look at the veracity of claims by political figures