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AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s rhetoric on voter fraud is misleading

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President Donald Trump talks with reporters earlier than departing for France on the South Garden of the White Home, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photograph/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dealing with intently contested election races in Florida and Arizona, President Donald Trump is spreading misleading rhetoric relating to voting fraud.

He says votes are suspiciously showing “out of the wilderness” in Arizona after Election Day to spice up the Democratic candidate within the Senate race. It’s truly typical for the state to take further days after an election to complete tabulating mail-in votes.

Trump additionally means that closely Democratic counties in Florida could also be improperly looking for to inflate the Democratic vote within the state’s Senate and governor races. There’s no proof of that. The Florida state businesses charged with investigating potential fraud say no credible allegations exist.

In the meantime, on the financial system, Trump asserted that U.S. progress beneath his watch has been unprecedented. In reality, it was surpassed simply 4 years in the past in the course of the Obama administration. He additionally minimized the commerce menace from China and claims a U.S. metal business renaissance that isn’t actually occurring.

A take a look at his claims, additionally overlaying well being care and veterans:

FLORIDA ELECTIONS

TRUMP: “You mean they are just now finding votes in Florida and Georgia — but the Election was on Tuesday? Let’s blame the Russians and demand an immediate apology from President Putin!” — tweet Friday.

TRUMP: “Trying to STEAL two big elections in Florida! We are watching closely!” — tweet Saturday.

THE FACTS: He’s making baseless fees of “stealing” elections in Florida’s Senate and governor races, which headed for recounts as a consequence of razor-thin leads held by Republicans Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis, respectively.

It’s not unusual for vote tallies to vary within the days after the election as native officers course of mailed and provisional ballots. In Florida, each Scott and DeSantis noticed their leads dwindle in current days because the Democratic strongholds of Palm Seashore and Broward counties continued to rely votes. That vote rely concluded Saturday, resulting in the Florida secretary of state’s order for recounts after the unofficial leads to each races fell inside the margin that by regulation triggers a evaluation.

Prior to now two elections, in 2016 and 2014, Florida counted greater than 99 % of the vote on Election Day and within the early hours of the subsequent day. In Broward, election officers up to date vote totals for days after Election Day.

In alleging potential fraud, Scott, as outgoing governor, had stated Thursday night time that he was asking the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement to research elections workplaces in Palm Seashore and Broward. Nevertheless, the company stated Friday there have been no credible allegations of fraud and subsequently, no investigation is lively.

Scott’s marketing campaign additionally filed a lawsuit asking that the Broward County supervisor of elections be ordered to show over a number of data detailing the counting and assortment of ballots forged. A decide Friday sided with Scott and ordered Broward’s election supervisor to launch that voter info; the ruling didn’t handle allegations of fraud.

The state’s election division, which Scott runs, stated Saturday that its observers in Broward had seen “no evidence of criminal activity.”

Voting fraud in Florida and nationwide, the truth is, is extraordinarily uncommon. Trump typically asserts that voter fraud is a big difficulty, however has not offered proof of consequential fraud.

After the 2016 election, Trump convened a fee to research potential voting fraud, after alleging repeatedly and with out proof that fraud value him the favored vote. Trump gained the Electoral School. However he disbanded the panel in January, blaming the choice on greater than a dozen states that refused to adjust to the fee’s demand for reams of private voter knowledge.

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ARIZONA SENATE RACE

TRUMP: “Now in Arizona, all of a sudden, out of the wilderness, they find a lot of votes, and she’s — the other candidate is just winning by a hair.” — remarks to reporters Friday.

TRUMP: “Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption – Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!” — tweet Friday.

THE FACTS: There is no proof of something uncommon going on within the vote-counting in Arizona. Trump made the fees of “electoral corruption” and votes showing “out of the wilderness” as Republican pessimism grew about Rep. Martha McSally’s prospects within the Senate race. Nevertheless, Arizona usually takes greater than every week to rely its ballots, and no elected Republican officers within the state have cried foul. It’s attainable that Democrat Kyrsten Sinema’s opponent, McSally, might leap again into the lead within the coming days. That wouldn’t be suspicious, both.

The vote rely tends to take longer in Arizona as a result of residents wish to vote early, by mail, and a mailed-in poll requires extra work for elections officers.

State regulation requires the envelope to be sealed and signed, and for elections officers to match every signature to the one on file with the voter’s registration earlier than even opening the envelope. On this election, that’s about 1.7 million particular person signatures that needed to be confirmed, one after the other. A complete of about 2.four million votes have been forged in Arizona.

The work piles up within the ultimate days earlier than the election as ballots flood in. Voters can even drop off sealed mail ballots on Election Day, including to the pile. The state’s Republican secretary of state, Michele Reagan, added one more reason: election safety. To make sure towards voter fraud, mail ballots dropped off Election Day — which totaled 320,000 — are double-checked with votes forged on the polls to verify nobody voted twice.

The GOP had filed a lawsuit looking for to cease Maricopa and Pima counties from contacting voters after Election Day about issues with the signatures on their mail ballots. However they, Democrats and the state’s counties settled the grievance Friday to primarily permit the remainder of the state to comply with the extra lenient Maricopa and Pima requirements. These requirements are what Trump appeared to complain about in his “signatures don’t match” tweet.

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MIDTERM ELECTIONS

TRUMP, on the message taken from Tuesday’s elections: “I think the results that I’ve learned, and maybe confirm, I think people like me. I think people like the job I’m doing, frankly. Because if you look at every place I went to do a rally … and it was very hard to do it with people in Congress because there are just too many … but I did it with the Senate. I did it with (Kentucky Rep.) Andy Barr, as you know. And he won.” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Trump is flawed to recommend that congressional candidates gained in each state the place he held a rally on their behalf.

Two Republicans who intently embraced Trump of their Senate races — Montana’s state auditor, Matt Rosendale, and West Virginia’s lawyer basic, Patrick Morrisey — misplaced to Democratic Sens. Jon Tester and Joe Manchin, respectively. Trump had visited Montana 4 occasions and West Virginia 3 times to rally voters. Additionally dropping Tuesday have been Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, defeated by Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, and Leah Vukmir, a GOP state lawmaker in Wisconsin who misplaced her Senate race to Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Trump campaigned for Heller in Nevada on Oct. 20 and for Vukmir in Wisconsin on Oct. 24.

Within the Home, Republican Rep. Jason Lewis misplaced his race in Minnesota to Democrat Angie Craig, whom he had defeated by 2 proportion factors in 2016. Trump campaigned in Minnesota on Oct. four after Lewis invited Trump to seem for him.

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TRUMP: “Fifty-five is the largest number of Republican senators in the last 100 years.” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: His social gathering didn’t win 55 Senate seats Tuesday. Republicans held 55 seats within the Senate in 2005-2006, in addition to 1997-2000, in line with the Senate historian’s workplace.

After Tuesday’s elections, Republicans will maintain a 51-46 edge, with races in Florida and Arizona too near name. A particular election in Mississippi has superior to a runoff election on Nov. 27 between Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy. Meaning 54 Republican seats if these three races all break the GOP’s approach.

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ECONOMY

TRUMP: “America is booming like never before. … In terms of GDP, we’re doing unbelievably.” — information convention Wednesday.

TRUMP, on his phone dialog Tuesday night time with Home Democratic chief Nancy Pelosi: “We didn’t talk about impeaching. We didn’t talk about — what do you do? Do you impeach somebody because he created the greatest economic success in the history of our country?”

THE FACTS: The financial system is wholesome, nevertheless it’s not unbelievable or unprecedented. It’s additionally not clear what he means in claiming the nation’s “greatest economic success” ever.

The financial system expanded at a four.2 % annual price within the April-June quarter, then by three.5 % within the July-September quarter. These are the most effective two quarters in simply 4 years. Progress reached 5.1 % within the second quarter of 2014, adopted by four.9 % within the third quarter.

The financial system has boomed far more dramatically prior to now. Within the late 1990s, progress topped four % for 4 straight years. It reached 7.2 % in 1984. The unemployment price is now at a powerful 50-year low of three.7 %. However it remained under four % for almost 4 years within the late 1960s.

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TRUMP: “And our steel industry is back. Our aluminum industry is starting to do really well. These are industries that were dead. Our miners are working again.” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: He’s exaggerating.

The metal business has added jobs at a quicker fee than the financial system as an entire since Trump’s inauguration, although all of the features occurred earlier than the administration imposed tariffs on metal imports in March. Nonetheless, the rebound has hardly restored metal to its former glory.

The USA has added 5,500 metal jobs since Trump entered the White Home for a complete of 86,500. Earlier than the Nice Recession, there have been about 100,000 metal jobs. Aluminum factories have added 2,600 jobs because the inauguration for a complete of 60,100. These are minor modifications in an financial system with virtually 150 million jobs.

In the meantime, not many miners are working once more. Coal mining jobs have elevated simply 1,900 to 52,600 since Trump’s inauguration. That’s additionally quite a bit decrease than the roughly 70,000 coal mining jobs that existed as just lately as 2014.

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TRUMP: “China got rid of their ‘China ’25’ because I found it very insulting. I said that to them. I said, ‘China ’25’ is very insulting, because ‘China ’25’ means, in 2025, they’re going to take over, economically, the world. I said, ‘That’s not happening.’” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: There’s no proof China has deserted its financial plan. Trump is referring to China’s “Made in China 2025” plan, beneath which that nation’s authorities goals to develop world-leading corporations in robotics, semiconductors, electrical automobiles and different superior applied sciences. It’s a sore level between the 2 nations as a result of the USA and different nations argue that China is utilizing unfair techniques to realize these goals, corresponding to forcing U.S. corporations to share know-how and offering authorities subsidies.

Chinese language officers have performed down the plan in current months due to the worldwide criticism. However there’s little signal they’ve “gotten rid of” the plan. As a result of China sees the plan as a key step within the improvement of its financial system, many observers fear they’re unlikely to scale it again, which suggests U.S.-China commerce fights aren’t going away anytime quickly.

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VETERANS

TRUMP: “I’ve done more for the vets than any President has done, certainly in many, many decades, with Choice and with other things, as you know. …If you look at Choice — Choice alone — I mean, just take a look at what we’ve done with Choice.” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: He’s taking untimely credit score for enhancements that may take years to see full impact regarding the Veterans Selection program.

Trump signed laws in June to increase the private-sector Selection program, which was first authorised in 2014 in the course of the Obama administration within the wake of a scandal on the Phoenix VA medical middle through which some veterans died whereas ready months for appointments. The present Selection program 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.

How a lot Selection might be expanded, nevertheless, will rely on yet-to-be-completed laws that may decide eligibility for veterans in addition to out there cash for this system. The Division of Veterans Affairs has but to resolve long-term financing as a consequence of congressional finances caps that would put funding for VA or different home packages susceptible to shortfalls subsequent yr.

Additionally necessary to this system’s success is an overhaul of the VA’s digital medical data to permit seamless sharing of medical data with personal physicians, a course of anticipated to take as much as 10 years. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has stated full implementation of the expanded Selection program is “years” away.

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HEALTH CARE

TRUMP, on protecting well being premiums down and masking individuals with preexisting medical circumstances: “What we’re doing, if you look at the Department of Labor also — (Health and Human Services) Secretary (Alex) Azar, what they’ve done. They’ve come up with some incredible health care plans, which is causing great competition and driving the prices right down.” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: He’s glossing over the restrictions of his administration’s new well being care choices, which supply decrease premiums than complete plans such because the Reasonably priced Care Act but in addition cowl much less. The supply of Trump’s short-term well being plans additionally is not going to “drive down” costs of the Obama-era overhaul or complete plans, however might improve premiums for strong protection if fewer wholesome individuals take it consequently.

Strictly talking, the short-term and affiliation well being plans usually are not new. The Trump administration has broadened their potential attain, though some states might push again with restrictions.

Brief-term plans don’t should take individuals with medical circumstances or present advantages similar to protection for maternity, psychological well being, prescribed drugs and substance abuse remedy. Affiliation well being plans do have to simply accept individuals with pre-existing medical circumstances, however they don’t should cowl the complete menu of 10 “essential” sorts of advantages required by Obamacare.

Gary Claxton of the nonpartisan Kaiser Household Basis says short-term plans might grow to be extra pricey than Trump administration officers recommend. The plans now cowl as much as 90 days, but when insurers increase them to supply as much as 36 months’ protection, the businesses will probably be taking on extra danger.

“You’ll have to pay more up front because there’s a longer time during which you could get sick,” Claxton stated.

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Related Press writers Nicholas Riccardi, Calvin Woodward, Alan Fram and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.

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