Beyond the Truth-O-Meter

SCOTUS Didn’t Ban Teaching About Islam

Q: Did the Supreme Court rule that public schools cannot teach students about Islam? A: No. That false claim was spread by a network of fake news websites.

How is Medicare affected by the House GOP health plan?

We have been asking readers for questions about statements made at congressional town halls, and one reader directed us to a very contentious session held April 13 by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) in liberal-leaning Hood River, Ore.

What Trump got wrong on Twitter this week (#8)

It’s been more than a month since our last roundup of what the president got wrong on Twitter in a given week, an occasional Friday series at The Fact Checker. President Trump has been tweeting less frequently, and his tweets have become more ceremonial — simply sharing photos or videos of memorable events or commemorating a holiday. But in the past week, Trump tweeted misleading or false claims about several issues that were worth delving into. Here’s a look at what Trump got wrong in 10 tweets since last Friday.

Spinning Georgia’s Election Results

No candidate received 50 percent of the vote in Georgia's 6th Congressional District special election, so the top two vote-getters now face off in a June 20 runoff. Nevertheless, both parties claimed a moral victory -- spinning the facts to make their points

Trump’s claim that ‘no administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days’

The first 100 days of a presidency mark a rather artificial milestone, but one by which all presidents have been measured since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s whirlwind of action when he took office in the midst of the Great Depression. President Trump appears especially conscious of this marker. During the presidential campaign, he even issued a list of 60 promises that he said he would fulfill in his first 100 days.

Trump’s claim that Korea ‘actually used to be a part of China’

Korea has its own unique roots and history. It would be worthwhile for the president to get his history lesson from Korean experts, perhaps at the State Department, rather than potentially self-serving accounts from foreign leaders.

Trump’s MS-13 Miss

President Donald Trump blamed the Obama administration for allowing "bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S." due to "weak illegal immigration policies." The MS-13 gang was formed in Los Angeles in the 1980s and had spread across the country years before Barack Obama was elected president.

First Full Supreme Court Ruling in Over a Year Has Obama Furious? No

Reports that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision about the teaching of Islam in public schools are fake news.

Carson Didn’t Find HUD Errors

Q: Did Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson find over $500 billion in accounting errors while auditing HUD’s financial statements? A: No.

Are President Trump’s trips to Mar-a-Lago similar to Obama’s travels?

President Trump’s travels to his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida are a frequent topic at town halls hosted by members of Congress during the April recess. We’ve been asking readers to send us fact-checkable claims from their town halls, and some readers flagged claims about the cost of Trump’s trips. Flake and Ernst shared their opinions in response to constituents’ questions. But Yoho’s response involved claims that merit a fact check. Did Obama go to Africa “quite a bit” with his family and friends? How does the $97 million figure for Obama’s travels compare with the $60,000-a-day figure for Trump’s travels to Mar-a-Lago?

Trump ignores 100-day high achievers

President Donald Trump's claim Tuesday that he's accomplished more than anyone at this point of a presidency flies in the face of history.

Trump Distorts Ossoff’s Record

On the morning of the special House election in Georgia, President Trump fired off two tweets that were critical of Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff. Trump claimed Ossoff “will raise your taxes,” but we could find no evidence of Ossoff proposing any broad-based tax increases.

Could the 'Mother of All Bombs' Produce Radioactive Fallout?

While we cannot prove a negative, there are few mechanisms by which a MOAB-like bomb would benefit by the addition of anything that would introduce radioactivity.

Did Eric Trump Say His Father Would Cancel Taxes for Wealthy People? No

A fake news article that fabricated statements by Eric Trump got picked up by hyper-partisan web site Democratic Moms.

Trump flip-flops also turn truth upside down

It was a flip-floppy week at the White House as President Donald Trump walked away from some promises and people, contorting reality in the process.

Is the ‘real number’ for the national debt $70 trillion?

We’ve been asking readers to send us fishy-sounding claims from town halls being held by lawmakers. A reader questioned the assertion made by Sen. Ben Sasse that national debt is really more like $70 trillion to $75 trillion, rather than the more commonly used figure of $19 trillion.

Sanders Wrong on Voter Turnout

Sen. Bernie Sanders wrongly claimed that voter turnout in 2016 was "the lowest ... in 20 years." In fact, turnout was higher than it was in 2012.

Do members of Congress pay for 100 percent of their health insurance?

The Fact Checker has been receiving lots of fact-check suggestions from readers who attended district town halls, in response to our new initiative to fact-check what members of Congress tell constituents during the April recess. Not surprisingly, some of the most heated exchanges at many of the town halls involved health care and the failed GOP replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

President Trump’s flip-flops flub the facts

It was a flip-floppy week at the White House as President Donald Trump walked away from some promises and people, contorting reality in the process.

Beer, a Cure for Gin Addiction?

Sen. Bill Cassidy said William Wilberforce, a late 18th century British politician, "pushed the sale of beer" to successfully combat "drunkenness related to gin" in England. But Wilberforce wasn’t born until after the so-called gin epidemic had ended in the early 1750s, and its conclusion wasn't due to beer.