Articles from May, 2017

What is 'covfefe'?

So there is this dumb thing the Internet did today. But if you’re like us, you probably saw it at some point and wondered what was up. PolitiFact is here for you.

Does the U.S. have a 'massive' trade deficit with Germany, as Donald Trump said?

Following tension-filled interactions at the NATO and G-7 summits, President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been engaging in something of a war of words.

Why economists are skeptical that U.S. can grow by 3 percent

When President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, released the administration’s budget proposal on May 23, he emphasized that the administration believes that three percent annual growth is a reachable goal. But economists are skeptical.

Fact-checking Montana politician Greg Gianforte's account of clash with Guardian reporter

A Montana Republican vying for an open House seat now faces assault charges for allegedly body-slamming a reporter a day before a Montana special election.

PolitiFact Live for May 25: Orb edition

Our weekly look at fact-checks of Donald Trump and fake news.

Is Iowa Obamacare’s canary in the coal mine? Not really.

Iowa’s individual market is teetering. But it’s not necessarily a sign Obamacare is collapsing.  

Russia, Trump, Turkey: Detailing Michael Flynn's fall

Michael Flynn's brief stint in the White House as Donald Trump's national security adviser has created headache after headache for the new administration. Here's a list of what he did, and when, based on reports.

Donald Trump and Islam: Then and now

In a pivotal speech on his first international trip as president, Donald Trump delivered a message on religious-based terrorism that was strikingly more nuanced than his rhetoric from the campaign trail.

PolitiFact Live! for May 18

PolitiFact staffers discuss the truth behind the week in news. The show airs live at 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday on Facebook.

Who is Robert Mueller? New special counsel leading Russian investigation

The U.S. Department of Justice on May 17 named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel charged to investigate claims that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

Obstruction of justice, presidential immunity, impeachment: What you need to know

We wanted to examine three key questions surrounding Trump’s legal situation. First, does the information revealed so far offer a plausible case that Trump committed obstruction of justice? Second, can a sitting president even be criminally prosecuted? And third, what does all this mean for possible impeachment proceedings?

The shifting explanations of Trump’s Russia disclosures

The White House scrambled to calibrate a response to Monday’s bombshell report claiming President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to a Russian delegation in the Oval Office.

Reports say Trump shared highly classified intel with Russian diplomats: What we know so far

Several major news outlets reported Monday that President Donald Trump shared highly classified information with Russian diplomats in a meeting last week. Here’s what we know about the situation so far, as well as some background to put the current situation in context.

What Donald Trump said about the spread of classified material during the campaign

President Donald Trump defends sharing top secret information during his meeting with top Russian officials. But when he ran for president, Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for State Department business was a frequent target.

PolitiFact Sheet: Jared Kushner, Kushner Companies, EB-5 visas and Chinese investors

A widely criticized immigrant investor program is back in the spotlight after the sister of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, courted investors for a family real estate project.

Can presidents secretly record White House conversations? Yes

On the morning of May 12, 2017, President Donald Trump tweeted, "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Already primed to look at the parallels between Trump’s presidency and Richard Nixon’s, observers jumped on the suggestion that Trump could be following Nixon’s lead in secretly taping conversations in the White House. We wondered: Would it be within Trump’s legal rights to conduct secret taping in the White House?

Fact-checking Donald Trump’s NBC interview, claims about firing FBI Director James Comey

President Donald Trump downplayed the significance of the FBI’s Russia investigation and the timing of his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey in an interview with NBC May 11. He also distorted the facts on both points.

PolitiFact Live for May 11

PolitiFact staffers discuss the truth behind the week in news. The show airs live at 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday on Facebook.

How similar are the Saturday Night Massacre and the Comey firing?

For many political observers, President Donald Trump’s sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey immediately called to mind President Richard Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre. That night back in 1973, Nixon fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, even as his top two Justice Department officials resigned in protest rather than carry out Nixon’s order.

Did James Comey tell Donald Trump three times that he isn’t under FBI investigation?

"I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation," Donald Trump wrote to James Comey in his letter firing the now former FBI director.

Trump and Democratic views on FBI's Comey at key turning points

Former FBI director James Comey became a political Rorschach test. How he was judged hinged largely on party loyalty. We put Trump's and Democratic takes side by side at key turning points in the past year.

A year of fact-checking about James Comey, Clinton emails and Russia

James Comey is out as FBI director. Given the intense public debate about the Clinton email and Russia investigations, Comey has appeared prominently in our fact-checks over the past year. Here’s a recap.

Fact-checking Ivanka Trump's new book, 'Women Who Work'

We checked out some of the first daughter's statistics and a dubious attribution.

Three takeaways from the Senate hearing with Sally Yates, James Clapper

We heard updates about Russian connections to the Trump campaign and leaks to the Washington Post.

PolitiFact Live for May 4

PolitiFact editors discuss the truth behind the week in news.

Without Obamacare, what happened to kids like Jimmy Kimmel's son?

Jimmy Kimmel brought the debate over the future of Obamacare into the story of his newborn son's emergency heart surgery. He made some policy points and we looked to see if they were on target.

The facts behind Paul Revere's ride, cited by Donald Trump in NRA speech

Trump evoked the spirit of Paul Revere in a speech to NRA members. His rendition came right up to the line between fact and myth. The historical truth is actually pretty interesting.

Can Donald Trump get rid of national monument protections?

In the ramp up to his 100th day, Trump ordered a review of over 20 national monument designations that protect million of acres of land and seabed. How far he can go to undo the work of previous presidents, Republican and Democratic, takes him into a legal gray zone.

What's up with Donald Trump and Andrew Jackson?

If it were possible to have a bromance across the centuries, Presidents Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump would almost certainly qualify.

Fact-checking Donald Trump's 100-days campaign ad

In a sign that it’s never too early to start planning for one’s reelection, President Donald Trump’s campaign released an ad on May 1 -- approximately 1,360 days before the 2020 election --  to tout the accomplishments of his first 100 days in office.