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Fact-checking Trump’s AP interview about his first 100 days

Lauren Carroll
By Lauren Carroll April 24, 2017

President Donald Trump played up his accomplishments in his first 100 days, while simultaneously downplaying the significance of the milepost, in a lengthy interview with the Associated Press.

"I've done more than any other president in the first 100 days, and I think the first 100 days is an artificial barrier, " Trump told AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace.

Trump stretched the truth about his accomplishments as president so far throughout the April 21 interview.

Here are those claims, fact-checked.

"I saved $725 million on the 90 planes… And the reason they cut — same planes, same everything — was because of me."

Trump’s claim is Mostly False. The savings on the F-35 fighter jets are real, but they were in the works long before Trump got involved.

The Defense Department has a plan to acquire more than 2,400 F-35 aircraft from Lockheed Martin over 20 years, at a cost of around $379 billion. During his campaign and transition, Trump said publicly he wanted the costs to come down, and he held discussions with Lockheed Martin representatives.

On Feb. 3, the department announced a $728 million cost reduction. But in taking sole credit for this, Trump ignores that projected costs for the F-35 had been dropping for years, and the Pentagon had worked on lowering the price tag under past administrations.

"I've done more than any other president in the first 100 days."

Trump’s claim is False.

Trump has had some achievements in office, such as signing 28 bills and numerous executive orders, filling a Supreme Court seat, and overseeing a drop in border apprehensions. But those achievements are much less numerous and far-reaching than those of standard-bearer President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who signed 73 bills, greatly expanded the role of the federal government, and revived the banking system from collapse, all in his first 100 days.

In more recent years, other presidents have accomplished more in their first 100 days than Trump has, historians say. President Barack Obama, for example, signed not only a nearly $800 billion stimulus package to combat a spiraling recession but also the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and a law expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

"Somebody put out the concept of a hundred-day plan."

Pace pressed Trump on the fact that his campaign put out a plan for what he would accomplish by day 100, April 29. Trump tried to distance himself from the plan during the interview, as if he had nothing to do with it, but the proposal came straight from his own mouth.

"What follows is my 100-day action plan to make America great again," he said in Pennsylvania Oct. 22, 2016. "It's a contract between Donald J. Trump and the American voter and it begins with bringing honesty, accountability and change to Washington, D.C."

He ended the speech by saying, "On Nov. 8, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our country, secure our communities and honesty to our government."

We’re tracking Trump’s progress on his campaign promises, including those he said he would accomplish in his first 100 days, on our Trump-O-Meter.

Trump had "never heard of Wikileaks" when WikiLeaks published emails and documents belonging to the Democrats in 2016, and he doesn’t "support or unsupport" the organization.

Neither claim rings true.

Trump had heard of WikiLeaks before, as CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski found. In 2010, Trump suggested those involved with WikiLeaks should face the death penalty, after the organization WikiLeaks published government documents leaked by Chelsea Manning (then known as Bradley Manning).

Trump adopted the opposite position in 2016, when WikiLeaks released documents that damaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton. He repeatedly praised WikiLeaks on the campaign trail and turned information leaked by the group into major talking points.

On Oct. 10, 2016, Trump declared, "I love WikiLeaks."

"We create a lot of jobs, 500,000 jobs as of two months ago, and plenty created since."

Trump is greatly exaggerating here. The United States created a combined 317,000 nonfarm jobs in February and March, Trump’s first two full months in office for which data is available.

Perhaps Trump is including January, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 216,000 new jobs. But he came into office at the end of the month.

Trump has a history of questioning Bureau of Labor Statistics data and misrepresenting how their employment calculations work.

Quick hits from the interview, with context:

Trump’s broken promise on declaring China a currency manipulator.

How much have border crossing apprehensions gone down under Trump?

Trump’s flip-flop on whether NATO is obsolete, and why.

Russians tried to hack the Republicans but didn’t go as far as they did with the Democrats.

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Fact-checking Trump’s AP interview about his first 100 days