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PolitiFact has published its 1,000th fact-check of Donald Trump. In addition to our data analysis, we decided to back at the 10 Trump fact-checks that our readers clicked the most. The list included statements about immigrants, crime, terrorism, Hillary Clinton, gasoline prices and his own popularity.
Here is the list in descending order:
1. "My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011, when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months," Trump said in 2017. Mostly False. Trump was referring to the Obama administration’s 2011 decision to delay processing of Iraqi refugees for six months after the FBI uncovered evidence of a failed terrorism plot by two Iraqi refugees. Trump’s executive order temporarily banned travel to the United States for all citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries and was not in response to actions by those citizens.
2. In the 2015 Republican primary, Trump tweeted an image that said crime statistics show Black people kill 81% of white homicide victims. Pants on Fire! Trump’s tweet was a day after voters at a Trump rally in Alabama kicked and punched a Black activist. Almost every number in the image was wrong — the statistics on white victims were exaggerated fivefold and the police-related deaths were also off. This image again went viral in 2020, after George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by Minneapolis police.
3. Trump said a nuclear deal gave Iran "$150 billion, giving $1.8 billion in cash — in actual cash carried out in barrels and in boxes from airplanes." Half True. Trump made this statement in a 2015 "Fox and Friends" interview. Trump withdrew from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal but broke his promise to renegotiate it. The $150 billion was the highest estimate we had seen, and the one with the least evidence to support it. The $1.8 billion was reasonably accurate, but we found no evidence that barrels and boxes were involved.
4: "The birther movement was started by Hillary Clinton in 2008. She was all in!" False. Trump tweeted this statement in 2015. The birther movement refers to the falsehood that Obama was not born in the United States. The birther movement appears to have begun with Democrats who supported Clinton and opposed Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary. But there was no record that Clinton or anyone within her campaign ever advanced the charge that Obama was not born in the United States.
5. In 2015, Trump said, "I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering" as the World Trade Center collapsed. Pants on Fire! Trump’s statement during a speech defies basic logic. If thousands and thousands of people were celebrating the 9/11 attacks on American soil, many people beyond Trump would have remembered it, and there would be video or visual evidence. Instead, all we found were a couple of news articles that described rumors of celebrations; the rumors were either debunked or unproved.
6. In 2017, Trump tweeted, "The National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion." Mostly False. The number was correct, but it was temporary, because of how government bond selling and cashing ebbed and flowed that month. The drop did not affect the overall arc of the national debt, which has only risen for more than two decades. Also, Trump hadn’t implemented any policies that could have triggered the temporary debt decline.
7. In 2021, Trump told interviewer Hugh Hewitt that gasoline prices were "$1.86 when I left" the White House. False. Some fraction of Americans may have been paying that amount, but most were not. The national average price for gasoline when Trump left the White House was $2.38, or about 28% higher than what he said it was.
8. Trump’s first-ever campaign ad in 2016 purportedly showed Mexicans swarming over "our southern border," as if they were ants fleeing an anthill. Pants on Fire. PolitiFact traced the footage back to a location 5,000 miles away from the southern U.S. border. On May 3, 2014, the Italian television network RepubblicaTV had posted footage of migrants crossing the border into Melilla, one of two Spanish-held enclaves on the Moroccan coast.
9. In a 2016 speech, Trump said Hillary Clinton headed the State Department when it "approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia, while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation." Mostly False. Trump’s claim was a reductive version of his source material’s findings. State was one of nine agencies, plus federal and state nuclear regulators, that had to OK the deal, which had Russia’s nuclear energy agency gain control of about 20% of U.S. uranium production capacity by gradually buying Canada-based Uranium One. Nine people related to Uranium One donated to the Clinton Foundation, but it’s unclear whether they were still involved in the company when the Russian deal happened or stood to benefit from it. Most of the Clinton Foundation donations occurred before and during Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid, before she could have known she would become secretary of state.
10. In a 2019 press conference, Trump said, "I’ve had tremendous Republican support. I have a 90% — 94% approval rating, as of this morning, in the Republican Party. That’s an all-time record." Half True. At the time, Trump’s support within his party was consistently in the mid-to-high 80% range, but not as high as 94%
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