Trump doing a little better lately on the Truth-O-Meter

President Donald Trump (AP)
President Donald Trump (AP)

Relatively speaking, President Donald Trump, who is scheduled to visit Wisconsin on June 28, 2018, has been doing a little better on the Truth-O-Meter lately.

Overall, 69 percent of Trump’s statements evaluated by PolitiFact have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.

But the latest from PolitiFact National and some of our state colleagues shows he’s been getting slightly better ratings -- even though he also earned a Full Flop on the Flip-O-Meter and a couple ratings at the bottom end of the Truth-O-Meter.

"There's been a 1,700 percent increase in asylum claims over the last 10 years."

Rating: Mostly True.

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There was a 1,675 percent increase in asylum claims reviewed by the Homeland Security Department from 2008 to 2017. But that does not evidence fraud, as Trump suggested. Record levels of violence and persecution abroad largely explain the rise in asylum claims, experts said.

While the percentage of individuals whose asylum claims are approved by the Justice Department is relatively low, it might be explained by the much higher bar set by a court appearance than the completion of a survey.

On separating families at the border.

Rating: Full Flop.

Trump had said he couldn’t change the policy of separating children from their parents at the border and that it was up to Democrats to change it. Then he signed an executive order to end the policy.

Related fact check:

Tammy Baldwin: Says Donald Trump's executive order "doesn't address the over 2,000 children who are already separated from their parents, and it doesn't change the fact that we would be jailing children with their families." Rating: Mostly True.

 

"Crime in Germany is way up."

Rating: False.

Trump regularly tells Americans that people seeking to enter the United States without permission bring crime and violence with them. Then he said Germany faces the same risk. But crime in Germany is down from 2016 by over 9 percent, and since 2012 by about 4 percent. The numbers don’t link a rise in the number of immigrants to a rise in criminality nationwide.

Says Bill Clinton "spent $3 billion and got nothing. And (North Korea) started making nuclear weapons a day later."

Rating: Mostly False.

The money that went toward North Korea as part of the Agreed Framework, negotiated by Clinton in 1994, amounted to approximately $400 million. The rest of the $1.3 billion the United States has spent on North Korea mostly went toward food aid. North Korea’s nuclear capabilities were curbed for almost a decade, experts said, tempering Trump’s claim that the deal accomplished "nothing."

There was an element of truth in that money changed hands and North Korea found another way to get nuclear bomb material. But the specifics Trump offered were overblown and incorrect.

"Canada charges the U.S. a 270% tariff on Dairy Products! They didn’t tell you that, did they? Not fair to our farmers!"

Rating: Mostly True.

That figure is a reasonable estimate of Canada’s dairy tariffs, which are high by any standard. That said, the United States has recently run a sizable trade surplus with Canada in dairy products, driven by a strong business in a milk product that was unaffected by the high tariffs. Trump also glosses over the fact that the United States imposes its own trade barriers on certain American-made products.

"101 utilities cut rates, credit GOP tax cuts."

Rating: Mostly True.

The list comes from an organization that strongly supported the tax bill, which Trump signed into law in December 2017. The tally of rate cuts is well-documented, and the group acknowledges that it is not comprehensive.

That said, it’s worth noting that public utility customers will not see the same types of rate cuts cited in the list, which is about one-third of Americans. Trump’s tweet seeks full credit for the tax law, while glossing over the role of energy regulations that mandate that utility savings be passed along to customers.

Says that people "went out in their boats to watch" Hurricane Harvey.

Rating: Pants on Fire (from PolitiFact Texas).

The White House didn’t provide nor could our colleagues find confirmation of people venturing out on boats to watch the hurricane. The boats people were using in Houston and elsewhere were to evacuate flooded homes and neighborhoods.

Philadelphia Eagles players stayed "in the Locker Room for the playing of our our National Anthem" or were "kneeling."

Rating: False (from PolitiFact Pennsylvania).

According to Sports Pundit, there were no players on the Super Bowl-winning National Football League team who kneeled during the national anthem during the 2017 season. And according to ESPN, they didn’t wait in the locker room either.