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AP FACT CHECK: Trump fudges history on black vote, drug cost

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Associated Press Photo

President Donald Trump addresses the gang throughout a marketing campaign rally Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photograph/Charlie Riedel)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dealing with pivotal November elections, President Donald Trump is misrepresenting the history of African-American voting and exaggerating his affect in boosting revenue and controlling prescription drug costs.

He laments in marketing campaign speeches on behalf of Republican candidates that blacks’ help for Democrats had turn into “habit,” having voted for them “for 100 years,” and insists his administration’s insurance policies are altering that. The truth is, most African-People have been successfully blocked from the fitting to vote till 1965. A lot of the revenue good points he claims for blacks and different minorities got here through the Obama administration.

On drug prices, Trump says he’s “bringing them down.” However few drugmakers have truly lowered costs because of his strain.

And in remarks on the scorching core of the talk over his new Supreme Courtroom justice, Trump distorted the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser in a mocking flip on a rally stage earlier than the Senate elevated the decide to the excessive courtroom on the weekend.

A take a look at the previous week’s claims:


TRUMP, on black help for Democratic candidates in current elections: “It’s only habit. It’s habit, because for 100 years, African-Americans have gone with Democrats.” — Kansas rally Saturday.

THE FACTS: No, black People didn’t primarily vote Democratic for 100 years, or anyplace near it.

Most African-People for a lot of U.S. history have been disenfranchised, then successfully deterred from voting by way of ballot taxes and literacy checks till passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in voting.

African-People who might vote earlier than then usually backed Republican candidates till the 1932 election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His New Deal packages of financial aid gained their help and helped spur a longer-term shift of black voting from Republican to Democratic.

The Voting Rights Act eradicated literacy checks, clamped down on ballot taxes that the 24th Modification had banned in federal elections a yr earlier and required a lot of principally Southern states with a history of discrimination to get advance federal approval to make modifications to their election legal guidelines. Earlier than that, solely an estimated 23 % of voting-age blacks have been registered nationally, says the Library of Congress , however by 1969 that had jumped to 61 %.



TRUMP: “How does your African-American, how do you vote for somebody else? I’ve done more for them in two years… And their median income is the highest. But not only for African-Americans, for Asian.” — Minnesota rally Thursday.

THE FACTS: He’s incorrect about median revenue now being the very best for African-People. He additionally exaggerates the financial positive aspects he’s completed for blacks and Asian-People.

The median revenue final yr for an African-American family was $40,258, in response to the Census Bureau. That’s under a 2000 peak of $42,348 and in addition statistically no higher than 2016, which was Democratic President Barack Obama’s final yr in workplace.

Many economists view the continued financial progress because the center of 2009, in Obama’s first time period, as the first rationalization for current hiring and revenue positive aspects. Extra necessary, there are a number of indicators that the racial wealth hole is now worsening and the administration seems to have finished little, if something, to deal with this drawback particularly.

As to Asian-People, the median revenue for a typical family final yr was $81,331. That’s no higher than their median revenue of $83,182 in 2016.



TRUMP, as if recounting the questioning of Christine Blasey Ford at her Senate listening to: ‘How did you get there?’ ‘I don’t keep in mind.’ ‘Where is the place?’ ‘I don’t keep in mind.’ ‘How many years ago was it?’ ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.’ ‘What neighborhood was it in?’ “I don’t know.’ ‘Where’s the house’ ‘I don’t know.’ Upstairs, downstairs, where was it?’ ‘I don’t know. But I had one beer, that’s the only thing I remember.’ And a man’s life is in tatters. A man’s life is shattered. … They want to destroy people. These are really evil people.” — Mississippi rally Tuesday.

THE FACTS: He’s flawed to say Kavanaugh’s accuser couldn’t recall whether or not the alleged sexual assault occurred upstairs or downstairs or any degree of element relating to the probably location. She described in vivid element being in a locked upstairs bed room with Kavanaugh and his good friend Mark Decide whereas others have been downstairs at a small home celebration. Trump additionally falsely said that she didn’t keep in mind what number of years in the past this occurred. She recognized the summer time of 1982, when she was 15.

It’s true she couldn’t determine the home, or keep in mind how she acquired there or residence, however stated it was inside a “20-minute drive” between her home and a rustic membership within the Bethesda, Maryland, space.

Researchers say it’s common for individuals who have skilled a trauma to retain a searing reminiscence of the occasion however not circumstances surrounding it.



TRUMP: “You might have seen last month where I called up some of the drug companies. I said, ‘Folks, you just raised up the drug prices. You can’t do that.’ And they all reduced them. Do you believe it? That’s when I said, ‘I’ve a lot of power.’ Pfizer, right? You saw that. Pfizer, Novartis, they raised their drug prices and I’m bringing them down. I said, ‘What are you doing with raising them?’ ‘I’m sorry, Mr. President, we’ll reduce them immediately.’ I said, ‘Man, this is a powerful position.’” — Minnesota rally Thursday.

THE FACTS: His account is overstated.

His name with Pfizer was firstly of July, not final month. It got here proper after he criticized Pfizer on Twitter for elevating costs of about 40 medicine on July 1. Pfizer reversed these will increase, which means costs returned to their June 30 ranges, although solely till Jan. 1, 2019, on the newest. Novartis was considered one of a number of drugmakers that stated they wouldn’t increase any costs for the remainder of 2018, however they’d already completed so on almost all of their medicine earlier within the yr.

Few drugmakers truly lowered costs because of Trump’s strain. A couple of medicine had worth cuts for enterprise causes.

Extra broadly, an Related Press investigation of brand-name prescribed drugs discovered 96 worth will increase for each worth discount within the first seven months of this yr. There have been fewer worth will increase this yr from January via July than in comparable prior yr durations, however corporations nonetheless raised costs much more typically than they minimize them.

AP analyzed 26,176 U.S. record worth modifications for brand-name prescribed drugs from Jan. 1 by way of July 31 within the years 2015 via 2018, utilizing knowledge provided by well being info analytics agency Elsevier.



TRUMP: “We just passed Choice. That was 44 years they’ve been trying to pass Choice, so that if you have to wait in line for 9 days, 30 days, 21 days, months, you don’t do that anymore. If the line’s big, and if you’re unhappy with it, you go to a private doctor, they take care of you, and we paid the bill. It’s better. They’ve been trying to pass that one for many, many decades. They couldn’t do it. We got it passed.” — Tennessee rally on Oct. 1.

TRUMP: “We also passed Veterans’ Choice. Forty-four years they tried to do it.”— Mississippi rally Tuesday.

THE FACTS: He’s exaggerating enhancements to the Division of Veterans Affairs by incorrectly stating a private-sector well being care program was by no means handed by Congress earlier than him. He additionally falsely suggests the newly expanded program could have speedy impact.

Congress first authorised the Veterans Selection program in 2014 within the wake of a scandal on the Phoenix VA medical middle through which some veterans died whereas ready months for appointments. This system permits veterans to see docs outdoors the VA system if they need to wait greater than 30 days for an appointment or drive greater than 40 miles to a VA facility.

Trump signed laws in June to broaden the Selection program by giving veterans even wider entry to private-sector docs at authorities expense, topic to yet-to-be-finalized guidelines that may decide eligibility in addition to obtainable funding.

Opposite to what Trump suggests, the consequences of the newly expanded program usually are not fast. Key to its success is an overhaul of the VA’s digital medical data to permit seamless sharing of medical data not solely with the Pentagon but in addition personal physicians, a course of anticipated to take as much as 10 years. The VA additionally has but to resolve long-term financing for this system on account of congressional price range caps that would put funding for VA or different home packages susceptible to shortfalls subsequent yr.

At a Senate listening to final month, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie made clear that full implementation of the expanded Selection program was “years” away.



TRUMP: “The new platform of the Democrat Party is to abolish ICE — the brave, brave people of ICE. In other words, they want to abolish immigration enforcement entirely.” — Mississippi rally Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Whereas some Democrats within the Home and Senate have raised the prospect of eliminating Immigration and Customs Enforcement, no prime Democrats within the Home or Senate have referred to as for such a transfer. These Democrats who’ve expressed openness to eliminating ICE have stated they might not abandon border enforcement, which is essentially carried out by U.S. Customs and Border Safety.



TRUMP: “The agreement will govern nearly $1.2 trillion in trade, which makes it the biggest trade deal in the United States’ history.” — remarks Oct. 1.

THE FACTS: That’s mistaken, just by advantage of the variety of commerce companions concerned.

The proposed new settlement, changing the North American Free Commerce settlement, covers the identical three nations. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, negotiated by the Obama administration, included the three NAFTA companions — United States, Canada and Mexico — plus Japan and eight different Pacific Rim nations. Trump withdrew america from the pact on his third day in workplace.

Even the Pacific deal pales as compared with one which did go into impact with the U.S. on board, the Uruguay Spherical. Concluded in 1994, the spherical of negotiations created the World Commerce Group and was signed by 123 nations. The Federal Reserve Financial institution of Boston discovered the next yr that the WTO’s preliminary membership accounted for greater than 90 % of worldwide financial output.


TRUMP: “This deal will also impose new standards requiring at least 75 percent of every automobile to be made in North America in order to qualify for the privilege of free access to our markets.” — remarks Oct. 1.

THE FACTS: That’s true. However as with all such requirement, it might make autos costlier by discouraging using cheaper elements from abroad. The identical might be true of one other provision, requiring at the very least 40 % of a automotive’s content material to be constructed the place staff earn $16 an hour. The brand new United States-Mexico-Canada Settlement certainly accommodates larger employee protections, a trade-off that would imply larger prices.

The pact, if accepted by Congress, will increase the share of a automotive’s content material that have to be constructed inside the commerce bloc to 75 % from 62.5 % whether it is to qualify for duty-free standing.

Equally, the deal would give pharmaceutical corporations that make biologics —ultra-expensive medicine produced in dwelling cells — 10 years of safety from generic competitors, two extra years than the Obama administration had negotiated underneath the Pacific deal. That additionally comes with the potential trade-off of upper prices for customers of the medicine.


TRUMP, on overcoming the most important hitch with Canada: “Dairy was a deal-breaker. And now for our farmers it’s, as you know, substantially opened up much more. And I know they can’t open it completely. They have farmers also. You know, they can’t be overrun. And I fully — and I tell them that. I say, ‘Look, I understand you have limits.’ But they could do much better.” — remarks Oct. 1.

THE FACTS: That’s a good studying of one of many settlement’s most vital modifications — although dairy solely accounts for about zero.1 % of U.S.-Canada commerce. Canada’s tariffs on dairy imports can strategy 300 %. U.S. dairy farmers have additionally complained about Canadian insurance policies that priced the U.S. out of the marketplace for some dairy powders and allowed Canada to flood world markets with its personal variations.

The brand new settlement would finish the discriminatory pricing and prohibit Canadian exports of dairy powders. Nonetheless, it’s in some respects an incremental advance from the Pacific deal that Trump walked away from. It will increase U.S. entry to as much as three.75 % of the Canadian dairy market, versus three.25 % within the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Above that degree, U.S. dairy farmers will nonetheless face Canada’s punishing tariffs.


TRUMP: “As one primary aspect, it will transform North America back into a manufacturing powerhouse.” — remarks Oct. 1.

THE FACTS: North America already is a producing powerhouse. America ranks No. 2 on the planet behind China in manufacturing output. Mexico ranks 11th and Canada 13th, in line with U.N. numbers pulled collectively by the Brookings Establishment.


TRUMP: “I think my biggest concession was making the deal, because we could have done it a different way. But it would have been nasty, and it wouldn’t have been nice, and I don’t want to have that.” — remarks Oct. 1.

THE FACTS: Different concessions have been made, as is usually the case in commerce agreements.

For one, the “supply management” system Canada makes use of to guard its farmers would stay largely intact. For an additional, 2.6 million passenger automobiles from Canada and Mexico every can be exempt from tariffs of as much as 25 % that he has been threatening to impose on imported automobiles, vans and auto elements. And Canada prevailed in insisting that a NAFTA dispute-resolution course of be retained. The U.S. needed to eliminate it.


Related Press writers Linda Johnson in Trenton, New Jersey, and Paul Wiseman in Washington contributed to this report.


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