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AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s super-talkative, fact-busting week

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On this Jan. 2, 2019, photograph, appearing Secretary of the Inside David Bernhardt, left, and appearing Secretary of Protection Patrick Shanahan, proper, pay attention as President Donald Trump speaks throughout a cupboard assembly on the White Home in Washington. (AP Photograph/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump held forth on all method of issues this previous week as he emerged from a “lonely” spell over the vacations. He opined for greater than 90 minutes to the press, on the prime of a Cupboard assembly, on the shutdown, immigration, drug costs, the Soviet historical past in Afghanistan, his approval scores, Syria, oil costs, the character of partitions, the attractiveness of his generals (“better looking than Tom Cruise”), and far more.

He capped the week with a Rose Backyard information convention that stretched for an hour. And he’s been tweeting lots.

Trump’s accounts didn’t present large fealty to the details. Right here’s a sampling of what he stated:

THE WALL

TRUMP: “We’ve already built a lot of the wall.” — Rose Backyard information convention Friday.

THE FACTS: He hasn’t.

Trump’s declare is simply supported when counting work carried out underneath previous presidents and ignoring the truth that fences from prior administrations will not be the towering partitions he promised. The 2006 Safe Fence Act has resulted in about 650 miles (1,050 kilometers) of border barrier. Cash accepted by Congress in March 2018 is to pay for 84 miles (135 km), however that work shouldn’t be completed. Trump has achieved some renovation of present barrier.

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TRUMP: “The drugs are pouring into this country. They don’t go through the ports of entry. When they do, they sometimes get caught.” — Rose Backyard information convention.

THE FACTS: He’s fallacious in saying drug smugglers don’t or solely not often use official border crossings for his or her trafficking. Land ports of entry are their main means for getting medicine into the nation, not stretches of the border with out limitations, says the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The company stated in a November report that the most typical trafficking method by transnational felony organizations is to cover medicine in passenger automobiles or tractor-trailers as they drive into the U.S. although entry ports, the place they’re stopped and topic to inspection. Additionally they make use of buses, cargo trains and tunnels, the report says, citing smuggling strategies that might not be choked off by a border wall.

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TRUMP: “The new trade deal we have with Mexico and Canada — what we save on that, just with Mexico, will pay for the wall many times over, just in a period of a year, two years or three years. So I view that as absolutely Mexico is paying for the wall.” — Rose Backyard information convention.

THE FACTS: Mexico is just not paying for the wall and nothing within the commerce settlement would cowl or refund the development value.

Trump is assuming all kinds of financial advantages will come from the settlement, however they will’t be quantified or counted on. For instance, he stated the deal will dissuade some U.S. corporations from shifting operations to Mexico and he credit that risk as a cost by Mexico for his wall.

The deal updates the North American Free Commerce Settlement, in the primary preserving NAFTA’s liberalized setting of low or no tariffs among the many U.S., Mexico and Canada, whereas making sure enhancements for every nation. Trump said inaccurately that it’s “brand new. It’s totally different.”

Furthermore, it’s not in impact. The deal has but to be ratified in any member nation and its probabilities of profitable legislative approval aren’t assured.

Trump has argued repeatedly that Mexico is footing the invoice even whereas insisting on $5.6 billion from the U.S. treasury to go towards wall development. His demand and the refusal of Democrats to fulfill it are behind the price range standoff that has closed elements of the federal government.

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SYRIA

TRUMP: “We had a fantastic meeting with the generals and the Syria situation. I mean, I’m the only person in the history of our country that could really decimate ISIS, say we’re bringing the troops back home over a period of time. I never said so quickly, but over a period of time.” — Cupboard assembly Wednesday.

THE FACTS: He’s fallacious about his previous statements relating to the tempo of withdrawal. In a video posted to his Twitter account on Dec. 19, as an example, Trump stated of the roughly 2,000 troops in Syria: “They’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now.”

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TRUMP: “I read, when we pull out, ‘Oh, Russia is thrilled.’ Russia is not happy. You know why they’re not happy? Because they like it when we’re killing ISIS, because we’re killing them for them, and we’re killing them for Assad, and we’re killing ISIS also for Iran.” — Cupboard assembly.

THE FACTS: Russia says it’s completely happy. A U.S. withdrawal opens alternatives for Moscow and Tehran to extend their affect and should assist the Syrian authorities survive as a Kurdish-led opposition pressure loses its army ally on the bottom.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the U.S. “has done the right thing” in planning to tug out.

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AFGHANISTAN

TRUMP: “The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They (the Soviets) were right to be there.” — Cupboard assembly.

THE FACTS: His assertion that the Soviet Union was experiencing a terrorist inflow from Afghanistan when it invaded in 1979 is out of step with historical past. And his perception that the Soviets have been proper to invade is a stark departure from U.S. and world opinion.

The Soviets have been making an attempt to bolster communists in Afghanistan and probably broaden their affect towards the USA and the West.

World condemnation was swift: The U.N. Common Meeting voted 104-18 to deplore the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. The U.S. supported the anti-communist rebels, giving them shoulder-fired rockets to down Soviet plane. The Soviets withdrew in 1989.

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TRUMP: “Russia used to be the Soviet Union. Afghanistan made it Russia, because they went bankrupt fighting in Afghanistan.” — Cupboard assembly.

THE FACTS: Afghanistan was removed from the only cause for the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The dissolution occurred in a time of ethnic and political troubles, financial woes and a collection of revolutions that led Soviet republics to hunt their independence. The Soviet demise was accelerated by the heavy value of competing with the West to wield affect all over the world, together with in Afghanistan.

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OIL PRICES

TRUMP: “Do you think it’s just luck that gas prices are so low, and falling? Low gas prices are like another Tax Cut!” — tweet Tuesday.

TRUMP: “It’s not luck. It’s not luck. I called up certain people, and I said, ‘Let that damn oil and gasoline — you let it flow — the oil.’ It was going up to $125. If that would’ve happened, then you would’ve had a recession, depression.” — Cupboard assembly Wednesday.

THE FACTS: It’s not all about him, and even principally about him.

Whereas People might find yourself paying considerably much less for gasoline this yr, Trump’s suggestion that he deserves all of the credit score and averted a U.S. financial melancholy is an exaggeration. Oil costs, which peaked Oct. three, have been usually falling on the belief that U.S. sanctions towards Iran wouldn’t create a scarcity and on worry that a international oversupply of oil will spill into 2019 if slower worldwide financial progress depresses power demand.

The president’s supposed “let it flow” edict didn’t cease OPEC and its Russia-led allies from agreeing final month to chop oil manufacturing. That originally did not cease oil costs from sliding additional; they’ve since rebounded a couple of dollars up to now week. Continued OPEC manufacturing cuts would push costs larger.

Trump has pointed to his constructive relations with Saudi Arabia, which stays the most important oil exporter. As a so-called swing producer with the power to regulate manufacturing up or down comparatively shortly, it could possibly certainly affect the worth of crude. However the market is complicated: Canada, for instance, is definitely the highest supply of U.S. oil imports, with Saudi Arabia second.

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TARIFFS

TRUMP: “The United States Treasury has taken in MANY billions of dollars from the Tariffs we are charging China and other countries that have not treated us fairly. In the meantime we are doing well in various Trade Negotiations currently going on.” — tweet Thursday.

THE FACTS: Trump is off on two main points. First, tariffs are taxes paid largely by U.S. enterprise and shoppers, not overseas nations. And whereas Trump’s “MANY billions” may sound like rather a lot, it’s doing little to nothing to enhance the federal stability sheet. The U.S. authorities spent $four.1 trillion final fiscal yr and the price range deficit shot up, based on Trump’s personal Treasury Division.

Customs and duties generated $41.three billion in revenues final yr, up from $34.6 billion in 2017.

That $6.7 billion improve occurred partially due to the president’s tariffs. Nevertheless it amounted to only zero.16 % of federal spending.

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MATTIS

TRUMP, on Jim Mattis: “I wish him well. I hope he does well. But, as you know, President (Barack) Obama fired him and essentially so did I. I want results.” — Cupboard assembly Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Truly, Mattis resigned as protection secretary in protest over Trump’s choice to tug U.S. troops from Syria.

The retired Marine common introduced on Dec. 20 in a resignation letter that he was stepping down after Trump’s determination to withdraw 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria. Mattis stated he would keep on the job till the top of February. Three days later, Trump stated he was changing Mattis with the second-ranking protection official, Pat Shanahan, on Jan. 1.

As to the tenure beneath Obama, Mattis served as commander of the army’s Central Command. He departed a couple of months sooner than anticipated in 2013, partially due to disagreements over Iran.

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DRUG PRICES

TRUMP: “I think you’re going to see a tremendous reduction in drug prices.” — Cupboard assembly Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Costs proceed to rise. Administration insurance policies introduced final yr and presently being accomplished don’t appear to have shifted that development.

Figures on U.S. prescription drug worth modifications compiled by well being knowledge firm Elsevier present that from Dec. 20 by way of Jan. 2, there have been 1,179 product worth modifications. Of these, 30 have been worth cuts and the remaining 1,149 have been worth will increase, with 328 of them between 9 % and 10 %. All however one of many relaxation have been by decrease percentages. Elsevier spokesman Chris Capot stated extra corporations shall be saying worth will increase this month.

Individually, a knowledge agency whose software program may also help sufferers discover probably the most cost-effective drugs says its info exhibits worth will increase on many generally used medicine for circumstances reminiscent of hypertension and diabetes.

“In the first two days of January, prices have increased on more than 250 different products,” stated Michael Rea, CEO of Rx Financial savings Options. The typical improve is about 6 %, he added.

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IMMIGRATION

TRUMP, on the variety of immigrants dwelling within the U.S. illegally: “I used to hear 11 million all the time. It would always stay right at 11. I said, ‘Does it ever increase or go down?’ ‘No, it’s 11.’ Nobody knows. It’s probably 30, 35 million people. They would flow in, mostly from the southern border, they’d come in and nobody would talk about it, nobody would do anything about it.” — Cupboard assembly Wednesday.

THE FACTS: It’s nowhere near 30 million to 35 million, in response to his personal Homeland Safety secretary in addition to unbiased estimates.

The nonpartisan Pew Analysis Middle estimates there have been 10.7 million immigrants within the U.S. illegally in 2016, the newest knowledge obtainable. Advocacy teams on each side of the immigration challenge have comparable estimates.

At a Home listening to final month, Homeland Safety Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen acknowledged the quantity was “somewhere” between 11 million and 22 million, considerably decrease than Trump’s declare of 35 million.

In line with Pew, the variety of immigrants within the U.S. illegally had reached a peak of 12.2 million in 2007, representing about four % of the U.S. inhabitants, earlier than declining partially due to a weakening U.S. financial system.

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TRUMP: “The coyotes are using children to gain access into this country. They’re using these children. They’re not with families. They’re using the children. They’re taking the children. And then they dispose of the children after they’re done. This has been going on for years. This isn’t unique to us. But we want to stop it.” — Cupboard assembly Wednesday.

THE FACTS: This does occur, although it’s not as widespread as Trump suggests by speaking about it so typically.

He’s referring to adults who include youngsters they falsely declare to be theirs, in order that they gained’t be detained beneath a no-child-separation coverage.

However such instances of fraud are uncommon. Based on the Homeland Safety Division, about 500 immigrants have been discovered to be not a “legitimate family unit” and thus separated upon detention from April 19 to Sept. 30 of final yr. That’s a small fraction of the 107,000 households apprehended within the final finances yr, which ended Sept. 30.

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Related Press writers Josh Boak, Michael Balsamo, Colleen Lengthy, Jill Colvin, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Robert Burns and Deb Riechmann in Washington, David Koenig in Dallas, Kathy Gannon in Islamabad and AP Medical Author Linda A. Johnson in Trenton, New Jersey, contributed to this report.

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EDITOR’S NOTE _ A take a look at the veracity of claims by political figures