As of June 7, 2019, which marked President Trump’s 869th day in office, 10,796 false or misleading claims have originated from the White House.
Since the start of his presidency on January 20, 2017, Donald Trump has averaged about 12 factually inaccurate claims a day. However, the rate of false claims has increased to an average of about 16 a day as of April 26 of this year.
The Fact Checker database used to analyze and track every suspect statement the president has made has recorded more than 300 instances in which he has repeated a variation of the same claim at least three times.
There have also been 21 instances of the same incorrect statement (or variations of it) repeated at least 20 times.
Trump’s most common misleading statements continue to be his comments concerning the so-called “crisis” at the Mexican border. It continues to be his main talking point, as it was during his campaign. He has promised his supporters time and time again that he will build a wall at the border to protect the U.S. from the “$500 billion worth of drugs” entering the country, as well as from the supposed killings of 100,000 Americans as a result of violent criminals immigrating over our borders.
The estimated $500 billion in illegally trafficked drugs is greatly overblown. The White House Council of Economic Advisers gathered that in 2017 the economic cost of the opioid crisis was $504.0 billion in total. This figure includes the 35 percent of opioid overdose deaths involving the use of prescription drugs in 2017. Furthermore, even the most illicit drugs enter the United States through legal ports of entry. For example, fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, can be easily ordered online, even directly from China.
Trump continues to repeat (172 times, to date) the false claim that the border wall is being built, despite the fact that no such thing is happening. Congress has refuted such claims. The $1.57 billion allocated for border protection is only to be used for new fencing or to replace old fencing. Such renovations are occurring, but only in the form of fencing. As of now, there is no wall-like structure underway.
About ten percent of misleading claims pertain to Russia’s tampering in the 2016 election cycle and misinformation concerning trade and the U.S. economy. For example, Trump’s claim that Mexico “stole 32 percent of our car business with NAFTA, the stupidest deal, one of the truly stupid deals of our time, they stole 32,000 — they have 32 percent of our car business.”
On the contrary, analysis of conducted studies and discussions with auto industry representatives show that the opposite is true. They believe that the North American Free Trade Agreement has benefited U.S. auto operations rather than damaged the industry. Mexico currently produces about 20 percent of the United State’s light vehicles.
Other common topics of fake news that Trump has reported in the past two years include the “Trump tax cut” (146 times), NATO spending (99 times), collusion with Russia by the Democrats during his campaign (77 times), the Mueller team bias due to conflicts of interest (71), blaming Democrats for overly-loose immigration laws (70), and claiming that other countries give the U.S. bad people through the diversity visa lottery process (57).