Daniel Dale fact-checks Navarro's attack on Dr. Fauci
02:18 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

Contrary to President Donald Trump’s June claims, the coronavirus is not going away.

Trump’s coronavirus-related lying spree appears here to stay, too.

The President’s months-long bombardment of false and misleading claims about the virus and the pandemic, many of them egregious, continued from early June to early July – a period that included his controversial rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a series of interviews with Fox News and other media outlets, events on the economy and the pandemic, and remarks in Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin and at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

Trump made 200 false claims in total over the four weeks from June 8 through July 5, an average of about seven per day. Forty-one of the claims were about the virus and the pandemic, by far the most of any subject.

Trump is now up to 2,783 total false claims since July 8, 2019, when we started counting at CNN.

What Trump was most frequently dishonest about

Both of Trump’s two most frequent individual false claims during the four-week period were about the pandemic.

Trump made 15 false claims about the relationship between testing and cases – claiming that testing is responsible for the recent spike in confirmed cases, that testing is causing cases to exist or something similar. (You can click here for a detailed explanation of why his assertions are false.) And he falsely claimed nine times that he had banned travel from China, though he imposed only a partial travel restriction; he has now made versions of this “ban” claim 67 times, more than any other pandemic-related false claim.

Trump made 26 total false claims on the subject of the military, including seven more versions of his regular lie that he is the one who got the Obama-era Veterans Choice program created. Trump also made 25 total false claims about China, the individual country about which he is most frequently inaccurate.

There were two new entrants on the list of Trump’s top-five dishonesty subjects.

The first was protests, about which Trump made 25 false claims during the four-week period. Among other things, Trump falsely claimed six times that he was responsible for sending in the National Guard to quell riots in Minnesota; the Guard was activated by the state’s Democratic governor. Trump also promoted wild conspiracy theories about a 75-year-old protester who was shoved to the ground by Buffalo police.

The second new entrant on the list was former Vice President Joe Biden, about whom Trump made 24 false claims. Trump ramped up his attacks on the presumptive Democratic nominee, some of them wildly inaccurate. Trump claimed, for example, that Biden was given reporters’ news conference questions in advance (no) and that he read his answers off of a teleprompter (no), that Biden has not left his basement (he has repeatedly left his home to campaign) and that Biden wants to prosecute Americans for going to church (wrong) but not for burning a church (wrong).

Where Trump made his false claims

Trump’s disastrous Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally – which involved empty seats, coronavirus infections for his staff and possibly others, and self-damaging Trump remarks about testing – was also a dishonest campaign rally. Trump made 22 false claims in his speech.

He also made 22 false claims in a “town hall” event in Wisconsin with Fox News host Sean Hannity, which was more like a conversation between Trump and Hannity with occasional softball audience questions thrown in.

And he made 14 false claims apiece in an interview with the Wall Street Journal and in a speech in Phoenix to the conservative group Turning Point Action.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden and the debates

Trump said of Biden: “Now, he’s already saying that he can’t do debates because of Covid. Do you believe it? ‘I can’t do the debates because of Covid.’ That was – I just heard a little inkling of it two days ago. I said, ‘Watch this one.’ ” – June 25 “town hall” event with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: Trump’s claim was entirely baseless. Biden had officially committed to participating in the three scheduled presidential debates – and Biden had repeatedly said he is eager to debate Trump even if the pandemic forces them to hold the event online rather than in person.

Trump, conversely, had not officially committed to the scheduled debates. Instead, his campaign had been seeking changes to the debate schedule, and, according to The New York Times, sought an unusual role in selecting the moderators.

You can read a longer fact check here.

Biden’s campaign

Trump claimed four times that Biden is not leaving his basement. For example, he said on Fox News on June 20: “I mean, Biden is still in the basement. He hasn’t left the basement.”

Facts First: Biden is not stuck in his basement. Since late May, he has repeatedly left his home to campaign.

Biden, like Trump, has been forced by the pandemic to reduce his campaign travel, and he has campaigned cautiously – rising in the polls even as he has limited his public exposure. But the former vice president has made multiple trips since he emerged from his home to lay a Memorial Day wreath on May 25 after more than two months without public events.

For example, Biden attended a June 1 community meeting at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Delaware, delivered a June 2 speech in Philadelphia about racism and leadership and a June 5 economic address in Delaware, met with the family of George Floyd on June 8 in Houston, held a June 11 economic roundtable in Philadelphia, and went to Pennsylvania on June 17 to meet with business owners and to deliver a speech about the pandemic and the economy.

Biden’s public remarks

Trump said of Biden: “It’s so crazy what’s happening. Here’s a guy who doesn’t talk. Nobody hears him.” – June 25 “town hall” event with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: Trump was clearly exaggerating when he said Biden “doesn’t talk.” Again, though Biden has campaigned cautiously, he has made speeches, done interviews and spoken in various other forums.

Biden’s xenophobia accusation

Hannity asked Trump about Biden having accused the President of xenophobia and fear-mongering the day his administration introduced travel restrictions on China. (Biden’s campaign says he was not referring to the restrictions in particular and did not even know about them when he spoke.) Trump claimed, “Well, he didn’t say it. They have people that write.” He continued, “He never said ‘xenophobic’ because I don’t think he knows what the word means. But he said it was ‘xenophobic.’ …” – June 25 “town hall” event with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: This claim was intended as a jab at Biden’s intelligence or mental acuity, but it was just wrong. Biden did accuse Trump of xenophobia and fear-mongering, in a speech in Iowa on January 31. The fact that a speechwriter may have written the words does not change the fact that Biden said them.

Trump eventually conceded that Biden did call him xenophobic, but we’re calling the claim false because he first claimed twice in this paragraph that Biden did not do so.

Biden and money

If Biden gets elected, “Your 401(k)s and money itself will be worthless.” – June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Facts First: This is just nonsense. We don’t know exactly what will happen if Biden wins, and we don’t usually fact-check predictions, but the claim that “money itself will be worthless” is laughable. (We’ll ignore the extreme prediction about 401(k)s.)

Biden’s answer about cognitive testing

Interviewer Eric Bolling told Trump that someone at a Biden news conference had questioned Biden’s mental acuity – a journalist had asked Biden if he had been tested for cognitive decline – and that Biden had responded that he can’t wait to debate Trump.

Trump responded by telling Bolling that Biden had gotten “mixed up” on the question about a cognitive test and had responded by confusedly saying he had been tested for Covid-19.

“Well, his response, actually, was I get tested all the time – but he was talking about Covid,” Trump said. Trump continued, “He said, ‘I – I get tested all the time.’ But he was talking – I assume he was talking about the Covid, not – not cognitive, and now he’s mixed up.” – July 1 interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Eric Bolling

Facts First: Biden was not talking about Covid-19 in his response to this question about whether he has been tested for cognitive decline. Biden did not mention the virus at all in his response.

Rather, Biden responded by saying, “I’ve been tested and I’m constantly tested. Look, all you gotta do is watch me, and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”

Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, said on Fox News that Biden was arguing that his cognitive ability is constantly tested through the act of running for president, not revealing that he constantly receives literal cognitive tests.

“First of all, he’s been tested every single day that he’s been on the campaign trail. You know, he went through 12 debates in the Democratic primary. He defeated 25 other candidates to become the Democratic nominee,” Bedingfield said.

Whether or not you think that explanation makes sense, there is no indication at all that Biden was referring to Covid-19 tests.

Biden’s news conference

“Biden was asked questions at his so-called Press Conference yesterday where he read the answers from a teleprompter. That means he was given the questions, just like Crooked Hillary. Never have seen this before!” – July 1 tweet

“He knew the questions and still couldn’t answer them. Lamestream Media being laughed at all over the world!” – June 30 tweet

“He did his first press conference, in I guess almost 90 days, and he was reading the answers off the teleprompter. … I’ve never seen that before.” – July 1 interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Eric Bolling

“He doesn’t know – he doesn’t know where he is, frankly. I watched his press conference yesterday. He’s answering – I mean, he’s answering questions like this from a teleprompter. I said, what’s that all about?” – July 1 interview with Fox Business’ Blake Burman

Facts First: Biden was not given the questions in advance at his Delaware news conference on June 30, CNN’s Arlette Saenz, who was one of the reporters present, and other reporters confirmed. (Biden’s campaign also said the claim was false.) And Biden did not read his answers off the teleprompter.

Politico reported that the teleprompters in the room appeared to be off during the question-and-answer portion of the event, as Biden’s press secretary, TJ Ducklo, told CNN they were. (Ducklo called Trump’s claim “laughable, ludicrous, and a lie.”) The Associated Press noted that Biden was often looking directly at the reporter who asked him the question. And, again, Biden did not get the questions ahead of time.

Barack Obama’s endorsement of Biden

Trump said of Obama and Biden: “And, you know, today he’s with Obama – President Obama. It only took him – how long? – a year and a half to endorse him. What did it take? A year and a half to endorse him? Even after he won, he didn’t endorse him for a long time.” – June 23 speech to Turning Point Action event in Phoenix

Facts First: Trump was exaggerating. Obama, who kept a low profile during the Democratic primary, endorsed Biden on April 14, 2020, less than a week after Biden’s last rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, dropped out of the race. That was just under a year after Biden launched his campaign on April 25, 2019.

Biden and the police

Trump said of Biden: “Well, he wants to defund and abolish police because that’s what he’s being told to do. He’s not making his own decisions. The radical left is doing, I mean, they’re telling them what to do. He wants to defund and abolish the police and you see it, what they’re doing in Minnesota.” – July 1 interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Eric Bolling

Facts First: Biden explicitly opposes the idea of defunding the police, and he has proposed nothing even close to abolishing police.

Biden told CBS in June, “No, I don’t support defunding the police. I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness. And, in fact, are able to demonstrate they can protect the community and everybody in the community.” The Trump campaign has noted that Biden told a progressive activist that he is “absolutely” open to redirecting some funding, but the context made it unclear what he meant; regardless, it was nothing remotely resembling the abolition of police.

Biden’s published criminal justice plan calls for a $300 million investment in community policing efforts – including the hiring of more officers.

Bernie Sanders and Biden

“I don’t know if you saw – Bernie Sanders said, ‘My sole focus now is to take Joe Biden way left.’ ” – June 25 “town hall” event with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: We could not find any examples of Sanders saying his “sole focus” is moving Biden to the left, and spokesmen for both Sanders’ campaign and Senate office said they were unaware of any such quotes. Rather, Sanders has emphasized that while he does want progressive policy from Biden, he considers it a top priority for Trump to be defeated.

For example, as campaign spokesman Mike Casca noted, Sanders told The New Yorker in early June: “It is no great secret that Joe Biden and I have very serious political differences, but, at this particular moment in history, what is most important is to defeat Trump, who, as you implied a moment ago, is literally a threat to American democracy, and is moving this country not only in a dangerous way but in an authoritarian way, as well. Trump has got to be defeated and, in a variety of ways, I intend to play an active role in that process.”

In April, soon after dropping out of the race, Sanders told late-night host Stephen Colbert that “I hope to be able to work with Joe to move him in a more progressive direction.” But he also said, “What I said from the first day that I announced my intention to run for president: I will do everything I can to make sure Donald Trump has not been reelected.”

Biden and ICE

Moments after invoking “Joe Biden and the Democrats,” Trump said, “And they want to abolish ICE, our great people from ICE who send the roughest, toughest, meanest people that you’ve ever seen or ever heard.” – June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Facts First: Biden does not want to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rather, his immigration plan calls for “independent oversight” over ICE’s activities, ensuring that ICE personnel “abide by professional standards and are held accountable for inhumane treatment,” and more resources for training ICE personnel.

“We shouldn’t abolish ICE. We should reform the system. ICE is not the problem. The policies behind ICE are the problem, and that’s easy enough to fix if the president knows what he or she is doing,” Biden said during the Democratic primary campaign in November 2019.

Biden and churches

“Joe Biden and the Democrats want to prosecute Americans for going to church, but not for burning a church.” – June 22 interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo

“Joe Biden and the Democrats want to prosecute Americans for going to church, but not for burning a church.” – June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Facts First: There is no apparent basis for either the claim that Biden wants to prosecute churchgoers or the claim that he does not want to prosecute people for burning a church. We could find no comments from Biden in which he made any such statements. Neither could PolitiFact.

Biden has expressed specific disapproval of deliberate fire-setting during protests against police brutality, saying in a statement that protests against brutality like the killing of George Floyd are just and necessary, “but burning down communities and needless destruction is not. Violence that endangers lives is not. Violence that guts and shutters businesses that serve the community is not.”

Biden has generally expressed support for social-distancing orders that have shut down numerous kinds of entities, including churches, but has not said that people should be prosecuted for attending church.

Asked for comment on the accuracy of Trump’s claims, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told CNN, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

The coronavirus pandemic

The seriousness of Covid-19

Trump said that by testing for the coronavirus, “we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless.” – July 4 speech for Independence Day

Facts First: There is no basis for Trump’s “99%” figure.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany suggested later that Trump was referring specifically to the percentage of people with the coronavirus who die, telling reporters, “The President was noting the fact that the vast majority of Americans who contract coronavirus will come out on the other side of this.”

The known mortality rate in the US was around 4% at the time Trump spoke. Even assuming that the true mortality rate is significantly lower, since experts believe many mild cases are going undetected, there is no basis for the claim that all but 1% of cases cause no “harm.”

“I’m trying to figure out where the President got that number,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Financial Times. “What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1%. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99% is not a problem, when that’s obviously not the case.”

A substantial percentage of people who survive the virus experience significant problems, from headaches to deep fatigue to lung damage; some require hospitalization. Even if they do feel better days or weeks later, that is still harm in the short term.

In addition, we don’t yet have research on the long-term effects of the virus in people who aren’t killed by it. Some survivors have experienced difficulties for months beyond the disappearance of their original symptoms.

Fauci told FT, “I have never seen a virus or any pathogen that has such a broad range of manifestations. Even if it doesn’t kill you, even if it doesn’t put you in the hospital, it can make you seriously ill.”

Knowledge of Covid-19 in late January

Aske why he decided in late January to impose his travel restrictions on China, Trump said, “Well, I was seeing information that China, Wuhan, in particular, was very heavily infected. And I just said, look, you know, why are we doing this? And let’s see. And nobody knew anything about it at that time. We didn’t know it affected the elderly much more so than children.” – June 17 interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: While it’s true that knowledge about Covid-19 was limited in January – indeed, the world is still learning about the new virus even in July – it’s not true that nobody knew “anything” about the virus or that nobody knew the elderly were disproportionately affected.

On January 23, eight days before Trump’s administration announced its travel restrictions, the South China Morning Post ran a headline that said, “Wuhan virus killing mostly the elderly, those with previous health problems.” Its sub-headlines were two bullet points: “Almost half the fatalities were 80 years or older, all of them from Hubei province. Chinese authorities say children have been infected but are not highly susceptible to the virus.”

Also before the administration announced its travel restrictions, The Washington Post reported: “Most people sickened and killed by the virus have been elderly, had preexisting health conditions, and lived in Hubei Provence – specifically its capital, Wuhan.” And The New York Times quoted Columbia University epidemiology professor Dr. Ian Lipkin as saying, “The majority of fatal cases are elderly and/or have a chronic disease that would increase their susceptibility to infectious diseases.”

These were preliminary assessments, but they were correct.

The state of the pandemic

Trump claimed in a July 2 speech that the coronavirus crisis in the US is “getting under control,” that the US is “getting rid of the flame; it’s happening” and that “we have some areas where we’re putting out the flames or the fires, and that’s working out well.”

Facts First: As government officials confirmed the week Trump spoke, the pandemic situation in the US was worsening, it was not a matter of isolated outbreaks and the problem was not being extinguished. The US had set a single-day record for confirmed coronavirus cases the day prior to Trump’s comments, hitting 50,000 for the first time, and then set another record the day Trump spoke. As of the day he spoke, 37 states were seeing increases in the rate of confirmed new cases. And it wasn’t just mild cases: Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress on Tuesday of that week that hospitalizations were rising in 12 states.

You can read a longer fact check here.

Governors’ needs

“The relationship with the governors is very good. We made a call – Mike Pence made a call just yesterday and said, ‘What do you need?’ Not one governor needed anything. They don’t need anything. They have all the medical equipment they can have. Thank you, US government.” – July 2 speech on the jobs report

Facts First: We don’t know what governors said to Vice President Mike Pence on this particular phone call, but it’s not true that governors (or states more broadly) do not have any more needs from the federal government.

We reached out to 48 governors’ offices asking if Trump’s claim was true.

Forty-three did not respond; the office of Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said the claim is accurate with regard to Noem; the office of Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said, “Officials are accessible at every turn, and we have received countless supplies from our federal partners as we battle Covid-19.”

But three Democratic governors, representing Washington state, Colorado and Michigan, told us they are seeking more from the federal government. Days later, the Democratic governor of Illinois told Congress he wants more as well.

The office of Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said they have an outstanding request to the Trump administration “to use full authority under the Defense Production Act to compel production here in the United States of the supplies our frontline workers and other employees need to stay safe on the job.”

“We are hearing from businesses and workers across Washington that they’re struggling to access (personal protective equipment) on the private market, are subject to price gouging, and being forced to use extreme conservation measures to stretch limited supplies over longer periods of time,” communications director Tara Lee said in an email.

Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis wants additional federal help obtaining personal protective equipment and testing supplies, and help with preparation for flu season, said press secretary Conor Cahill. Cahill noted that Polis sent a June letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requesting assistance with flu season.

“Flu season is going to tax our PPE supplies as those giving vaccinations are going to need medical grade masks, perhaps shields and gloves to ensure they are protected from COVID-19. While we have much better access to PPE than we did before, we are going to need help obtaining more,” Polis wrote in the letter.

“Additionally, we know we will have much better results if we can deploy health workers across the state as well as launch a strong mobilization and outreach campaign.”

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also wants more from the federal government, said press secretary Tiffany Brown.

“The federal government must continue to help with the production and distribution of testing supplies and financial support,” Brown said. “It’s also crucial for Congress to pass additional financial support for states like Michigan, so we can maintain essential services that our families and small businesses rely on every day as we recover from this crisis.”

Protests and policing

Racial justice protesters

“Because you know what, the country has to get back to work. They’ve been protesting now – and these protests are all paid for – do you see the signs? They’re all made, many of them, most of them made in a printing shop. Real protesters don’t go to printing shops.” – June 20 interview with Fox News’ John Roberts

Facts First: This is conspiratorial nonsense. There were nationwide street protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in May; it is clearly not true that all of the tens of thousands of participants were paid (or that all of the protests themselves were “paid for”). And although it is also not true that a genuine protester would never get a sign printed at a shop, we should note that many of the protesters carried handmade signs.

A protester in Buffalo

“Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?” – June 9 tweet

Facts First: Trump’s allegations were baseless. There was no evidence that Gugino, a longtime peaceful protester on issues like police brutality, nuclear weapons and climate change, according to The New York Times, was affiliated with antifa, a loose collection of self-described anti-fascists, or was somehow trying to “black out” police communications equipment. There was also no basis for Trump’s suggestion that Gugino embellished his fall after he was told CNN more than a week and a half after the incident that he had fractured his skull and was unable to walk at the time.

The two officers involved in the incident have been charged with assault. They have pleaded not guilty.

The history of St. John’s Episcopal Church

Trump said of St. John’s Episcopal Church, outside of which he had a controversial photo op on June 1: “John Adams was the first parishioner. Was he the fifth or sixth? Whatever. You’ll figure it out. First supporter. First parishioner.” – June 17 interview with the Wall Street Journal

Facts First: James Madison, not John Adams, was the first president to attend the church, which is a short walk from the White House. (And Adams was the second president of the United States.)

Minnesota and the National Guard

On six separate occasions, Trump said or strongly suggested he was responsible for Minnesota’s use of the Minnesota National Guard to deal with the violence that occurred during the protests (many of which were peaceful) after the May killing of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police. For example, Trump said in a June 17 interview, “I brought it out five days after they started. They wouldn’t use the National Guard. I brought the National Guard to – I told them, I said, you got to get the National Guard. We got them in.”

Facts First: Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, not Trump, was the one who deployed the Minnesota National Guard; Walz first activated the Guard on May 28, more than seven hours before Trump publicly threatened to deploy the Guard himself. Walz’s office says the governor activated the Guard in response to requests from officials in Minneapolis and St. Paul – who happen to be Democrats as well. And it’s not true that there were “five days” of unrest before Walz called out the Guard; violent protests began two days prior to Walz’s decision.

It is theoretically possible that pressure from Trump contributed to a Walz decision to activate the entire Minnesota National Guard on May 30, two days after his initial activation of a smaller number of Guard troops. But no evidence has emerged to prove that was the case, and Walz’s office says Trump had nothing to do with either of the governor’s decisions.

You can read a longer fact check here.

Monuments, Trump and the law

“Since imposing a very powerful 10-year prison sentence on those that Vandalize Monuments, Statues etc., with many people being arrested all over our Country, the Vandalism has completely stopped. Thank you!” – June 28 tweet

“And now we’ve enacted an act, a very specific statue and monument act that puts people in jail for 10 years if they do anything to even try to deface one of our monuments or statues.” – June 23 remarks at border security roundtable in Yuma, Arizona

“And I want to also thank all of law enforcement. The job you’ve done is incredible. We signed a bill. If you play with our monuments or our statues, you go to jail for 10 years. It’s amazing how it all stops so fast.” – July 2 speech at Spirit of America Showcase

“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent. …” – June 23 tweet

Facts First: Trump did not enact an act, sign a bill or “impose” any new penalties for damaging monuments. He issued an executive order that directed the attorney general to “prioritize” investigations and prosecutions of monument-destruction cases, and declared that it is US policy to prosecute such cases to the fullest extent permitted under federal law – but that order was not a law itself and did not create any punishment.

Rather, the order simply laid out penalties that exist under current laws, including one that allows for a maximum of 10 years in prison for damaging or attempting to damage monuments commemorating “the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States.”

Penalties for defacing monuments

“Under the executive order I signed last week – pertaining to the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act and other laws – people who damage or deface federal statues or monuments will get a minimum of 10 years in prison.” – July 3 speech at Mount Rushmore

Facts First: Trump was exaggerating. Ten years is a maximum term of imprisonment, not a minimum term, under the law he mentioned, the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003.

The law says that damaging or attempting to damage a statue or monument that commemorates “the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States” is subject to a fine, imprisonment of “not more than 10 years” or both.

The June executive order Trump mentioned in these remarks also makes clear that 10 years is a maximum, not minimum.

A police reform bill

Speaking about police reform efforts, Trump suggested a bill had already passed: “And whether it’s the cams, you know, the dash cam and the body cam, which is a camera, basically, very sophisticated camera, and other things, we have a lot of that in the bill. And it passed. And it – and it’s going to – a lot of things are happening right now. But I signed an executive order.” – June 17 interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: There was funding for body cameras in a police reform bill proposed by Republicans, but that bill had not passed – and it was blocked by Democrats a week later on the grounds that its proposed reforms were too weak.


Manufacturing data

“The latest ISM Manufacturing Report rose 10 percentage points, with new orders jumping a remarkable 25 percentage points – all a record.” – July 2 speech on the jobs report

Facts First: Trump was right that one of the numbers he cited was a record, but the other number was not.

The 24.6-point increase in the Institute for Supply Management New Orders Index between May and June was indeed the largest one-month spike since record-keeping began in 1948. But the 9.5-point increase in the ISM’s PMI index was the largest since a 10.5-point increase in 1980, not an all-time high.

Consumer confidence

Trump said: “We have – consumer confidence has risen 12 points since April, an all-time high. Think of that.” – July 2 speech on the jobs report

Facts First: The 12.2-point increase in consumer confidence from May to June was not an all-time high; nor was the 12.4-point increase from April to June. The actual level of consumer confidence in June was also not an all-time high.

Starting in 1978, when the business organization The Conference Board began conducting its consumer confidence survey on a monthly basis, the all-time record one-month increase is a 21.7-point jump from February 1991 to March 1991, said Lynn Franco, the organization’s senior director for economic indicators and surveys. “The last time we had an increase greater than 12.2 was in November 2011, with an increase of 14.3,” Franco said.

Consumer confidence stood at 98.1 in June. The record is 144.7, in May 2000. The confidence figure was higher than 100 for the entire Trump presidency until the pandemic crash of this year; it stood at 132.6 in February.

Trump could have accurately boasted that the increase from May to June was one of the nine largest one-month spikes since 1978, according to Franco. Instead, he made an objectively false claim.

African American employment

“African American workers – really happily for me – made historic gains, with 404,000 jobs added last month alone, and that’s a record.” – July 2 speech on the jobs report

“African American workers made historic gains, the likes of which we’ve never had before, with 404,000 new jobs in June. That’s a record, and that’s the highest number ever.” – July 2 speech at Spirit of America Showcase

Facts First: The 404,000-job gain for African Americans in June was not a record. The actual record was a 450,000-job gain in February 2018.

Amid Trump’s triumphant rhetoric about the June jobs report, it’s also worth noting that the African American unemployment rate was 15.4% in June – an improvement from 16.8% in May but still more than 5 percentage points higher than the 10.1% rate in June for White Americans and also worse than the African American rate for any point between late 2011 and the 2020 pandemic.

Hispanic employment

“Likewise, Hispanic employment is up by 1.5 million jobs, a record by a lot.” – July 2 speech on the jobs report

Facts First: The June increase in Hispanic employment – 1.47 million jobs – was not a record increase at all, let alone a record “by a lot.” Hispanics recorded a slightly bigger gain, of 1.526 million jobs, in January 2000.

Amid Trump’s triumphant rhetoric, it’s also worth noting that the Hispanic unemployment rate was 14.5% in June – down 17.6% from May but still more than 4 percentage points higher than the 10.1% rate for White Americans and worse than the Hispanic rate for any point between 1983 and the 2020 pandemic.

Obama and the Maine lobster industry

“Pres. Obama destroyed the lobster and fishing industry in Maine. Now it’s back, bigger and better than anyone ever thought possible.” – June 24 tweet

Facts First: Obama didn’t destroy Maine’s lobster-dominated fishing industry, as multiple news and fact-checking outlets have pointed out. Obama’s last full year in office, 2016, was a record year for Maine’s lobster haul; the value and size of Maine’s lobster catch and total industry catch in the last year of the Obama presidency was bigger than its value and size during the first three years of the Trump presidency.

In 2016, Maine’s lobster catch totaled more than 132 million pounds and had a value of more than $540 million. Neither of those totals was equaled in Trump’s first three years in office, according to official state data. (We’re not saying Obama was responsible for the big haul or that Trump was responsible for making the haul smaller, but it’s clearly not true that Trump revived something that had been “destroyed.”)

Trump may have been referring to Obama’s creation in 2016 of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, an offshore conservation area of about 5,000 square miles; in June, Trump signed an order to lift Obama’s limits on commercial fishing in the zone.

But the creation of the monument didn’t destroy the Maine lobster industry – and it didn’t even immediately impose any restrictions on the industry. That’s because Obama allowed lobstering and crabbing to continue in the monument until September 2023.

The history of tariffs on China

“But last year was a bad year for China, one of the very bad years that they’ve had. And that’s largely because I put tariffs on. Nobody ever put tariffs on them. Nobody ever did anything to China. China walked away from Obama-Biden. No tariffs, no downside, no nothing.” – June 17 interview with the Wall Street Journal

Facts First: The US had tariffs on imports from China long before Trump took office. And the Obama-Biden administration imposed special tariffs on China.

For more than two centuries, imports from China were subjected to the general tariffs the US applied to imports from other countries. Specifically, the US has had tariffs on imports from China since the country created its first general tariff law in 1789. The US continued to have tariffs on imports from China after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001; has reported that US tariffs on China produced an average of $12.3 billion per year from 2007 to 2016, before Trump took office.

“Before the trade war started, the average US tariff on imports from China was about 3%. China was treated as a ‘normal’ WTO member and received what is known as America’s most-favored nation tariff, which averages around 3%,” Chad P. Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told CNN.

(Bown wrote in a 2019 paper that US tariffs on China averaged between 5% and 7% in the late 1980s, depending on how you calculated the average.)

In addition to the general tariffs, Obama imposed special tariffs on car and light-truck tires and solar panels from China.

While Trump has relied on Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to hit China with special tariffs, Bown said, previous administrations, including Obama’s and George W. Bush’s, have hewed closer to WTO rules by imposing special tariffs on China “through policies like antidumping and countervailing (anti-subsidy) duties. By the end of the Obama administration, more than 7 percent of US imports from China were subject to those kinds of special tariffs.”


Trump and DACA recipients

“I have wanted to take care of DACA recipients better than the Do Nothing Democrats, but for two years they refused to negotiate - They have abandoned DACA.” – June 19 tweet

“We’ll work it out with DACA. I think good things are happening with DACA. They resubmit, but we’ll work it out. And the Democrats have been playing with DACA for years, and they haven’t done anything. I’ll get it done. I’ll get it done.” – June 23 exchange with reporters after border wall commemoration in Arizona

Facts First: It is nonsensical to claim that Trump has been trying to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients better than Democrats. Trump has repeatedly tried to end the DACA program, an initiative of Democratic President Barack Obama, despite vocal Democratic objections. And Trump has rejected various Democratic proposals to save the program even though they have offered him concessions on his own priorities, like a wall on the US-Mexico border.

You can read a longer fact check here.

Democrats and the border wall

“But they don’t like bringing it up and it’s never mentioned anymore; the wall is never mentioned anymore. The reason it’s not mentioned: It’s not that we won the battle. It’s that it’s such a compelling thing to have done.” – June 23 remarks at border security roundtable in Yuma, Arizona

“You know, you don’t hear about the wall. They don’t want to talk about the wall anymore. Do you notice? Never has the Democrat Party fought so hard against something. And do you notice? They never talk about the wall. Because, in the end, they gave it up. They gave up. We won.” – June 23 speech to Turning Point Action event in Phoenix

Facts First: It’s possible that Democrats are talking about the border wall less than they did early in Trump’s term, but it’s not true that they “never” mention it or that they “gave up” fighting it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement denouncing the wall project later that same week, after a federal appeals court ruled Trump could not divert funds from the military to pay for the wall.

Meanwhile, Biden criticized the wall in late April and in a statement upon Trump’s visit to the wall in late June. And other Democrats continue to denounce the wall and try to thwart Trump’s plans in court.

DACA, citizenship and the Supreme Court

Referring to a Supreme Court decision that rejected Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation some undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, Trump said, “Based on the decision the Dems can’t make DACA citizens. They gained nothing!” – June 19 tweet

Facts First: The Supreme Court didn’t say anything about whether DACA recipients can eventually be made citizens – whether by Democrats, Republicans or a bipartisan effort.

“There is nothing in the Court’s opinion that prevents Congress from providing a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients. The case had nothing to do with citizenship and this issue was not addressed by the Court,” Angela Banks, a law professor at Arizona State University, said in an email.

You can read a longer fact check here.


The New York Times and its sources

“The Fake News @ nytimes must reveal its ‘anonymous’ source. Bet they can’t do it, this ‘person’ probably does not even exist!” – June 28 tweet

“The Russia Bounty story is just another made up by Fake News tale that is told only to damage me and the Republican Party. The secret source probably does not even exist, just like the story itself. If the discredited @nytimes has a source, reveal it. Just another HOAX!” – July 1 tweet

Facts First: There is simply no evidence the Times invented the existence of its sources.

Trump appeared to be referring to the Times’ report that “American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan.” Multiple other media outlets soon reported the same thing or similar.

Trump events and accomplishments

A West Point graduation

Trump said of the graduation ceremony he attended at the US Military Academy at West Point: “You know, they delayed it for six weeks because of Covid.” – June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Facts First: The ceremony was delayed three weeks, not six. It had been scheduled for May 23 and was eventually held on June 13.

Trump and the West Point ramp

“The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery. The last thing I was going to do is ‘fall’ for the Fake News to have fun with. Final ten feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!” – June 13 tweet

Facts First: It’s just not true that Trump ran for the “final 10 feet” of his descent down the ramp on June 13. Video shows that Trump walked slowly for almost all of the descent, then slightly picked up the pace for the final three steps or so. (Ran” is also a stretch, but we’ll let that slide.)

This all might appear trivial, but Trump’s halting descent fueled questions about his health – and it was yet another example of him trying to deceive Americans about facts they could see with their own eyes.

Trump’s rally venue in Tulsa

Trump said of his decision to resume campaign rallies: “The first one, we believe, will be probably – we’re just starting to call up – will be in Oklahoma – in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A beautiful, new venue – brand-new.” – June 10 remarks at White House roundtable

“They have a new – a pretty new, magnificent arena, as you probably have heard.” – June 15 exchange with reporters at roundtable on fighting for seniors

Facts First: As the Tulsa World newspaper noted, Trump’s Tulsa rally was scheduled for a 12-year-old arena, the BOK Center, not a “brand-new” venue.

Trump’s accomplishments

“Well, you know, they say – everybody says it – and nobody even disputes it: In the history of our country, nobody has done more than I have in the first three-and-a-half years.” – July 1 interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Eric Bolling

Facts First: This is an obvious exaggeration. Not “everybody” says that no president has accomplished more than Trump has; the claim is indeed disputed.

Environment and energy

Democrats and wind energy

“And they want to have no energy because they’re totally against anything petroleum. They’re probably against everything. They’re probably against wind, too. You know, it kills birds.” – June 25 interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: While prominent Democrats do want to transition from the use of fossil fuels, there is no basis for Trump’s suggestion that “they’re probably against wind, too.” Trump is the one who regularly talks about how wind energy harms birds. Election opponent Biden, conversely, is calling for an expansion of wind energy – proposing, among other clean-energy targets, to “develop renewables on federal lands and waters with the goal of doubling offshore wind by 2030.”


An assault on a Democratic lawmaker

Trump spoke about how Wisconsin state Sen. Tim Carpenter, a Democrat, had been assaulted during a protest in the state capital of Madison during which participants destroyed two statues, including one of an anti-slavery abolitionist who died fighting for the Union side in the Civil War.

Trump said: “And the person they beat up was a Democrat who happened to be gay. And he was probably out there rooting them on or something, because Democrats think it’s wonderful that they’re destroying our country.” – June 25 “town hall” event with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: Carpenter told CNN that Trump’s claim that he was rooting on the protesters is “an absolute lie” and “completely false.” Carpenter said he opposes removing statues without government authorization and never cheered on this group, which he described as a “mob.”

Carpenter said he had been heading to work at the state Capitol and had just stopped to see what was going on with the protest when he was assaulted after trying to use his phone’s camera to document the situation.

Carpenter also took issue with Trump mentioning his sexual orientation, saying it was entirely irrelevant to the situation.

A conversation involving Sen. Mark Warner

Trump mentioned to Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he had heard Democratic Sen. Mark Warner “talking to the comedian – the Russian comedian.” Hannity responded, “No, that’s Schiff – Adam Schiff.” Trump insisted, “That was both of them.” He continued by appearing to acknowledge Hannity’s point, saying, “One or two. They were scammed” – but he then proceeded to talk again about how Warner was scammed by a comedian: “Warner – Senator Warner, he gets scammed by a Russian who you – I mean, the guy was fantastic, this comedian.” – June 25 “town hall” event with Hannity

Facts First: Hannity was right, Trump was wrong: it was Rep. Adam Schiff, not Sen. Mark Warner, who took a call from Russian comedians. Warner, conversely, made an attempt, through text messages with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch, to get in touch with Christopher Steele, the British ex-spy who produced a controversial research dossier about the Trump campaign’s alleged relationships with Russia.

This was not the first time Trump has mixed up the Schiff and Warner situations.

ISIS under Obama

Trump boasted of how “we destroyed” the entire ISIS “caliphate,” then added, “And when I took over, that caliphate was goin’ like this,” gesturing to suggest the territory was getting bigger. – June 23 speech to Turning Point Action event in Phoenix

Facts First: While ISIS did create the so-called “caliphate” during the Obama administration, that ISIS territory was shrinking, not expanding, when Trump took office. IHS Markit, an information company that studied the changing size of the so-called caliphate, reported two days before Trump’s 2017 inauguration that the caliphate had shrunk by 23% in 2016 after shrinking by 14% in 2015.

“The Islamic State suffered unprecedented territorial losses in 2016, including key areas vital for the group’s governance project,” Columb Strack, senior analyst and head of the IHS Conflict Monitor, said in a statement at the time.

Roger Stone

The jury foreperson in the Roger Stone trial, part 1

Trump claimed the jury foreperson in Stone’s trial was biased: “And, by the way, she was a dominant person. The jurors said she was very dominating in the room. She dominated.” – June 25 “town hall” event with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: There is no evidence that the jury foreperson, Tomeka Hart, attempted to dominate the rest of the group. In fact, at a February hearing prompted by Stone’s request for a new trial, both a juror selected to testify by Stone’s defense team and a juror selected to testify by the prosecution said that Hart had not pressured them.

Asked directly if anyone attempted “to dominate or intimidate the others,” the juror selected by the prosecution said, “No.” The juror selected by the defense, meanwhile, testified that it had been Hart who had encouraged the jury to take a little more time to examine one of the charges against Stone even though most of them had made up their minds that he was guilty.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote in rejecting Stone’s request for a new trial: “The jurors’ accounts stand uncontested, and they were consistent with the record in the case, which includes two notes, signed by the foreperson, asking careful questions about the intricacies of the counts. So the portion of the motion for a new trial based on misconduct will be denied because there is no evidence of any misconduct.”

The jury foreperson in the Roger Stone trial, part 2

Claiming again that the jury foreperson in Stone’s trial was biased, Trump said, “You know, she acted like she was an innocent. She ran for Congress or something, and lost, but she was, like, pretending to be an innocent. How did she even get into the jury pool? She must have had a little contact.” – June 25 “town hall” event with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: There is no basis for Trump’s claim that jury foreperson Tomeka Hart, who ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2012, somehow tricked her way into the jury pool. Prior political involvement does not prohibit someone from serving on a jury.

Trump’s conversation with Ukraine’s President

“They took a – think of it: They impeached a duly elected President of the United States on a perfect conversation. Actually, there were two conversations. The first one was ‘Hello,’ ‘Goodbye.’ They don’t even talk about that. The second one was about the same thing.” – June 25 “town hall” event with Fox News’ Sean Hannity

Facts First: Trump was correct that he had a brief and relatively unremarkable first phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in April 2019. But he was incorrect that his second conversation with Zelensky, in July 2019, was anything close to “the same thing” as the first conversation.

In that second call in July, which became a focus of his impeachment, Trump sought to get Zelensky to investigate rival Joe Biden and a debunked conspiracy theory about Democratic computer servers. He also told Zelensky that his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and the attorney general, William Barr, would get in touch with him.

Repeat false claims

Below is a list of the false claims Trump repeated from previous periods. Since we’ve fact-checked them all of them in previous articles, we’ve shortened the fact checks here.

The coronavirus pandemic

Travel restrictions on China

Trump claimed nine times that he had stopped people from China from coming into the US, “closed our country to China” or “banned people coming in from China.”

Facts First: Trump imposed travel restrictions on people who had recently been in China, but they were not a complete ban; they contained exemptions for citizens, permanent residents, many of their family members and others.

Democrats, mail-in voting and the pandemic

“The Democrats are also trying to rig the election by sending out tens of millions of mail-in ballots, using the China virus as the excuse for allowing people not to go to the polls.” – June 23 speech to Turning Point Action event in Phoenix

Facts First: There is no basis for the claim that Democrats are trying to rig the election. Both Democratic-led and Republican-led states have made efforts to expand voting by mail because of concerns about in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic, and several of Trump’s Republican allies in the Senate have endorsed these expansion efforts.

Ventilators and the stockpile

Trump claimed three times that the government didn’t have ventilators before the pandemic.

Facts First: A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN in late June that there had been about 19,000 ventilators in the national stockpile for “many years,” including 16,660 ventilators that were ready for immediate use in March 2020; the spokesperson confirmed that none of those 16,660 were purchased by the Trump administration.

You can read a longer fact check here.

Trump’s popularity and accomplishments

Trump claimed twice that he has a 96% approval rating with Republicans and once that it is a 95% approval rating.

Facts First: We could not find any recent poll in which Trump had a 95% or 96% approval rating with Republicans, though he was frequently in the high 80s or low 90s (and got as high as 94% in one poll from the period). Trump has regularly exaggerated his Republican approval rating even though the actual number has usually been high.

We also know now that the 95% and 96% numbers are not coming from the Trump campaign’s internal polls. Campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio told The Washington Post for a June 28 article: “Over the past four months, the president’s support among Republican voters has ranged between 90 and 94 percent consistently. As of our most recent polling, it stands at 94 percent.”

Attendance at Trump rallies

“We’ve had a tremendous run at rallies. I don’t think there’s been an empty seat in – since we came down in the escalator with the first lady,” trump said, referring to his June 2015 presidential announcement speech. – June 10 remarks at White House roundtable