CNN’s lead fact-checker Daniel Dale slammed President Donald Trump’s Thursday night Republican National Convention speech, calling out the president as a “serial liar” and breaking down at least 21 “false or misleading claims” in a mind-boggling three-minute recitation.
Dale, in discussion after the speech with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, said Trump “serially lied tonight.”
“I counted, preliminarily, more than 20 false or misleading claims,” he began, before rattling off presidential lies one by one.
Here’s Dale’s fact-check of Trump’s claims:
Trump said Joe Biden is, quote, talking about taking down the border wall. Biden has specifically explicitly rejected that idea. He just said he’ll stop further additional construction.
Trump claimed, as always, that he is the one who passed the Veterans Choice law. Barack Obama signed that into law in 2014. Trump signed a 2018 law to modify it.
Trump said, “I have done more for the African American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln.” That is ludicrous. Lyndon Johnson, for one, signed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.
Trump again touted a, quote, record 9 million job gain over the past three months. He didn’t mention, as usual, that that gain follows a record 22 million job loss over the previous two months.
He said he’ll, quote, continue to lower drug prices. They’ve increased during his presidency.
He said they opened a Jerusalem embassy for less than $500,000. Early documents show it was at least $21 million.
He claimed NATO member spending has increased for the first time in about 20 years. Spending, in fact, rose in 2015 and in 2016, before he took office.
He said he will always and Republicans will always strongly protect people with preexisting conditions. That pledge has already been broken. He and they have repeatedly tried to weaken those protections in Obamacare.
He claimed, again, that he banned travel from China and Europe. No, he imposed partial restrictions with many exemptions, tens of thousands of people continued traveling over.
He boasted about the COVID testing system and about his general response. Look, experts universally say the U.S. was fatally slow and its response especially slow in setting up adequate testing.
He said that he ended when he called the NAFTA nightmare and he signed a brand new U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, the USMCA. That agreement preserves, maintains most of NAFTA.
He boasted about building about 300 miles of border wall. What he didn’t say is that most of that is replacement barrier. As of Aug. 7, according to official data, just five miles have been built where none existed before.
He suggested that Joe Biden would confiscate guns. That’s baseless. Biden is running on a non-mandatory buyback of so-called assault weapons.
He said Democrats want to defund the police. Biden, again, doesn’t, has rejected that.
He said he has, quote, very good information that China wants Biden to win because Biden’s soft on China or cheerleads for China. The U.S. intelligence community says China wants Biden to win because it sees Trump as unpredictable.
He said Biden vowed to close down charter schools. Biden’s plan is skeptical on charters, but would not abolish them entirely.
He denounced Biden for voting for the Iraq war. Biden did indeed vote for the Iraq war, but what Trump doesn’t mention is that he also supported that invasion.
He said Democrats twice removed the word God from the Pledge of Allegiance at their convention. Two individual caucus meetings outside the main prime time programming did leave it out, but it was uttered in every prime time event.
Trump denounced so-called cancel culture as like an insidious left-wing thing. He, Donald J. Trump, has tried to get dozens of people and entities canceled, fired, boycotted, including literally last week: Goodyear.
He said he imposed an order to give 10 years in prison to rioters. That’s a maximum discretionary sentence up to judges in existing laws. His order just asked the government to fully enforce it.
And he said that Biden’s plan would eliminate America’s borders. No, just no. It’s wrong.
Cooper, around the 2:45 mark, takes a sip of his coffee, adding a bit of levity to the volume of falsehoods Dale was pointing out.
“Oh, that’s it?” Cooper quipped after Dale finished.
“There’s more. How much time do you got, Anderson?” asked Dale.
Trump spoke for more than an hour in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 people on the White House lawn, raising concern about the lack of social distancing and mask-wearing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
You can read Trump’s entire speech here.