FactCheck Trump’s longest rally to date: Elections and Issues
Trump's longest rally to date was on Dec. 12, just as the House was getting ready to impeach him, and the WashPost has done a detailed fact check of it. So, what kind of BS is Trump feeding his rally attendees?
According to the WashPost, " From a grand total of 179 factual statements we identified, 67 percent were false, mostly false[,] or unsupported by evidence.
(Note: This line-by-line fact check is rather long, so I'm dividing it up into several separate posts and including only the most interesting items in each category. The entire long article can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/01/07/anatomy-trump-rally-percent-claims-are-false-or-lacking-evidence/ )
ELECTIONS AND ISSUES
#1--“We have tremendous support in the Republican Party like we’ve never had before — nobody’s ever had this kind of support.”
False. A Gallup poll from June 2018 found that 90 percent of Republicans approved of Trump’s performance. But that doesn’t make him the most popular Republican president in history. [See George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Dwight Eisenhower.]
#2-- "I’m sorry we couldn’t get your seats; we didn’t have any room. And by the way, 20,000 people outside had to leave.”
False. Trump often inflates the crowd sizes at his rallies. Local officials at this event in Battle Creek, Mich., said 5,400 people were let into the venue and 2,000 — not 20,000 — were outside.
#3--“I watch these guys come in like Biden, he has a — he has a big rally and they get 93 people show up. No, it’s true.”
#4--“And did you see the new polls from USA Today? Came out, I’m killing everybody, and they hate me. ... USA Today hates me. But there’s a poll, we’re beating everybody.”
Mostly false. A poll from USA Today and Suffolk University released Dec. 17 showed Trump beating every major Democrat by between three and 10 points. But these were not head-to-head matchups. In each case, a generic third-party candidate garnered support in the double digits. Other reputable polls that do not include a third-party option show that several leading Democrats would defeat Trump.
#5--“We set records at every arena and they never even mention the crowds. They never mentioned the crowds, it’s sort of amazing. You know what? I don’t think we’ve ever had an empty seat from the time I came down the escalator — that’s a long time ago. I don’t think we’ve ever had an empty seat. Now, what the crooked media does, though, if you got like over here — look how packed it is and it’s thousands outside ... but here’s the thing, if this man and that beautiful woman happened to get up because they want to go to the bathroom, those cameras will turn to those two seats and they’ll say, ‘Trump wasn’t able to fill up the arena.’ ... Nobody ever leaves our speeches because is there a better place to be in the world than a Trump rally? Never. Nobody.”
False. This claim is as ridiculous as it is old. People leave Trump rallies. It happens. The evidence abounds. They’re human and these events are long. They start late. The story about cameras filming the empty seats of attendees who went to the restroom is bunk. Trump often complains that news reports don’t mention his crowd sizes, but they do. Often it’s necessary to do so because Trump is way off the mark and requires a fact check.
#6--“Grand Rapids. We have 32,000 people that night, it was one o’clock in the morning. That means it was Election Day  when I started speaking. Hillary, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and Bill Clinton, they did an emergency trip, they did an emergency trip to Michigan at six o’clock. They got here at prime time, they started to speak. She had 500 people.”
False. The Michigan venue where Trump rallied in the early morning hours of Election Day 2016 has a capacity of 4,200, far less than the 32,000 claimed by Trump. Hillary Clinton held a rally the same day at nearby Grand Valley State University; it was described as a “capacity crowd” at a venue that holds 4,100 people. Neither Barack nor Michelle Obama attended this Clinton rally, so this claim from Trump is false in every way.
#7--“The problem is the newspaper polls are more fake than the news they write. They write fake polls. It’s true. They write fake polls. You call them suppression polls, you read them and you get depressed because it looks like you’re doing badly. They do that.”
False. News and polling organizations do not publish “suppression polls,” which in Trump’s parlance are polls that relay false information to demoralize and dissuade people from voting.
#8--"The word is that we’re much higher right now in the polls than we were ever in 2016 in Michigan.”
False. Most polls show Trump losing Michigan in head-to-head match ups with several leading Democratic contenders.
#9--“They said, there’s nobody in the world that could have handled that stuff that happened and still created one of the greatest economies and done more than any other president ever before in the first three years.”
Mostly false. Trump has signed few major pieces of legislation compared with other presidents finishing their third year in office. Certainly, the whirlwind of accomplishments under presidents such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Reagan and Obama exceeded Trump’s efforts.
#10--“The Democrats ... they’ve got horrible policies: open borders, crime is fine, drugs pouring through.”
False. Many Democrats support tougher border controls but have not come to an agreement with Republicans on comprehensive immigration reform. Almost all research shows that immigrants commit crime at lower rates than the native-born population. Government data shows that most drugs are smuggled through legal checkpoints.
#11--“Every Democrat running for president wants to open the floodgates to unlimited refugees from all around the world, overwhelming your communities and putting our national security at grave risk.”
False. Refugees do not overwhelm communities because U.S. officials usually find placement for them in different parts of the country. There’s no evidence refugees, in many cases women and children, endanger national security. Trump often makes false claims associating immigrants with crime despite a lack of evidence. No leading Democrat running for president has voiced support for unlimited refugee admissions. . . .
#12--"Far-left politicians support deadly sanctuary cities, which deliberately release dangerous violent criminal aliens out of the jails and directly onto your streets.”
Mostly false. “Sanctuary cities” generally comply with ICE detainer requests when the crimes are serious. State and local officials also prosecute violent crimes in their jurisdictions, jailing any offenders to preserve public safety. . . . Although research is limited, it shows little difference in crime rates between cities that comply with ICE detainer requests and those that don’t.
#13--“You catch him and then you release him into a country. That’s what you had to do by law and if you don’t do that, they arrest the Border Patrol people. Do you believe this? The Border Patrol people were in more danger than the criminal aliens coming in.”
False. There’s no record of Border Patrol agents being arrested for failing to release immigrants into the country. Federal court rulings require that undocumented immigrant children be released from custody after a certain number of days, but many adults who cross the border without authorization are quickly returned to their home countries without an immigration hearing. Those with criminal records are not eligible for catch and release.
#14--“I ended the Iran nuclear deal.”
Mostly false. Trump in 2018 withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) based on specious reasons, but the other signatory nations remained in the deal. Experts say the JCPOA may now be on its last legs. Iran announced it would no longer abide by key restrictions after a top military commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, was killed last week in a U.S. drone strike.
#15--“I went to NATO, where we were being ripped off because the other countries, you have 29 countries, and the other countries weren’t paying their bills. They were delinquent.”
False. NATO members were never “delinquent” in their payments. That’s not how NATO works. Before Trump announced his candidacy for president, NATO member nations agreed to ramp up their own defense spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024.
I'm amazed at the number of outrageous Trump claims, and these are only a select few. See the source link for more examples!