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Trump’s Inaccurate Claims About Highways, Immigration and Beyoncé From a Pennsylvania Rally

Trump’s Inaccurate Claims About Highways, Immigration and Beyoncé From a Pennsylvania Rally

what was said“Highways would take 21 years to get approved. We have it down to two years, and it’s going to be one year very shortly.” — President Trump, at a campaign rally on Thursday night in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. the factsThis is exaggerated.Mr. Trump has doubled a previously exaggerated claim about the permitting process for…


what was said

“Highways would take 21 years to get approved. We have it down to two years, and it’s going to be one year very shortly.”

President Trump, at acampaign rally on Thursday nightin Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

the facts

This is exaggerated.

Mr. Trump has doubled a previously exaggerated claim about the permitting process for roads and infrastructure taking a decade. Average wait times for a permit ranged from three to six years from the fiscal years 1999 to 2016, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

In the 2017 fiscal year, the average wait time was three years and 10 months, almost double Mr. Trump’s claim of a two-year period. (Data for the 2018 fiscal year, which ends in September, is not yet available.)

what was said

“Our first lottery winner — let’s see, he has seven convictions for theft. He’s killed nine people. And we’re getting him the hell out of our country and giving them to the stupid politicians that have been running the United States for many years.’”

the facts

False.

Mr. Trump has previously said that other countries were not “giving us their best” through the diversity visa lottery program. He has now escalated that unsubstantiated — and vague — claim into a false one by suggesting that foreign governments are sending murderers through the program.

sponsored what became the diversity visa lottery in 1990, but family-based immigration has been a facet of American immigration policy long before Mr. Schumer’s political career began.

Family relationships have been a basis for admitting new immigrants since the 1920s, according to the Congressional Research Service, and the United States began promoting family reunification in 1952, which established a hierarchy that prioritized family members like spouses and children over siblings.

what was said

Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen “were drawing crowds smaller than my crowds.”

the facts

False.

This is not the first time that Mr. Trump has compared crowd size to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s, though it appears to be the first time he has brought the Boss into the mix.

Mr. Trump has claimed 20,000 to 49,000 people attended his biggest rallies during the 2016 presidential campaign. Even taking Mr. Trump at his word, those figures pale in comparison to audiences that have assembled to hear Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Mr. Springsteen perform.

an average of 80,000 people to each show. This June, Beyoncé and Jay-Z performed for a crowd of over 57,000 in Berlin. (In addition, it should be noted that fans purchase tickets to hear the musicians in question, while Mr. Trump’s rallies are free.)

Other claims

Mr. Trump also repeated several other claims The Times has previously debunked:

  • He falsely claimed the United States Steel Corporation “is opening up seven plants.” (It has not announced a single new plant.)

  • He falsely claimed “Russia is very unhappy that Trump won.” (Intelligence agencies have said — and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has confirmed — that he preferred Mr. Trump to Hillary Clinton.)

  • He mischaracterized NATO members as “delinquent” on payments to the alliance. (He is referring to a pledge each member set for spending on its own military.)

  • He falsely claimed “NATO funding was going down” before he raised the issue. (Military spending from members has been increasing since 2015.)

  • He claimed, with no evidence, that the man charged in the Manhattan truck attack in October brought in “22 relatives.” (This is not possible.)

  • He hyperbolically said immigrants arrested on suspicion of crossing the border illegally “never come back” for court dates. (Most do.)

  • He exaggerated the number of jobs the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines would bring, estimating 48,000 jobs. (A vast majority are temporary.)

  • He misleadingly claimed that “nobody would have believed” how many jobs have been added since his election. (The number added in a comparable period before his election was larger.)

  • He falsely claimed to have signed the “biggest tax cuts in the history of our country.” (Several were larger,)

  • He misleadingly claimed to have “saved our family farms from the estate tax.” (About 80 family farms and small businesses were affected.)

  • He took credit for passing the Veterans Choice Act, which he said other presidents had been trying to pass for 40 years. (It passed in 2014, though he did sign new overhauls,)

Source: Federal Highway Administration, Congressional Research Service, Billboard, The New York Times

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