State Of Union – Fact Checks

Share This:

From NYT’s Fact Checks:

The Economy (score: 2 true, 2 false, 1 misleading)

  • “The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”
    False
  • “We recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods — and now our Treasury is receiving billions and billions of dollars.”
    True but:  Technically, that money is paid by Americans who bring the goods across the border, and it is often passed on to American consumers in the form of higher prices.
  • “My administration has cut more regulations in a short period of time than any other administration during its entire tenure.”
    False.
  • Wages were “growing for blue-collar workers, who I promised to fight for. They are growing faster than anyone thought possible.”
    True.
  • “More people are working now than at any time in our history.”
    Misleading:  it is not because of the president’s policies. It is because more people than ever live in the United States.

Immigration (score: 0 true, 1 false, 1 misleading, 2 exaggerted)

  • “The border city of El Paso, Tex., used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the entire country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country.”
    False: El Paso was never one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, and crime has been declining in cities across the country — not just El Paso
  • “San Diego used to have the most illegal border crossings in our country. In response, a strong security wall was put in place. This powerful barrier almost completely ended illegal crossings.”
    Misleading: Border apprehensions decreased by 91 percent in the San Diego sector between the 1994 fiscal year, right after the original border fencing was completed, to the 2018 fiscal year. But, according to the Congressional Research Service, that fence alone “did not have a discernible impact” on the number of immigrants crossing the border into the United States illegally.
  • “As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States.”
    Exaggerated:  …many in the caravan have said they plan to remain in Mexico, thanks in part to policies put in place by the new Mexican government.
  • “I hope you can pass the U.S.M.C.A. into law, so we can bring back our manufacturing jobs in even greater numbers, expanding American agriculture, protecting intellectual property, and ensuring that more cars are proudly stamped with the four beautiful words: Made in the U.S.A.”
    Exaggerated.

Foreign policy (score: 1 true, 1 misleading, 1 no supporting evidence )

  • “We condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.”
    Misleading: …analysts say that corruption, the lack of rule of law and the absence of democracy — all the hallmarks of a dictatorship — have played just as big or larger roles.
  • “If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea.”
    No evidence to support this.

Abortion (score: 0 true, 1 false, 1 misleading)

  • “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth.”
    Misleading. The new law ensures a woman’s right to an abortion in New York if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned. It does not broadly allow abortions until shortly before birth, as Mr. Trump suggested. Instead, it will allow for an abortion after 24 weeks to protect the mother’s health or if the fetus is not viable. Under the prior law, abortions were allowed after 24 weeks only if the woman’s life was in jeopardy.
  • “We had the case of the governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.”
    False: In an interview last month, Gov. Ralph Northam said that he supported a late-term abortion bill that would loosen restrictions on the procedure, and allow women to consult with a doctor on an abortion up to, but not including, the time of birth.The governor, a pediatric neurologist, also talked about some of the dangerous medical emergencies that pregnant women could face, such as carrying a nonviable fetus. He said that in such a case, the mother would deliver the infant and then, “the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” While Mr. Northam was talking about an end-of-life care discussion in the case of a child that would not live, Republicans seized on his remarks as evidence that Mr. Northam supported killing babies after their birth.

(Total score: 3 true, 4 false 4 misleading, 2 exaggerated, 1 no supporting evidence)

Curious about the accuracy of a claim? Email factcheck@nytimes.com