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Fact-checking Trump's Nashville speech

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Trump holds a rally in Nashville
President Trump at the rally in Nashville, Tennessee.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The good news about President Donald Trump’s speech in Nashville last night was that he didn’t mention Roseanne Barr, which could have made that controversy much, much worse. The bad news? Try all of the false, misleading and dishonest claims he made.

“[There’s] never been an administration — and even some of our enemies are admitting it — that has done what we've done in the first year and a half. Think of it”

The tax law has been Trump’s only major legislative achievement, and he ranks behind other past presidents in bills signed into law.

“We've created 3.3 million new jobs since Election Day. If we would have said that before the election — I’m going to create 3.3 million new jobs — would never have [survived the] onslaught from fake news. Wouldn't have accepted it, said no way you can do that”

While there have indeed been 3.3 million jobs created in the 18 months since Election Day 2016 (Nov. 2016-April 2018), there were 3.9 million jobs created in the 18 months before Election Day (May 2015-Oct. 2016) — when Trump was criticizing the state of the U.S. economy.

“Wages for the first time in many years are finally going up”

That is false; wages also increased during the final years of Obama’s presidency, per PolitiFact.

“[Nancy Pelosi] loves MS-13”

Pelosi was objecting to Trump calling undocumented immigrants “animals”; the White House says he was referring to MS-13 in his “animals” remarks. Pelosi never said she loved MS-13.

“So how do you like the fact they had people infiltrating our campaign? Can you imagine? Can you imagine?”

On Fox News last night, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said the FBI’s use of an informant for the 2016 Trump campaign was appropriate (see below for more).

“Mexico, I don't want to cause a problem. But in the end, Mexico's going to pay for the wall”

Mexico once again said it wasn’t paying for Trump’s wall. Here’s Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto: “President @realDonaldTrump: NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).”

“We passed largest tax cuts and reform in American history”

By either inflation-adjusted dollars or as a percentage of GDP, the tax legislation Trump signed into law last year ranks well below other tax laws, including those under Reagan or even Obama.

For an even more thorough account on Trump’s claims from last night, check out the feed from the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale.

Gowdy: FBI’s use of an informant for the 2016 Trump campaign was appropriate

“Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said on Tuesday that the FBI’s use of an informant for the Trump campaign in 2016 was appropriate, joining top Democrats in disputing Trump’s characterization of the informant as a spy,” the Daily Beast writes.

“‘I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,’ Gowdy said during an interview on Fox News.”

Remember that Gowdy — along with House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes — received the classified briefing on the FBI informant.

Greitens’ resignation definitely helps the GOP in Missouri, but did it come four months too late?

It was back on January 11 when the sex/blackmail allegations first surfaced against Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. And it was a month later, on February 22, when Greitens was indicted on a felony charge of invasion of privacy.

But it wasn’t until yesterday afternoon when Greitens finally resigned from office.

NBC News: “Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, once a rising star in the Republican Party, said Tuesday he is resigning after facing impeachment by state's GOP legislature following a sexual misconduct scandal and a felony charge involving possible campaign finance violations. ‘The last few months have been incredibly difficult for me, for my family, for my team, for my friends and for the many, many people that I love,’ Greitens said at a press conference as he continued to maintain he had committed no crimes. ‘This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family. ... I cannot allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love.’”

Republicans can now breathe a sigh of release that Greitens is out of office, especially after Democrats have linked the former governor to the GOP’s likely Senate nominee, Josh Hawley, in the state’s super-competitive race against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. “A governor under fire, a capital awash under corruption. In the middle? Attorney General Josh Hawley,” declares a recent TV ad by Senate Majority PAC. “After taking $50,000 from Greitens, Hawley took a hands-off approach and dragged his feet on investigating the governor for 12 months.”

So it wasn’t a Primary Tuesday yesterday, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had a pretty good day — with Greitens gone before the summer begins.

The only question is if the resignation came four months too late.

In the Trump Era, the only person who’s escaped punishment over controversy has been the president himself

By the way, given the Roseanne and Greitens news from yesterday, we’ll repeat: In the Trump Era, the only person who’s been able to avoid getting punished over alleged affairs/sexual impropriety or racist/controversial remarks — at least so far — has been Trump.

CIA report: North Korea won’t denuclearize. But it might open a burger joint

“A new U.S. intelligence assessment has concluded that North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear weapons any time soon, three U.S. officials told NBC News — a finding that conflicts with recent statements by President Donald Trump that Pyongyang intends to do so in the future,” per NBC’s Courtney Kube, Ken Dilanian and Carol Lee.

“In an odd twist, a list of potential concessions by North Korea in the CIA analysis included the possibility that Kim Jong Un may consider offering to open a Western hamburger franchise in Pyongyang as a show of goodwill, according to three national security officials.”

NYT: Trump told Sessions he needed to reverse his recusal in Russia probe

“By the time Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrived at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort for dinner one Saturday evening in March 2017, he had been receiving the presidential silent treatment for two days. Mr. Sessions had flown to Florida because Mr. Trump was refusing to take his calls about a pressing decision on his travel ban,” the New York Times writes.

“When they met, Mr. Trump was ready to talk — but not about the travel ban. His grievance was with Mr. Sessions: The president objected to his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Mr. Trump, who had told aides that he needed a loyalist overseeing the inquiry, berated Mr. Sessions and told him he should reverse his decision, an unusual and potentially inappropriate request. Mr. Sessions refused.”

“The confrontation, which has not been previously reported, is being investigated by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as are the president’s public and private attacks on Mr. Sessions and efforts to get him to resign. Mr. Trump dwelled on the recusal for months, according to confidants and current and former administration officials who described his behavior toward the attorney general.”

“The special counsel’s interest demonstrates Mr. Sessions’s overlooked role as a key witness in the investigation into whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct the inquiry itself. It also suggests that the obstruction investigation is broader than it is widely understood to be.”