Breaking News Emails
Billed as infrastructure remarks, President Donald Trump’s Thursday speech tackled everything from sitcom ratings to space travel and gun control. He got a few things wrong in the process, or made claims that could use more context.
Here are 7 misleading or false statements, and the facts behind them.
1. "Bump stocks are now under very strict control."
The Justice Department has proposed a regulation that would ban the devices that allow semi-automatic firearms to fire more rapidly — but nothing has been enacted.
2. "African-American unemployment has reached the lowest levels ever recorded."
It did so in December, but the rate has since risen, according to federal data.
3. "And we got the down payment, $1.6 billion, on the wall."
Trump is referring to the $1.6 billion allocated for border security in the new government spending bill. But that money cannot be used to build any kind of new wall like the prototypes Trump boasted about earlier in the speech.
4. "America built the Empire State Building in 1 year. Think of it. One year. It's actually like nine months."
It took one year and 45 days, according to the building management.
5. "When I got in, there were over 100 federal judges that weren’t appointed. Now I don’t know why Obama left that, it was like a big beautiful present to all of us. Why the hell did he leave that?"
Republicans chose not to approve a large number of President Barack Obama's judicial appointees. During his last two years, just 22 nominees were confirmed, the lowest number since the final two years of Harry Truman's presidency. Meanwhile, dozens were blocked.
6. "When somebody does a bad jobs in the Veterans Administration, they couldn’t do anything about it. They were protected. You could do anything... They had people that wouldn’t work, you couldn’t do anything."
It is not true to say that you couldn’t remove bad employees at the VA before Trump became president. Thousands were fired from the VA under Obama for performance or discipline reasons, according to reported Office of Personnel Management data.
7. "Remember I used to say keep the oil — as a civilian! I used to say, did anybody hear me say that? That’s before I decided to go on this journey with all of you, I got tired of watching."