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Nearly 1,300 days before the next election, President Donald Trump put out a $1.5 million campaign ad pitching his first 100 days in office as a stunning success.
“Donald Trump sworn in as president 100 days ago,” the ad begins. “America has rarely seen such success.”
The ad, which is airing on major TV markets in the U.S. and online, goes on to make a slew of claims about his presidency, with varying degrees of accuracy. Let’s take a look:
Claim: “Companies investing in American jobs again," with onscreen text adding "500,000+ jobs created."
In January, February, and March, more than 500,000 jobs were indeed created, but 227,000 of those were created under President Barack Obama's watch. With the word "again," the ad suggests this is a new development attributed to the Trump presidency, but much like the job numbers he cites, it's not quite accurate. Many of the company investments the president has trumpeted and credited to his presidency often began before he was president — or even announced his 2016 campaign.
Claim: “America becoming more energy independent.”
Trump signed off on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will transport Canadian crude oil across America to Gulf Coast refineries. It’s expected to help make America more energy secure — helping it trade more with reliable Canadian partners instead of less reliable South American crude oil sources — but in light of Trump’s latest trade tiff with Canada, it’s worth noting the pipeline and the oil American refineries produce still depends on an international partner.
Claim: “Regulations that kill American jobs — eliminated.”
Trump has eliminated a number of regulations that industry interests have said hurt job creation or retention, though there’s no consensus on whether each of the regulations he eliminated were truly job killers or simply hurt profits.
Claim: “A respected Supreme Court justice confirmed."
Newly minted SCOTUS Justice Neil Gorsuch was sworn in in April, but not without Republicans having to change Senate rules to push his nomination through.
Claim: “The biggest tax cut plan in history.”
The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible budget estimated that Trump’s tax plan (really more of a loose outline) would slash federal revenue by $5.5 trillion over a decade, roughly a half trillion short of President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, which cut federal revenues by 19 percent. In today’s dollars, according to the Associated Press, that would be well over $6 trillion. Additionally, whether those big cuts would benefit ordinary Americans, as Trump has claimed, rather than the super-rich, is unclear.
Even some senior administration officials have been careful to refer to the plan as "one of the biggest tax cuts in history" — not the biggest.
Claim: “You wouldn’t know it (Trump's accomplishments) from watching the news.”
Readers can decide for themselves.