I won’t get into Trump’s controversial policy positions; I am NOT a fact-checker. It’s not the role of a fact checker to offer opinions on whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea for the federal government to bar Muslims from entering the United States or to kill the families of terrorists, for example. What I focus on here are some of the many cases where he’s just wrong on the facts. ACCORDING TO FACTCHECK.ORG
We start with his Nov. 21 claim to have watched on television as “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey were “cheering” the fall of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Multiple news organizations and the New Jersey attorney general’s office searched for evidence of public celebrations at the time of 9/11 and found none.
“Never happened,” former state Attorney General John J. Farmer, a Republican appointee who later served as a senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission,wrote in response to Trump.
In a tweet, Trump demanded an apology, citing as evidence one news story about an alleged incident that was unattributed, unverified and not televised. One of the reporters on that story said he visited the “Jersey City building and neighborhood where the celebrations were purported to have happened,” but he could “never verify that report.”
And Trump’s false claim about “thousands and thousands” of Muslims is just part of a pattern of inflammatory claims with little or no basis in fact.
Here are some more — and it’s not an exhaustive list.
Trump boasted that he “predicted Osama bin Laden.” Nope. The book Trump published in 2000 mentioned bin Laden once, and predicted nothing about bin Laden’s future plans.
Trump “heard” that Obama is “thinking about signing an executive order where he wants to take your guns away.” If so, he misheard. What Obama reportedly considered was requiring large-volume private gun dealers to conduct background checks, not confiscating firearms from those who own them.
Trump said he “heard” the Obama administration plans to accept 200,000 Syrian refugees — even upping that wildly inaccurate number to 250,000 in another speech.Nope and nope. The number is about 10,000.
Trump said he got to know Putin “very well” while the two were on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”Nope. The two men were interviewed separately, in different countries thousands of miles apart.
Trump claimed his campaign is “100 percent” self-funded. Nope. At the time, more than 50 percent of his campaign’s funds had come from outside contributors.
Trump said his tax plan is revenue neutral. Nope. The pro-business Tax Foundationestimated the Trump plan would reduce revenues to the Treasury by more than $10 trillion over 10 years, even assuming his plan would create economic growth.
Trump told the story of a 2-year old who got autism a week after the child got a vaccine. But there’s no evidence of such a link. The study that claimed to have found a link between vaccines and autism has been exposed as an “elaborate fraud.” It was retracted five years ago by the journal that published it, and the author was stripped of his license to practice medicine in Britain.
Trump said Mexico doesn’t have a birthright citizenship policy. It does.
Trump claimed credit for getting Ford Motor Co. to move a plant from Mexico to Ohio.Ford says that’s baloney; it made the decision years before Trump even announced his run for president.
Trump denied that he ever called female adversaries some of these things: “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.” He used all of those terms.
Trump said in June “there are no jobs” to be had, when official statistics were showing 5.4 million job openings — the most in 15 years.
Trump claimed economic growth in the U.S. has “never” been below zero — until the third quarter of 2015. “Who ever heard of this?” he asked. Except it’s not unheard of. Economic growth has been below zero 42 times since 1946.