TV news fact-checked: Trump’s first 100 days

To mark his 100th day in office, President Donald Trump made several public appearances and released a campaign-style political ad. Here are some fact-checked claims from those televised interviews,  speeches, as well as the ad, all viewable and shareable on the TV News Archive.

Fact-checked TV news clips on the TV News Archive. Click, watch, and share: https://archive.org/details/factchecked

Fact-checking Trump’s first 100 days campaign ad

President Donald Trump put his stamp of approval on this ad, which includes several factual claims. Among them: “Fact: 500,000-plus jobs created,” and “America becoming more energy independent,” while the words “Keystone Pipeline” are shown on screen.

“Using just the two months on his watch–February and March–the U.S. economy created 317,000 jobs, not 500,000,” reported Louis Jacobson for PolitiFact.

“Samantha Gross, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Energy Security and Climate Initiative… notes that she doesn’t think approving the pipeline was a bad decision…  ‘We’ve made it easier and efficient to ship that crude down to the states,’ though [sic.] the pipeline, ‘but as far as changing energy independence, I don’t think so,’ she said,” Lori Robertson reported for FactCheck.org.

Claim: first time in modern era a Supreme Court justice confirmed in first 100 days (mostly true)

At the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Georgia on April 28, Trump said, “For the first time in the modern political era, we have confirmed a new justice in the first 100 days. The last time that happened was 136 years ago, in 1881. Now, we won’t get any credit for this, but don’t worry about it.”

This statement was rated “mostly true” by PolitiFact’s Lauren Carroll. “Trump has his history right. He is indeed the first modern president to fill an open Supreme Court seat within the first 100 days.” She went on to report “The reality is that very few presidents are presented with the opportunity to appoint and confirm a new Supreme Court justice within their first 100 days… Trump is the only one of the group who entered office with a vacant Supreme Court seat from the start—meaning he had a full 100 days to nominate and confirm his pick.”

Claim: U.S. has a $17 billion trade deficit with Canada (no, it’s a surplus)

President Trump sat down with FOX’s Martha MacCallum for their “The First 100 Days” interview. In it, Trump said “The trade deficit with Mexico is close to $70 billion, even with Canada it’s $17 billion trade deficit with Canada.”

The reporters at FactCheck.org, though, found that “For the second year in a row, the U.S. had a trade surplus with Canada. In 2016, the U.S. had an $8.1 billion trade surplus in goods and services with Canada, up nearly 33 percent from the $6.1 billion surplus in 2015.”

Claim: Trump has negative media coverage because reporters donated to Clinton (misleading)

The president spoke to a large crowd in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he cited a study by the conservative Media Research Center talking about negative coverage of his administration. He then suggested the reason was “perhaps that’s because, according to the Center for Public Integrity, 96 percent of journalists who made donations in the last election gave them to our opponent.”

FactCheck.org reported that the Center for Public Integrity study showed “that about 430 people ‘who work in journalism’ contributed about $382,000 to the Clinton campaign through August, compared with about 50 journalists who contributed $14,000 to Trump. Notably, however, the study did not find that any journalists responsible for covering the White House, Congress or national politics made political contributions of any kind.”

Claim: people with pre-existing conditions are covered in the House GOP health care bill (unclear)

In an interview for CBS’s Face the Nation, President Trump said, “Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I just watched another network than yours, and they were saying, ‘Pre-existing is not covered.’ Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, ‘Has to be.'”

PolitiFact’s Amy Sherman reviewed and rated this claim “mostly false,” reporting “Overall, the latest proposal seems to weaken existing protections for people with pre-existing conditions, not strengthen them.”

An amendment was proposed since then, and Glenn Kessler summarized the new proposal for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, writing, “if the bill ever became law, much would depend on unknown policy decisions by individual states–and then how those decisions are implemented.” This proposal had a House vote yesterday, Thursday, and passed.

How to find Trump’s 100th-day TV news appearances

To review the 100 days interviews and speeches yourself and grab the clips you want, check out this Fox interview in two parts, the Harrisburg, PA speech, the NRA address, the Face the Nation interview in two parts, the “CBS This Morning” interview in two parts, and Trump’s weekly address.

Trump’s Harrisburg address, as seen in context in the TV News Archive. Note Trump icon on top left, showing this show is part of the Trump Archive.

To peruse all the fact-checking work our partners have done on statements made on TV and archived in the TV News Archive, take a look at this table of more than 800 fact-checks of Donald Trump, his administration, and some congressional leaders. This collection will continue to grow as we develop the congressional collections, add more administration official statements, and integrate new statements and reporting.

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About Nancy Watzman

Nancy Watzman is Managing Editor, Television Archive.
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