TRUMP, on the unemployment rate: “With women, we have the best numbers we’ve had in now 71 years. That’s going to be, very soon, a historic number, meaning the best ever.” — remarks Saturday with Japanese business leaders in Tokyo.
THE FACTS: The unemployment rate for women is not the best in 71 years.
According to the Labor Department, the women’s unemployment rate fell last month to 3.1%. That’s just the lowest since October 1953, or 66 years ago, when it also was 3.1%. The lowest on record was 2.4% in May 1953.
TRUMP: “My Administration is achieving things that have never been done before, including unleashing perhaps the Greatest Economy in our Country’s history.” — tweet Wednesday.
TRUMP: “Most successful economy, perhaps, in our country’s history.” — remarks to reporters Wednesday.
THE FACTS: The economy is solid but it’s not one of the best in our country’s history, no matter how many times he asserts it. Trump is also claiming full credit for an economic expansion that began under Obama in mid-2009.
The economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of this year. That growth was the highest in just four years for the first quarter.
In the late 1990s, growth topped 4 percent for four straight years, a level it has not yet reached on an annual basis under Trump. Growth even reached 7.2 percent in 1984.
While the economy has shown strength, it grew 2.9% in 2018 – the same pace it reached in 2015 — and simply hasn’t hit historically high growth rates.
TRUMP claims “the best unemployment numbers in history.” — Pennsylvania rally on May 20.
THE FACTS: The 3.6% unemployment rate in the latest report is not the best in history. It’s the lowest since 1969, when it was 3.5%. The U.S. also had lower rates than now in the early 1950s. And during three years of World War II, the annual rate was under 2%.
TRUMP: “I don’t do cover-ups.” — Rose Garden remarks Wednesday to reporters.
THE FACTS: Federal prosecutors may not agree with that assertion, which he made in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s accusation that the president was engaged in a cover-up. Trump spoke after breaking off an infrastructure meeting when Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., came to the White House for it.
Prosecutors’ court filings in December said Trump directed his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to make payments to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the 2016 presidential campaign. Both women alleged they had extramarital affairs with Trump, which the White House denies.
In particular, the Justice Department says the hush money payments were unreported campaign contributions meant to influence the outcome of the election. That assertion makes the payments subject to campaign finance laws, which restrict how much people can donate to a campaign and bar corporations from making direct contributions.
Trump has said the payments were “a simple private transaction,” not a campaign contribution.
Separately, the Mueller report found that Trump dictated his son Trump Jr.’s misleading statement about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower to cloak its purpose.
Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance crimes in connection with those payments, had previously implicated Trump. The department’s filings backed up Cohen’s claims.
The Mueller report said Trump learned in summer of 2017 that the news media planned to report on the meeting at Trump Tower between senior campaign officials and Russians offering derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.
Trump directed aides not to disclose the emails setting up the meeting. Before the emails became public, the president also edited a press statement for Donald Trump Jr. by deleting a line that acknowledged that the meeting was “with an individual who (Trump Jr.) was told might have information helpful to the campaign” and instead said only that the meeting was about adoptions.
That episode was among 10 identified by the Mueller investigation of possible obstruction of justice by Trump. Mueller said in his report that he could not conclusively determine that Trump had committed a crime or that he hadn’t.
TRUMP: “The greatest Hoax in American History.” — tweet Wednesday.
THE FACTS: A two-year investigation that produced guilty pleas, convictions and criminal charges against Russian intelligence officers and others with ties to the Kremlin, as well as Trump associates, is not a hoax.
Mueller charged 34 people, including the president’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and three Russian companies. Twenty-five Russians were indicted on charges related to election interference, accused either of hacking Democratic email accounts during the campaign or of orchestrating a social media campaign that spread disinformation on the internet.
Five Trump aides pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Mueller, and a sixth, longtime confidant Roger Stone, is awaiting trial on charges he lied to Congress and engaged in witness tampering.
Mueller’s report concluded that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was “sweeping and systematic.” Ultimately, Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign. But the special counsel didn’t render judgment on whether Trump obstructed justice, saying his investigators found evidence on both sides.
TRUMP ON BIDEN
TRUMP, on Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden: “He’s not from Pennsylvania. I guess he was born here but he left you, folks. … He left you for another state and he didn’t take care of you because he didn’t take care of your jobs. He let other countries come in and rip off America.” — Pennsylvania rally on May 20.
THE FACTS: It’s true that Pennsylvania-born Biden left the state without taking care of jobs for the people he left behind. He was a boy, 10 or 11, when his family moved to Delaware in 1953.
TRUMP on his trade dispute with China: “I’ll be honest, we are getting hundreds of millions of dollars brought into our country. We’ve never gotten 10 cents. We are getting hundreds of billions of dollars coming into our country.” — remarks to reporters Thursday.
THE FACTS: This is not true. The tariffs he’s raised on imports from China are primarily if not entirely a tax on U.S. consumers and businesses.