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Trump’s Misleading Claims on John McCain, Tanks and G.D.P. Growth Fact-Checking Trump’s Misleading Claims on McCain, Tanks and G.D.P. Growth
(32 minutes later)
What Mr. Trump SaidWhat Mr. Trump Said
“John McCain received a fake and phony dossier. Did you hear about the dossier? It was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton. Right? And John McCain got it — he got it. And what did he do? He didn’t call me. He turned it over to the F.B.I., hoping to put me in jeopardy.”“John McCain received a fake and phony dossier. Did you hear about the dossier? It was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton. Right? And John McCain got it — he got it. And what did he do? He didn’t call me. He turned it over to the F.B.I., hoping to put me in jeopardy.”
Senator John McCain did obtain a copy of the so-called Steele Dossier, which outlined a range of often salacious but unproven misdeeds by President Trump and his associates — and he did turn it over to the F.B.I. — but this occurred after the 2016 presidential election. The information provided by Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier, had already reached F.B.I. agents investigating Mr. Trump in September, and he met with agents in October.Senator John McCain did obtain a copy of the so-called Steele Dossier, which outlined a range of often salacious but unproven misdeeds by President Trump and his associates — and he did turn it over to the F.B.I. — but this occurred after the 2016 presidential election. The information provided by Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier, had already reached F.B.I. agents investigating Mr. Trump in September, and he met with agents in October.
What Mr. Trump SaidWhat Mr. Trump Said
“McCain didn’t get the job done for our great vets and the V.A. And they knew it. That’s why, when I had my dispute with him, I had such incredible support from the vets and from the military. The vets were on my side because I got the job done. I got Choice, and I got accountability.”“McCain didn’t get the job done for our great vets and the V.A. And they knew it. That’s why, when I had my dispute with him, I had such incredible support from the vets and from the military. The vets were on my side because I got the job done. I got Choice, and I got accountability.”
Mr. Trump did sign reforms to the Veterans Choice health care program. He also signed a law to encourage whistle-blowing and made it easier to fire bad employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.Mr. Trump did sign reforms to the Veterans Choice health care program. He also signed a law to encourage whistle-blowing and made it easier to fire bad employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But the Veterans Choice Act, which created the Veterans Choice program and allowed the V.A. to penalize or remove problematic workers, was first signed into law in 2014. And it was Mr. McCain and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, then the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, who sponsored the Senate version of the bill.But the Veterans Choice Act, which created the Veterans Choice program and allowed the V.A. to penalize or remove problematic workers, was first signed into law in 2014. And it was Mr. McCain and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, then the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, who sponsored the Senate version of the bill.
Veterans and veterans groups have certainly criticized Mr. McCain over specific issues during his long career, but many took Mr. McCain’s side when Mr. Trump attacked him during the 2016 election.Veterans and veterans groups have certainly criticized Mr. McCain over specific issues during his long career, but many took Mr. McCain’s side when Mr. Trump attacked him during the 2016 election.
What Mr. Trump SaidWhat Mr. Trump Said
“I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president, I had to approve. I don’t care about this. I didn’t get ‘thank you.’ That’s O.K.”“I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president, I had to approve. I don’t care about this. I didn’t get ‘thank you.’ That’s O.K.”
Mr. Trump did authorize facets of Mr. McCain’s funeral arrangements, namely the use of military transportation, military pallbearers and band support. He also ordered the flag to be flown at half-staff at the White House and other public buildings — after pressure from his own staff, veterans groups and lawmakers.Mr. Trump did authorize facets of Mr. McCain’s funeral arrangements, namely the use of military transportation, military pallbearers and band support. He also ordered the flag to be flown at half-staff at the White House and other public buildings — after pressure from his own staff, veterans groups and lawmakers.
But other elements of Mr. McCain’s funeral were not up to Mr. Trump. The senator was lain in the Capitol Rotunda, a decision approved by Congress, and his Washington memorial service took place at Washington National Cathedral.But other elements of Mr. McCain’s funeral were not up to Mr. Trump. The senator was lain in the Capitol Rotunda, a decision approved by Congress, and his Washington memorial service took place at Washington National Cathedral.
What Mr. Trump SaidWhat Mr. Trump Said
“Four straight years — the number of U.S. tanks that were budgeted for upgrades was zero. Does anybody remember that? Raise your hands. Zero. That was under your great President Obama. Our military readiness declined and your work force was slashed by 60 percent.”“Four straight years — the number of U.S. tanks that were budgeted for upgrades was zero. Does anybody remember that? Raise your hands. Zero. That was under your great President Obama. Our military readiness declined and your work force was slashed by 60 percent.”
At no point under former President Barack Obama did funding for M-1 Abrams tanks, one of the Army’s main battle tanks, made at manufacturing plants in Lima, Ohio, actually reach zero for four straight years. It is true that in the 2012 fiscal year, the Pentagon had planned to halt the refurbishment of tanks for a few years, but Congress rejected those plans and instead authorized over $500 million for modifying or upgrading the tanks. Subsequent budgets from Mr. Obama and spending laws passed by Congress all included hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the tanks.At no point under former President Barack Obama did funding for M-1 Abrams tanks, one of the Army’s main battle tanks, made at manufacturing plants in Lima, Ohio, actually reach zero for four straight years. It is true that in the 2012 fiscal year, the Pentagon had planned to halt the refurbishment of tanks for a few years, but Congress rejected those plans and instead authorized over $500 million for modifying or upgrading the tanks. Subsequent budgets from Mr. Obama and spending laws passed by Congress all included hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the tanks.
What Mr. Trump SaidWhat Mr. Trump Said
“We just came out — another chart — we just came out with numbers, the Economic Report of the President, 3.1 percent G.D.P., the first time in 14 years that we cracked 3, right? That’s pretty good, 3.1. The press tried to make it 2.9. I said, ‘It’s not 2.9.’ What they did is they took odd months.”“We just came out — another chart — we just came out with numbers, the Economic Report of the President, 3.1 percent G.D.P., the first time in 14 years that we cracked 3, right? That’s pretty good, 3.1. The press tried to make it 2.9. I said, ‘It’s not 2.9.’ What they did is they took odd months.”
This claim conflates two different gross domestic product growth figures. The 3.1 percent figure refers to the increase in G.D.P. from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018. The 2.9 percent figure refers to the increase in economic output from the annual level.This claim conflates two different gross domestic product growth figures. The 3.1 percent figure refers to the increase in G.D.P. from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the fourth quarter of 2018. The 2.9 percent figure refers to the increase in economic output from the annual level.
Mr. Trump is free to brag about 3.1 percent G.D.P. growth, but he is wrong when he says that it would be the first time in 14 years that G.D.P. growth topped 3 percent using the same metric. Most recently, it happened in both the second and third quarters of 2015, with increases of 3.8 and 3.4 percent.Mr. Trump is free to brag about 3.1 percent G.D.P. growth, but he is wrong when he says that it would be the first time in 14 years that G.D.P. growth topped 3 percent using the same metric. Most recently, it happened in both the second and third quarters of 2015, with increases of 3.8 and 3.4 percent.
Other ClaimsOther Claims
Mr. Trump made at least three claims that The New York Times had previously fact-checked:Mr. Trump made at least three claims that The New York Times had previously fact-checked:
He exaggerated the number of jobs generated by the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines as 48,000. (Most of these jobs are temporary, and about 75 would be permanent.)He exaggerated the number of jobs generated by the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines as 48,000. (Most of these jobs are temporary, and about 75 would be permanent.)
He exaggerated the United States’ trade deficit with China as $500 billion a year. (It was about $336 billion in 2017.)He exaggerated the United States’ trade deficit with China as $500 billion a year. (It was about $336 billion in 2017.)
He falsely claimed that wages had not risen in 21 years. (Wages had risen under Mr. Obama.)He falsely claimed that wages had not risen in 21 years. (Wages had risen under Mr. Obama.)
Curious about the accuracy of a claim? Email factcheck@nytimes.com.Curious about the accuracy of a claim? Email factcheck@nytimes.com.