Politics: AP FACT CHECK: Trump strains truth in tweets on Russia probe - - PressFrom - US
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Politics AP FACT CHECK: Trump strains truth in tweets on Russia probe

02:26  20 march  2018
02:26  20 march  2018 Source:   ap.org

Ex-Trump aide Nunberg reverses: Mueller probe not a 'witch hunt'

  Ex-Trump aide Nunberg reverses: Mueller probe not a 'witch hunt' Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg says that he believes special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election is "warranted," walking back his previous remarks calling the probe a "witch hunt.""No, I don't think it's a witch hunt. There's a lot there, and that's the sad truth," Nunberg told ABC News in an interview broadcast Saturday, a day after he answered a subpoena by Mueller's team to testify before a federal grand jury on his time in the campaign.

Trump ’s claim that the Russia probe was based on a “fake dossier” is also inaccurate. The FBI’s investigation began months before it received a THE FACTS : Trump ’s claim of political bias lacks important context. Several members of Mueller’s team have made political contributions to Democratic

Trump 's claim that the Russia probe was based on a "fake dossier" is also inaccurate. The FBI's investigation began months before it received a Did Robert Mueller just cross Donald Trump 's red line on Russia ? Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for

FILE - In this Thursday, March 15, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump talks with reporters during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington. In a series of blistering tweets on Saturday, March 17, 2018, Trump falsely asserted that the House Intelligence Committee has concluded there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Thursday, March 15, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump talks with reporters during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington. In a series of blistering tweets on Saturday, March 17, 2018, Trump falsely asserted that the House Intelligence Committee has concluded there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's latest barrage of tweets attacking investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election stretched the bounds of credulity, from false claims that "no crime" had been uncovered to assertions that his campaign had been cleared of collusion with Russia.

Democrats fuming after House GOP ends Russia probe

  Democrats fuming after House GOP ends Russia probe House Democrats are expressing outrage over House Republicans' decision to end the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.Load Error

Some in GOP alarmed as Trump tweets against Robert Mueller.

RUSSIA INVESTIGATION. TRUMP , on Cohen: "He was convicted with a fairly long-term sentence on things THE FACTS : Trump mixes up Bush's timeline, in which he put off college to enlist in the Navy after the Apart from confusing Canada with the United States, the tweet distributed by the president

That's what The Associated Press found when scrutinizing an assortment of statements he made last week.

Trump left out important context in weekend tweets rejoicing over the firing of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, once a leader of the bureau's investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton's email practices.

Meanwhile, Trump told a fanciful story of Japanese regulatory authorities dropping bowling balls as part of a plot to keep cars out of the Japanese market, and, after finding himself without enough information in a trade discussion with Canada's prime minister, simply made stuff up.

A sampling of how Trump's statements fell short of reality:

TRUMP: "The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!" — tweet Saturday.

Schumer to Trump: When are you 'going to get smart' on Russia?

  Schumer to Trump: When are you 'going to get smart' on Russia? Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted President Trump's policy toward Russia on Thursday, questioning when he would "get smart" on Moscow."President Trump warns all the time that we need to 'get smart' about other countries taking advantage of the United States. So President Trump, when are you going to get smart about the threat Russia poses to the United States and our allies?" Schumer asked fr"President Trump warns all the time that we need to 'get smart' about other countries taking advantage of the United States. ... So President Trump, when are you going to get smart about the threat Russia poses to the United States and our allies?" Schumer asked from the Senate floor.

WASHINGTON -- President Trump is skimming over the facts involving the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In a series of tweets Sunday, he repeatedly He also repeats a claim that his campaign had been cleared of collusion with Russia . Neither statement holds up to reality.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump is skimming over the facts involving the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In a series of tweets Sunday, he repeatedly assails special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe as hopelessly biased, insisting that it is effectively controlled by

THE FACTS: He's wrong to say "no crime" was found.

So far, four former Trump campaign aides have been charged with financial crimes or with lying to the FBI, and three of them have pleaded guilty and agreed to assist in Mueller's investigation.

In all, six people — including the four Trump campaign aides — have been charged, along with 13 Russians accused in a hidden but powerful social media campaign to meddle in the American election.

Trump's claim that the Russia probe was based on a "fake dossier" is also inaccurate. The FBI's investigation began months before it received a dossier of anti-Trump research funded by the Democratic Party and Clinton's campaign. The FBI probe's origins were based on other evidence — not the existence of the dossier.

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TRUMP: "Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added...does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!" — tweet Sunday.

Did Robert Mueller just cross Donald Trump's red line on Russia?

  Did Robert Mueller just cross Donald Trump's red line on Russia? Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for business documents -- some of which are related to Russia, according to The New York Times -- a move that represents the latest evidence that the probe seems to have widened to include far more than simply Russia's attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. The details of the subpoena are not available. That fact makes it hard to know exactly what Mueller is looking for, what it has to do with Russia or the Trump Organization's business in the country and why he needed to subpoena the documents as opposed to simply asking for them.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump is glossing over the facts when it comes to the Russia investigation and his economic performance. TRUMP : “Tariffs on the ‘dumping’ of Steel in the United States have totally revived our Steel Industry. New and expanded plants are happening all

President Trump claims about the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation are misleading. THE FACTS : There has been no definitive resolution as to whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election, with government investigations still continuing.

THE FACTS: Trump's claim of political bias lacks important context.

Several members of Mueller's team have made political contributions to Democratic candidates, including Clinton. But Mueller, who is a longtime Republican, could not have barred them from serving on the team. Federal regulations and Justice Department policy prohibit the consideration of political affiliation in hiring and other personnel actions involving career attorneys.

Mueller reports to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, an ex-U.S. attorney under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama who was named to the Justice Department post by Trump. Rosenstein serves under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Trump appointee to the Cabinet.

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TRUMP: "As the House Intelligence Committee has concluded, there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign. As many are now finding out, however, there was tremendous leaking, lying and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice & State." — tweet Saturday.

THE FACTS: Trump's statement is inaccurate. That conclusion came from Republicans on the committee; it was not a committee finding. Democrats on the committee sharply dispute the Republican conclusions and will issue their own.

Trump not moving to fire Mueller but is frustrated: White House

  Trump not moving to fire Mueller but is frustrated: White House President Donald Trump is not moving to fire U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller but is frustrated by the length of the ongoing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the White House said on Monday. Spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters on the Air Force One flight carrying Trump to New Hampshire that Trump's weekend tweets criticizing Mueller by name do not presage a firing."The president is not moving to get rid of Robert Mueller," he said. He said the tweets reflected "some well-established frustration" felt by Trump over the Russian investigation.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump is distorting the findings of the Russia investigation, claiming exoneration and a possible Trump tweeted Thursday. “CASE CLOSED,” he said in another tweet . Special counsel Robert Mueller this past week announced the end to his work in the Russia

THE FACTS : Trump ’s suggestion that Mueller’s team is a Democratic cabal is unsupported. Mueller is a Republican and some others on his team owe THE FACTS : There has been no definitive resolution as to whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election, with government

Whatever the findings of the committee, Mueller is leading the key investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Russian contacts with the Trump campaign. The probe has produced a number of charges and convictions, none to date alleging criminal collusion. But Mueller continues to explore whether collusion occurred and whether Trump or others may have obstructed justice.

Trump did not specify what he meant in accusing the agencies of corruption. McCabe was fired ahead of the release of an inspector general's report that's expected to conclude he was not forthcoming about matters related to the FBI investigation of Clinton's emails.

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FILE - In this June 7, 2017, file photo, then-FBI acting director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington. McCabe is making his case at the Justice Department for why he should not be fired. McCabe was inside the Justice Department building March 15, 2018. A person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly about it said McCabe was pleading his case against termination. Disciplinary officials at the FBI have recommended that the Justice Department fire McCabe ahead of his scheduled retirement Sunday.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this June 7, 2017, file photo, then-FBI acting director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington. McCabe is making his case at the Justice Department for why he should not be fired. McCabe was inside the Justice Department building March 15, 2018. A person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly about it said McCabe was pleading his case against termination. Disciplinary officials at the FBI have recommended that the Justice Department fire McCabe ahead of his scheduled retirement Sunday.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

TRUMP: "The Fake News is beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars was given to wife's campaign by Crooked H friend, Terry M, who was also under investigation? How many lies? How many leaks? Comey knew it all, and much more!" — tweet Saturday.

Team Trump: Expect Trump to Attack Mueller More Directly

  Team Trump: Expect Trump to Attack Mueller More Directly The president wants to confront more pointedly the federal probe into Russia election meddling in 2016.But what seemed like a frantic, even panicked, bit of late-night lashing-out is actually a sign of things to come. Multiple aides and Trump confidants tell The Daily Beast that they believe this will not be the last time the president goes after the Justice Department special counsel on his frenetic Twitter feed. And that’s making some of them nervous.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — Seeking to discredit a highly anticipated report on the Russia investigation, President Donald Trump is attacking the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller by falsely claiming it was biased and conflicted.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — In his zeal to lay blame on his predecessor, President Donald Trump has given a problematic account of how the Russia investigation began. TRUMP : “Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long

THE FACTS: Some context is missing here. This is true: McCabe's wife, Jill McCabe, ran as a Democrat for the Virginia state Senate in 2015, and the political action committee of Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe gave her campaign $500,000 during her race. McAuliffe is a longtime associate of Hillary Clinton, branded "Crooked H" by Trump. Jill McCabe lost the race.

Trump's complaint, as he spelled it out in the past, is that Clinton-linked money went to "the wife of the FBI agent who was in charge of her investigation." But that timeline is wrong. Andrew McCabe was elevated to deputy FBI director and didn't become involved in the Clinton email probe until after his wife's bid for office was over. The FBI said McCabe's promotion and supervisory position in the email investigation happened three months after the campaign.

The bureau also said in a statement at the time that McCabe sought guidance from agency ethics officers and recused himself from "all FBI investigative matters involving Virginia politics" throughout his wife's campaign.

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TRUMP, on how Japanese authorities stopped a U.S. car from being approved for sale in their country: "They were ready to approve it and they said, 'No, no, we have to do one more test.' It's called the bowling ball test. Do you know what that is? That's where they take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and they drop it on the hood of the car. And if the hood dents, then the car doesn't qualify. Well, guess what? The roof dented a little bit, and they said, 'Nope, this car doesn't qualify.' It's horrible, the way we're treated." — remarks to closed Missouri fundraiser Wednesday, leaked to The Washington Post and other organizations.

Outgoing lawyer says Trump approved statement calling for end to Mueller probe

  Outgoing lawyer says Trump approved statement calling for end to Mueller probe Outgoing lawyer says Trump approved statement calling for end to Mueller probeJohn Dowd, who resigned Thursday, issued a statement last weekend calling on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to "bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump is glossing over the facts when it comes to the Russia investigation and his economic performance.

President Donald Trump 's latest barrage of tweets attacking investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election stretched the bounds of credulity, from Trump left out important context in weekend tweets rejoicing over the firing of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, once a leader of the

THE FACTS: That "test" didn't happen. "He's joking about this particular test," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.

Possible inspiration for Trump's story: a fanciful old Nissan ad showing its SUV miraculously escaping damage as bowling bowls cascade down an urban street, trashing other vehicles.

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TRUMP, on a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: "Nice guy, good-looking, comes in — Donald, we have no trade deficit ... I said, 'Wrong, Justin, you do.' I didn't even know. Josh, I had no idea. I just said, 'You're wrong.' You know why? Because we're so stupid. ... And I thought they were smart." — remarks at the Missouri fundraiser, held for GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley.

THE FACTS: The facts of this meeting are not established; Canadian officials won't comment on whether it happened as Trump described it. Trudeau visited Trump in October and the two have spoken by phone on multiple occasions about trade and other matters as Trump pushes a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

In his hard-to-follow account, Trump is making this point: He insisted the U.S. is running a trade deficit with Canada while Trudeau asserted the opposite — that the U.S. has a trade surplus with Canada. Trump is saying that while he did not have the facts to back him up, his belief that American officials have been "stupid" about trade and Canadians have been "smart" led him to assert that the U.S. must have a deficit with Canada. He went on to say that his position was ultimately vindicated when officials took a closer look at the statistics.

U.S. statistics don't support Trump. They show the U.S. runs a trade surplus with Canada — $2.8 billion in 2017, $12.5 billion in 2016. A U.S. deficit in trade of goods is overcome by a surplus in trade of services for an overall balance in favor of the U.S.

CNN poll: On Russia, Americans' views are settled and partisan

  CNN poll: On Russia, Americans' views are settled and partisan American opinions on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election appears hardened and driven by partisanship, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS after a month rife with developments in the ongoing probe. Overall, 6 in 10 say they see the investigation as a serious matter that should be fully investigated (58% say so), while around a third (36%) say it's mainly an effort to discredit Donald Trump's presidency. Those figures haven't changed significantly since February despite recent escalations in rhetoric from the President against the investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller specifically.

RUSSIA INVESTIGATION. TRUMP : “Again I say, a deputy, because of the fact that the attorney general didn’t have the THE FACTS : Though James Comey succeeded Mueller as FBI director, and though they served together in the Bush administration, the men are not known to be social friends.

Trump ignores services in his rhetoric.

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TRUMP on the effects of a nuclear weapons test by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un: "He had a test, they had a test of a nuclear weapon about a year ago, and it registered as an 8.6. Now, you heard of that, on the Richter scale, right? So they said, man, there was an earthquake. Eight point six someplace in Asia. Where was it? Oh it was in North Korea." — from fundraiser.

THE FACTS: North Korea had no earthquake last year approaching that level of severity.

North Korea tested what it called a hydrogen bomb in September, causing an underground blast so big it registered as a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Other nuclear tests last year were associated with smaller seismic events.

An 8.6 quake would be 200 times bigger — and release 2,818 times more energy — than a 6.3.

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TRUMP on his proposed border wall with Mexico: "It will save thousands and thousands of lives, save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by reducing crime, drug flow, welfare fraud and burdens on schools and hospitals. The wall will save hundreds of billions of dollars — many, many times what it is going to cost. ... We have a lousy wall over here now but at least it stops 90, 95 percent. When we put up the real wall, we're going to stop 99 percent, maybe more than that." — remarks Tuesday in San Diego, while visiting prototypes of the wall.

THE FACTS: There are no measures of how well walls work.

Congress' main watchdog found that the government does not have a way to show how barriers prevent illegal crossings from Mexico. A Government Accountability Office report last year said U.S. Customs and Border Protection "cannot measure the contribution of fencing to border security operations along the southwest border because it has not developed metrics for this assessment."

That's after the government spent $2.3 billion from 2007 to 2015 to extend fences across 654 miles (1,052 kilometers) of border and more to repair them.

Without knowing how many crossers will be deterred by a wall, it is impossible to know how much money taxpayers might save in schools, hospital spending and other services.

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President Donald Trump reviews border wall prototypes, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in San Diego. During the visit Trump said, © The Associated Press President Donald Trump reviews border wall prototypes, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in San Diego. During the visit Trump said, "It will save thousands and thousands of lives, save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by reducing crime, drug flow, welfare fraud and burdens on schools and hospitals. The wall will save hundreds of billions of dollars — many, many times what it is going to cost. ... We have a lousy wall over here now but at least it stops 90, 95 percent. When we put up the real wall, we're going to stop 99 percent, maybe more than that." However, Congress' main watchdog found that the government does not have a way to show how barriers prevent illegal crossings from Mexico. A Government Accountability Office report last year said U.S. Customs and Border Protection "cannot measure the contribution of fencing to border security operations along the southwest border because it has not developed metrics for this assessment."(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

TRUMP: "By the way, the state of California is begging us to build walls in certain areas. They don't tell you that, and we said no, we won't do it until we build the whole wall." — remarks Tuesday in California.

THE FACTS: Trump made a similar claim last month on Twitter but has yet to say who in California wants the wall. The state unsuccessfully sued to prevent construction of Trump's wall, claiming he was wrong to forgo environmental reviews.

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Census Bureau on U.S.-Canada trade: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/current_press_release/exh20.pdf

U.S. Trade Representative on 2016 trade with Canada: https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/americas/canada

Earthquake magnitude calculator: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/calculator.php

Federal study on border wall: https://www.gao.gov/assets/690/682838.pdf

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Associated Press writers Elliot Spagat in San Diego and Eric Tucker, Seth Borenstein, Josh Boak and Christopher Rugaber in Washington contributed to this report.

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Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

CNN poll: On Russia, Americans' views are settled and partisan .
American opinions on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election appears hardened and driven by partisanship, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS after a month rife with developments in the ongoing probe. Overall, 6 in 10 say they see the investigation as a serious matter that should be fully investigated (58% say so), while around a third (36%) say it's mainly an effort to discredit Donald Trump's presidency. Those figures haven't changed significantly since February despite recent escalations in rhetoric from the President against the investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller specifically.

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