Politics Fact check: Seven kinds of dishonesty to expect at a late-campaign Trump rally
Trump’s campaign made stops nationwide. Coronavirus cases surged in his wake in at least five places.
A USA TODAY analysis shows county COVID-19 cases grew at a faster rate after at least five of Trump's rallies across three states since mid-August.The president has participated in nearly three dozen rallies since mid-August, all but two at airport hangars. A USA TODAY analysis shows COVID-19 cases grew at a faster rate than before after at least five of those rallies in the following counties: Blue Earth, Minnesota; Lackawanna, Pennsylvania; Marathon, Wisconsin; Dauphin, Pennsylvania; and Beltrami, Minnesota.
is closing his campaign with a torrent of lies. His October rally speeches have been even by Trump standards.
Trump is known for meandering off script, and he hasn't stopped ad-libbing as Tuesday approaches. But as he dashes from state to state -- the President hasfrom Saturday through Monday -- his dishonesty has tended to follow a rough pattern.
We can break his rally false claims into seven broad categories.
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1) Downplaying the coronavirus
Trump uses his rally speeches to try to convince voters that the worsening coronavirus crisis is actually improving.
Even as confirmed new cases, hospitalizations and the test positivity rate, Trump keeps falsely that "we're rounding the turn." And he keeps falsely that the spike in cases is merely the result of the US doing more testing, though this assertion has been publicly by top federal officials.
Touting his handling of a pandemic that has killed at least 229,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins University data, Trump continues tothat the death toll was "supposed to be" 2.2 million. That 2.2 million figure was most likely an estimate for what would happen if US authorities took no action at all to fight the pandemic.
Donald Trump made many promises in 2016 and early in his term. Which has he kept and what is he still working on?
Trump has kept a number of pledges, including tax cuts and conservative judges. But not on others such as bringing back coal and replacing Obamacare."Unlike so many who came before me, I keep my promises," Trump said during his State of the Union speech this year.
Trump has wronglythat anyone who gets the virus will just "get better" -- citing the unrepresentative example of his own case, for which he received . And he has promoted a fictional conspiracy theory, which you can read about , about media coverage on the question of Covid-19 immunity for people who get the virus and survive.
2) Describing Biden's positions
The Joe Biden of Trump rally speeches is.
The Biden of Trump's speeches plans to eradicate everyone's private health insurance plan; the actual Biden wants to preserve private plans, letting people opt into a public insurance program only if they choose. The Biden of Trump'swants to "completely dismantle law enforcement" and "completely eliminate US borders"; the actual Biden wants to increase federal funding for community policing and to liberalize immigration policy with borders very much still in existence. The Biden of Trump's speeches refuses to condemn the violence in Philadelphia; the actual Biden has the violence both out loud and in writing.
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3) Suggesting election fraud
Trump often devotes a chunk of his rally speeches to his serially dishonest effort to undermine confidence in the election in general and mail-in voting in particular.
Trump keeps baselesslythat mail-in voting is rife with "cheating." Though he has consistently trailed in national public polls, he keeps baselessly that the only way he can lose is if his opponents commit "massive fraud." And he has continued to cite either inflated or imaginary supposed examples of nefarious election behavior. He has claimed, for example, that 50,000 ballots were found ; that has occurred.
4) Rewriting history
Trump's rally accounts of what happened in the past are reliably incorrect.
Trump likes to tell a story about how Biden refused to say the words "law and order" at their first debate. In fact, Bidensay those words.
Trump has become fond ofthat he got impeached merely for calling the president of Ukraine to say congratulations. In fact, Trump got in trouble because he said a on the call -- such as asking Ukraine's president to investigate Biden.
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5) Making false or misleading economic boasts
Trump has continually cherry-picked economic numbers to make the national situation sound better than it is.
Through September, the country was still down more than 10 million jobs from before the pandemic. But Trump keeps telling his rally crowds that he is setting records for job creation, with 11.4 million jobs added in the last five months. That's a real figure, but he doesn't mention that it was preceded by anof 22.2 million jobs over the previous two months.
Trump has also startedthe record economic growth in the third quarter, a 33.1% annualized and seasonally adjusted rate. He does not mention that, because of the record decline that preceded this gain, the economy is than it was prior to the pandemic.
Sometimes Trump ignores the pandemic period entirely. He says at rallies that he created, even though, through September, it was actually a since he took office. How does he get to plus-700,000? By stopping the clock in February -- when it was a net gain of 483,000 during his presidency -- and then doing his usual exaggerating.
6) Exaggerating his accomplishments
Trump factually touts some of the things he has done in office: create a Space Force, move the US embassy to Jerusalem, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But he also generates rally applause by citing nonexistent achievements.
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He says Mexico is, though the wall has been funded . He he got the Veterans Choice program passed, though President Barack Obama signed the Choice bill in 2014. (Trump signed a 2018 law to modify and expand the program.) And he he is the first president ever to get China to pay even "10 cents" in tariff money, though it is Americans paying for his tariffs and though the Obama-era government took in in revenue from tariffs on China.
7) Saying false things about trivial subjects
We've shown you that Trump's rally speeches are filled with lies about important subjects. But they are also dotted with trivial lies.
After he insults CNN, he regularlythat he just saw CNN turn off the red light on its camera. CNN photojournalists do not turn off their cameras when he attacks the network -- and they do not even use any red light that would be visible to Trump. In other words, Trump is just .
Perhaps Trump's weirdest rally lie is something he has almost invariablywhen he speaks in Michigan, where he plans to hold his . He explains that he was once named "Man of the Year" in the state.
Trump has never lived in Michigan, and.
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