Here’s a quick roundup of the president’s most notable errors of fact, in the order in which he made them.
“You know, it’s very interesting, because when you talk about not Senate confirmed, well, [special counsel Robert] Mueller’s not Senate confirmed. He’s heading this whole big thing; he’s not Senate confirmed.”
Trump is responding to assertions that he violated the Constitution by appointing the Justice Department’s chief of staff, Matthew G. Whitaker, as acting attorney general. The chief of staff post is not subject to Senate confirmation, unlike the deputy attorney general, who ordinarily would fill the vacancy.
But there is no expectation that a special counsel would be subject to Senate confirmation, as he is an “inferior officer” who reports to someone who has been confirmed. (The former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, had recused himself, so Mueller previously had reported to the deputy attorney general.)
In other words, Trump’s point is nonsensical.
“I’m building the wall in smaller stages, and we moved the military there, we put up barbed wire, we did all sorts of things.”
No, Trump’s wall is not yet being built. Congress inserted specific language in its appropriations bill that none of the $1.57 billion appropriated for border protection may be used for prototypes of a concrete wall that Trump observed while in California. The money can be used only for bollard fencing and levee fencing. Trump regularly makes this false claim — at last count, more than 80 times.
“You have 17 people — half, many of them worked for Hillary Clinton, some on the foundation. The Hillary Clinton Foundation.”
This is false, as we have documented previously. Five members of the Mueller team contributed to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. One of those people, attorney Jeannie Rhee, represented the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 lawsuit over Clinton’s use of her private email server. Aaron Zebley, a former counterterrorism FBI agent and assistant U.S. attorney, made no contributions to Clinton but represented a Clinton aide at one point.
In other words, no member of the Mueller team worked for Hillary Clinton and only one had a connection to the Clinton Foundation.
“We’ve really, you know, terminated a lot of the Obamacare, as it was referred to.”
The 2017 Trump tax bill, starting in 2019, effectively eliminates the mandate that required people to pay a penalty if they chose not to buy health insurance. (A waiver was available for people under a certain income level.) The penalty must still be paid in 2017 and 2018.
“This is a problem in California that’s so bad of illegals voting. This is a California problem, and if you notice, almost every race — I was watching today — out of like 11 races that are in question, they’re going to win all of them. The Republicans don’t win, and that’s because of potentially illegal votes, which is what I’ve been saying for a long time.”
Trump, without evidence, suggests that the slow process of counting California’s mail-in ballots means that undocumented immigrants are casting votes. He has never given an explanation as to why the late votes that are counted would be from undocumented immigrants. There is no evidence that undocumented immigrants are voting in California in vast numbers, let alone enough to swing an election.
Voter fraud is extremely rare, though obviously errors can be made. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles acknowledged in October that 1,500 people may have been incorrectly registered because of a processing error — including at least one noncitizen (a legal resident, not an undocumented immigrant). The incorrect registrations were canceled before the election.
“I’ve seen it, I’ve had friends talk about it when people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace, what’s going on.”