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FactChecking Trump’s CPAC Speech

In his first public speech since leaving office, former President Donald Trump delighted his audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference with numerous false and misleading claims, many of them criticisms of his successor.

  • Trump falsely claimed that since President Joe Biden took office there has been “a massive flood of illegal immigration into our country, the likes of which we have never seen before.” Border apprehensions are up, but not close to approaching record numbers.
  • Trump distorted the facts when he said Biden “effectively ordered a shutdown of ICE.” Instead, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been directed to prioritize national security and public safety threats, as well as those “convicted of an aggravated felony.”
  • He also twisted the facts when he misleadingly suggested that children being held in immigration detention facilities are getting a better education than U.S. students during the pandemic.
  • Trump falsely claimed “radical Democrat policies” have sparked a 30% jump in gas prices “since the election.” Experts say market forces are behind an increase in crude oil prices.
  • The former president misleadingly said 42,000 jobs were lost to Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone pipeline project. The company behind the pipeline told us 1,000 workers would be let go and a total of 11,000 construction positions won’t be filled.
  • Trump touted the rapid production of COVID-19 vaccines, baselessly adding that it “would have taken any other president at least five years.”
  • As evidence of election “cheating,” Trump claimed that in Detroit there were “more votes than we have people” and in Pennsylvania “they had hundreds of thousands of more votes than they had people voting.” Neither of those is true.
  • Encouraging Republicans to get tougher, Trump said, “We let them attack our businesses, and we don’t attack their businesses.” But Trump has a history of attacking businesses that have crossed him politically.
  • He repeated the false claim that, during his presidency, “we built the strongest economy in the history of the world.” As we’ve previously written, the economy grew faster under other U.S. presidents.
  • Trump also claimed that the U.S. is “leading” the rest of the world in the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, even though China’s economy expanded in 2020 while the U.S. economy contracted.

Trump on in Orlando at the conclusion of the conference. We include here a sampling of his inaccurate

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