In an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that aired over two days, President Donald Trump made several false, misleading and unsubstantiated claims:
- Trump falsely took credit for getting the National Guard to Kenosha to help quell violent protests. The guard had already been deployed when he first mentioned it.
- Referencing a controversial policy allowing COVID-19 patients returning from the hospital to reenter nursing homes, Trump claimed without evidence that Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York “killed 11,000 people with bad decisions on nursing homes.” But the true number of nursing home deaths is unknown, and not all of them can be blamed on Cuomo’s directive.
- The president falsely said that if New York’s COVID-19 death toll was excluded from the U.S. total, then the country would have “the best numbers in the world.” Excluding the Empire State hardly budges the relative position of the country on two mortality metrics.
- Trump said, “I’m bringing many of the troops home and most of the troops home.” But the number in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is nearly the same as it was in the last month under President Barack Obama. The overall number of overseas troops is only slightly smaller.
- Trump exaggerated in saying Michigan and North Carolina remain “closed” due to the coronavirus, and his claim that “these states that are closed are run by Democrats” doesn’t hold up. States headed by governors of both parties are in various stages of reopening.
The president said that when then-Sen. Joe Biden was fighting for the 1994 crime bill, he called Black people “super-predators.” Actually, that was a phrase famously uttered by Hillary Clinton about some “gangs of kids.”
- Trump told a murky, evidence-free, conspiracy-tinged story about shadowy figures pulling Biden’s strings and black-clad “thugs” on a plane.
And there was more: The president repeated falsehoods about COVID-19, ventilators and low-income housing in the suburbs.
The National Guard and Kenosha
Trump falsely took credit for bringing in the National Guard to help quell violent protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back by police seven times on Aug. 23. In fact, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers activated the guard early in the morning of Aug. 24, well before Trump weighed in.
Trump: We could solve that problem [Portland] quickly. Like I did in Kenosha. You know, Kenosha went through three or four days. You wouldn’t have a Kenosha right now. We demanded that they send in the National Guard. Called the governor. And in all fairness, the governor did it. Not enough, but it was enough to put it out. And we ultimately put in where we had 1,000 people and we put it out quickly. You wouldn’t have Kenosha right now.