Trump made numerous false or misleading claims at his Tuesday rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, his second falsehood-filled rally since he was hospitalized with the coronavirus.
We’re still going through the transcript, but here’s a quick roundup.
Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. But Trump said: “They say he was born in Scranton, but he left, he left. He abandoned you.”
Trump offered another dishonestly rosy assessment of the state of the coronavirus pandemic.
He claimed that we are “rounding the turn on the pandemic,” not explaining what that means. And he said, “My plan: we’re gonna crush the virus very quickly. It’s happening already. It’s happening.”
Trump falsely claimed that “we added nearly 600,000 manufacturing jobs.”
Trump made a series of false claims about NATO.
And Trump claimed that “Obama used to send them pillows.” This appeared to be Trump’s usual reference to Obama’s military aid to Ukraine, not about contributions to NATO itself — but it’s inaccurate regardless. Obama did decline to send Ukraine lethal aid, but he sent armored Humvees, counter-mortar radar, night vision equipment, drones, and other military supplies.
The border wall
For the second consecutive night, Trump claimed that Mexico is paying for his border wall.
“And Mexico is paying for the wall, by the way. You know that. I’ve been saying it. They hate to hear that. But they’re paying,” he said.
This is simply false. The US government has paid for the wall — in part with billions of dollars Trump has controversially seized from other programs. The White House declined to comment on Tuesday when we asked for an explanation of how Mexico is supposedly paying.
Trump vaguely said at the Tuesday rally, as he did at Monday’s, that Mexico will effectively cover the cost of the wall because of a “charge” he will impose on cars crossing the border. (He called it a “border tax” on Monday.) But he has not released any details of any such proposal, and, again, the White House declined to explain on Tuesday.
Minnesota and the National Guard
Trump celebrated how the National Guard quelled violent protests in Minnesota after the killing of George Floyd. He lamented, though, that it took “10 days” for the state to call his administration.
The presidential debate and the phrase “law and order”
Trump told a story about how Biden supposedly refused to utter the words “law and order” at their first presidential debate. (Part of the story: “Remember I said, ‘So tell me, say the words law and order, say it, Joe, say it.’ He couldn’t do it, he wouldn’t do it, he wouldn’t do it.”) Trump then acknowledged that Biden did say the words “law and order,” but he suggested that this doesn’t count because Biden added extra words at the end.
Trump is free to argue that Biden adding “with justice” renders the words “law and order” meaningless. But it’s just false to suggest that Biden refused say the words “law and order” at all.
CNN and its cameras
Trump’s claim was, as usual, pure fiction. CNN does not turn its cameras off when he insults CNN. And CNN photojournalists at his rallies do not even use a light that would show Trump whether or not they are recording or broadcasting live.
Trump has made this claim more than 160 times.