14 False Claims Trump Made on ‘Meet the Press’ Ranging From Election Fraud to Ukraine War
A List of Trump’s Familiar Election Lies And Other False Claims
In an interview that aired on NBC's Meet the Press on September 17, former President Donald Trump made a long list of his well-known election lies, as well as some new ones on issues including abortion laws and his strategy for dealing with drug cartels. Some of the incorrect statements were immediately refuted by the program's new moderator, Kristen Welker, while others went unquestioned. Here is a debunking of 14 of the false claims Trump made in the interview, as reported on CNN:
The former president of the U.S. brought up one of his most egregious lies during a recent interview. Trump, attacking Democrats on abortion policy, claimed, "You have some states that are allowed to kill the child after birth." He also said specifically, "You have New York state and other places that passed legislation where you’re allowed to kill the baby after birth." That is untrue. Infanticide is not legal in any state, and New York has not passed any legislation allowing it.
2. Brad Raffensperger
On January 6, 2021, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, urging him to find votes to secure his victory with false fraud claims. In the Meet The Press interview, Trump wrongly claimed that Raffensperger said he believed Trump did nothing wrong. However, Raffensperger has sharply criticized Trump's actions during the call. Later, in a Fox interview, he clarified that he had thoroughly researched the allegations of fraud and knew they were untrue. He did not defend Trump's actions.
3. New York Times Article About Presidential Records
Trump criticized the criminal accusations brought against him for keeping classified papers after leaving office. He said, “The New York Times of all institutions did a story, and it was headlined, ‘Please, please, please, Mr. President, could we take a look at the documents.’ And they said in the story that the only way you can get documents from a president is if you go there and say please.” Trump gave a false account of this New York Times piece. The article clarified that while one organization, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is only able to make polite requests and lacks "independent" enforcement authority, another organization, the Justice Department, is responsible for upholding the laws governing presidential documents and classified records. In other words, the text does not state—as Trump implied—that the Presidential Records Act precludes any kind of enforcement whatsoever about presidential papers.
4. "Rigged" Election
Trump consistently went on to insist, as he has before, that he was the true winner and that the 2020 election was "rigged" against him on several occasions. These assertions are untrue. There is no proof that the election was rigged; Biden defeated Trump by a margin of 306 to 232 in the Electoral College, and there was no systemic fraud that was found in any evidence that could have hinted at altering the results in any of the states.
5. The 4 Indictments Against Trump
The four charges against him were referred to by Trump as the "Biden indictments." He insisted repeatedly that Biden instructed Attorney General Merrick Garland to "indict him," claiming at one point that Biden "went to the attorney general of the United States, and he told them, 'Indict Trump.'" There is no proof to back up this assertion. There is no indication that Biden was engaged in the choice to criminally investigate or prosecute Trump, and there is no confirmation that he visited Garland and requested that Trump be charged. In June, Biden said that he had not discussed the matter with Garland and was "not going to speak with him." In reality, the grand juries that indicted him were made up of regular people.
6. Blaming Nancy Pelosi for the Jan 6 Capitol Riots
Trump made many attempts to attribute the January 6 Capitol rioting to Democratic California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who was speaker of the House. Trump's assertions regarding Pelosi are wholly untrue. First off, security at the Capitol is not within the Speaker's control. Second, the assertion that Pelosi rejected Trump's offer of 10,000 National Guard soldiers before January 6 is unsupported by any evidence. Third, Pelosi would not have had the authority to refuse the offer of National Guard troops, even if she had been made aware of it. Pelosi, on the other hand, was filmed on a call with Miller asking for troops repeatedly at around 3:49 p.m., telling him, "Just get them there" and to "just pretend for a moment this was the Pentagon or the White House or some other entity that was under siege."
7. Biden's Apparent False Claims
Trump said in the interview about Biden: “Look at all the lies he’s told over the last couple of weeks. He said he was at the World Trade Center and he wasn’t. He said he flew airplanes, right? He didn’t. He said he drove trucks, and he didn’t. Everything he says is, like, a lie.” Although Biden has not made this claim "over the last couple of weeks," as Trump alleged here, Biden has indeed made a false claim to have driven a tractor-trailer truck. While criticizing Biden for making untrue statements, Trump made a bogus claim: Biden has not said that he has flown airplanes. This was not a one-off error by Trump; during a rally on September 8, he was even more detailed, claiming that Biden had stated he "used to be a fighter jet pilot."
8. Drug cartels
Welker said to Trump, “If elected, you say you would order the Defense Department to use special forces to inflict maximum damage on drug cartels.” But Trump responded, “I didn’t say that. No. People said I said that.” He repeated, “I didn’t say that.” Trump did say this exactly in January, “I will order the Department of Defense to make appropriate use of special forces, cyber-warfare, and other overt and covert actions to inflict maximum damage on cartel leadership, infrastructure, and operations.”
9. The Media and the Ukraine War
Trump claimed, “I will say this: something’s going on, and it’s not good for Ukraine. Because the news is no longer reporting about the war. The fake news. They don’t report about the war anymore. You won’t find much reporting. That means that Ukraine is losing. Okay? I see very little reporting from NBC, your network. I see very little reporting from NBC, ABC, from CBS, from anyone about the war.” It's not accurate to say that media outlets "don't report about the war anymore," although there has been a noticeable decrease in television coverage from the initial few months following Russia's invasion in 2022. NBC News wrote in its fact check of this Trump claim: “In the last two weeks alone, NBC News has published dozens of stories and broadcasts on all platforms about the Ukraine war.” The fact check cited specific examples, then continued, “CBS News and ABC News have had dozens of articles and videos on their websites, too.”
10. National Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Trump attacked President Joe Biden for releasing a significant amount of crude oil from the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep prices down during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. “I had a lot to do with filling up for the first time,” he claimed. “He wanted to have low gas prices for an election. And now, we have nothing left.” Here, Trump made two untrue assertions. First of all, despite his frequent claims, he didn't fill up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; in fact, the reserve had fewer barrels of crude oil in early 2021 than it did when he assumed office in 2017. Second, even if the reserve's oil stock is at a 40-year low, it is far from accurate that "we have nothing left" right now; as of the week ending September 8, there were still roughly 350.6 million barrels of petroleum in the reserve, making it the largest in the world.
11. National Debt
Trump said, “We have to save our country. We have $35 trillion in debt.” This claim by the former president is false. The scale of the national debt is substantial, but Trump inflated it. It is not "$35 trillion," but rather it is close to $33 trillion as of Thursday, as reported by CNN, not "$35 trillion." He previously claimed at a campaign rally on September 8 that it was $34 trillion, which was also debunked by CNN. The claim is now exaggerated by $2 trillion.
12. Bacon Prices
While discussing inflation, Trump said, “Things are not going, right now, very well for the consumer. Bacon is up five times.” Trump's assertion that the cost of bacon has quadrupled in recent years is wholly untrue. Although the cost of bacon has increased on average since he left the government, it is not by "up five times." In August 2023, the average price of sliced bacon was $6.502 per pound, up from $5.831 in January 2021. This is an uptick of around 11.5%, far less than the 400% increase Trump consistently claims.
13. Taliban Equipment
Trump lied when he criticized Biden's handling of the US military's departure from Afghanistan in 2021, saying, “We gave $85 billion worth of equipment to the Taliban,” Trump said. Trump's claim of $85 billion is untrue. While a sizeable portion of the $18.6 billion in military supplies that the US had given to Afghan forces between 2005 and 2021 was given up to the Taliban after the US withdrawal, this equipment had been worth only about $7.1 billion. Long before US soldiers departed the area, some of this equipment was rendered useless.
14. Trump and the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
Trump claimed to have halted the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, asserting that he introduced the subject as no one had heard of it before, and had "ended" it. However, this statement is inaccurate. While Trump did impose sanctions on companies involved in the project, he did so nearly three years into his presidency, by which time the pipeline was already about 90% complete. Furthermore, Trump's assertion that few people had heard of Nord Stream 2 before his presidency is untrue. The project had been a regular topic of discussion in media, government, and diplomatic circles before Trump took office. Even Joe Biden, while serving as vice president in 2016, publicly criticized the project. Ultimately, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was never operational. Germany suspended the project when Russia was poised to invade Ukraine, and it suffered damage later on due to what was described as an act of sabotage.
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