Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night was, perhaps not unexpectedly if you’re familiar with Donald Trump, filled with half-truths, misleading statements, and outright lies. Here are all of the lies that the 45th president told during his Tuesday night speech.
“We enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history.”
Status: Completely, demonstrably false.
This has been one of Trump’s favorite lies throughout the early years of his presidency. Despite his repeated claims that his December tax-reform package is the biggest in American history, it’s not even close, according to the New York Daily News. Ronald Reagan’s, in 1981, was the biggest. Trump’s ranks eighth, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
“We are now an exporter of energy to the world.”
Status: Most charitably described as “misleading,” more accurately described as “baloney.”
The U.S. has been an exporter of energy for generations. However, giving Trump the benefit of the doubt and assuming he meant “net exporter” (meaning that the U.S. exports more energy than it imports), he’s still not telling the truth. The U.S. still imports more energy than it exports, although by some estimates the U.S. could be a net exporter of energy in a decade or so.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 31, 2018
“After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”
Status: Mostly false.
As Politifact reports, though wages did increase during the first three quarters of the first year of Trump’s presidency, they fell so hard in the fourth quarter that all of the previous gains were wiped out. Further, wages had been rising since the final years of the Obama administration.
“The visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people.”
Status: as false as false can be.
The visa lottery program requires applicants to meet certain educational and work-skills requirements and also undergo extreme vetting (which includes background checks). Only when they’ve met the requirements are applicants awarded visas randomly via the lottery.
“We have foolishly released hundreds and hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.”
Status: Disastrously misleading at best.
Only 122 detainees (not “hundreds and hundreds”) were released from U.S. custody and then returned to terrorist activities between 2002 and 2016. As for al-Baghdadi, he was not “released” by the U.S. Rather, he was sent to Iraq, where he was released later under mysterious circumstances.
“We repealed the core of the disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.”
Status: Obviously false, as you will find out to your peril when you file your taxes this year if you didn’t have health insurance in 2017.
The individual mandate is still in effect, and individuals who don’t have health insurance still face fines. The individual mandate’s repeal doesn’t take effect until next year.