Fact Check: Misfires in Trump’s AP interview
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an Associated Press interview, President Donald Trump claimed more progress than he’s achieved on his 100-day plan and showed he was not completely familiar with what he had promised in that “contract” with voters.
A look at some of his assertions in the interview and other statements he made last week:
TRUMP, on his 100-day plan: “I’m mostly there on most items.” — AP interview
THE FACTS: He’s not. Of 38 specific promises Trump made in his 100-day “contract” with voters, he’s accomplished 10, mostly through executive orders that don’t require legislation. For example, he’s withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, created a violent crime task force and lifted restrictions on fossil fuel development. Of the 10 pieces of legislation he promised, none has been achieved and most have not been introduced, with the notable exception of the health care overhaul that was put in play but withdrawn from Congress because of insufficient support.
He hasn’t started on 15 of his 100-day promises, which include several immigration laws, college affordability, infrastructure incentives and punishment for companies that move jobs overseas.
TRUMP: “I think the 100 days is, you know, it’s an artificial barrier. It’s not very meaningful.” — AP interview
THE FACTS: He’s right that a 100-day measurement of a new president is artificial. As for whether it’s meaningful, Trump invested it with a series of promises by which he was to be measured in 100 days, released in an Oct. 22 appearance at Gettysburg, Penn.
“What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again,” says the manifesto. “It is a contract between myself and the American voter.”
Trump has grown dismissive of the 100-day mark, calling it “ridiculous,” and now plays down his manifesto even as he boasts of his achievements.
TRUMP: “I didn’t put Supreme Court judge on the 100 (day) plan, and I got a Supreme Court judge.” — AP interview
THE FACTS: He actually did promise in his plan to “begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia.” On this, he delivered more than promised — not only finding a new Supreme Court justice but winning Senate confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, who now sits on the court.
TRUMP: “No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days.” — Tuesday at the Kenosha, Wisconsin, headquarters of Snap-on tools
THE FACTS: Trump’s legislative victories are surpassed by a variety of high achievers in the White House.
Taking office in the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt quickly declared a banking holiday to quiet panic, called a special session of Congress and won passage of emergency legislation to stabilize the banking system. He came forward with consequential legislation that set the pillars of the New Deal in place within his first 100 days, “the most concentrated period of U.S. reform in U.S. history,” say Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer in “The Reader’s Companion to the American Presidency.” No fewer than 14 historic laws were enacted in that time.
Trump needn’t look as far back as FDR to see a president who got off to a fast start. Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus package into law in his first month, while also achieving laws expanding health care for children and advancing equal pay for women in that time.