Society

CAP: 51 Statements During Trump's Speech Were False

| by Robert Fowler

While President Donald Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress received positive polling and warm responses from GOP lawmakers, the liberal policy organization Center for American Progress (CAP) has asserted that 51 statements made during the speech were false.

On Feb. 28, Trump spoke before Congress to outline the agenda for his first year in office. Polling indicated that the address was well-received by viewers.

A CNN/ORC poll found that 57 percent of viewers had a very positive reaction to Trump's speech, while roughly 70 percent felt more optimistic about the future after watching the address.

The poll surveyed individuals who were confirmed to have watched the speech and as a result more likely to be favorable to watch the president's address, giving the overall data an eight-point Republican-leaning skew when compared to the national average.

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On Mar. 1, CAP released a fact-checking spreadsheet asserting that Trump had made 51 false statements during his 61-minute address. The group had crowdsourced fact-checkers to comb through the president's speech, Indy 100 reports.

While some observers could dismiss CAP's assertion as a partisan pushback, inquiring readers can read the Google spreadsheet provided by them to follow up on whether or not Trump had made 51 falsehoods.

Several of Trump's statements have been criticized for being misleading. For example, one statement made by Trump that has received attention was his assertion that 94 million Americans "are out of the labor force."

Fact-checker Binyamin Appelbaum of The New York Times noted that this figure came from the entirety of Americans over the age of 15 who were unemployed, which include students, the disabled and retirees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that the number of Americans out of work who are seeking a job is actually 7.6 million.

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact has found that out of 373 statements that Trump has made as a politician, 30 percent have been true, mostly true or half true while 70 percent were either mostly false, false or "Pants on Fire."

Setting aside whether or not the statements made by Trump during his address were factually accurate, the optics of the speech were heralded by Republican lawmakers. The House Majority Leader, Republican Kevin McCarthy of California, told Politico: "I think people looking at home, some may have a different impression watching him tonight and seeing that he's a president for all Americans."

The deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, asserted that Trump was being praised for clearing a low bar.

"The thing is, he's behaved so badly that if he doesn't behave badly, people think he's getting better," Ellison said. "He's not getting better. This was a theatrical performance. That's all that it was, and nobody should be fooled by it."

Sources: CAP Fact-Check via Google DocsCNNIndy 100, The New York Times, PoliticoPolitiFact / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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