It was a mission-accomplished moment that other Republican leaders,
Trump spent much of the past week trying to justify his decision to pull
In the process, Trump exaggerated the scope of a deal bringing a temporary cease-fire to Turkish-Kurdish hostilities, falsely suggested
A look at his rhetoric on that topic and other subjects over the past week as well as a sampling of statements from the latest Democratic presidential debate:
TRUMP: "It's time to bring our soldiers back home." — news conference Wednesday.
THE FACTS: That's not what he's doing.
And on Saturday, Defense Secretary
Asked Sunday why troops weren't coming home as Trump said they would, his acting chief of staff,
TRUMP: "This is a great day for civilization. I am proud of
TRUMP: "A lot of things are in that agreement that nobody ever thought possible." — remarks at
THE FACTS: The agreement he is hailing is not nearly as consequential to the prospects for peace as he claims. It provides for s five-day cease-fire in the Turks' deadly attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern
The agreement requires the Kurds to vacate a swath of territory in
It imposes no apparent long-term consequences for
TRUMP, on the Syrian areas of Turkish-Kurdish conflict: "It's a lot of sand. They've got a lot of sand over there. So there's a lot of sand that they can play with." — remarks Wednesday.
THE FACTS: The area of conflict is not known for being particularly sandy. In contrast to Trump's imagery of arid, worthless land that other countries — not the
The area is part of what was historically known as the Fertile Crescent, where settled farming and early civilizations first began.
TRUMP: "We were supposed to be in
THE FACTS: Previous administrations never set a one-month timeline for
TRUMP: "Our soldiers are mostly gone from the area." — news conference Wednesday.
THE FACTS: They're mostly still there.
Close to 30 U.S. troops moved out of two outposts near the border area where the Turkish attack was initially centered. But the bulk of the roughly 1,000
According to officials, most of the
THE FACTS: The former vice president is wrong. There is no evidence that any of the approximately 1,000 American troops preparing to evacuate from
Also, Biden was addressing the situation in
WOMEN IN SPACE
TRUMP: "This is the first time for a woman outside of the
THE FACTS: Meir corrected the record, telling Trump: "First of all, we don't want to take too much credit, because there have been many other female spacewalkers before us. This is just the first time that there have been two women outside at the same time. "
TRUMP: "When I first got in, a general told me we could have had a conflict with someone. Said, Sir, we don't have ammunition. And I said I never want to hear a president — I just never want to hear somebody have that statement made to them again as president of
THE FACTS: Trump periodically quotes unidentified generals as saying things that he wants to hear and that are hard to imagine them actually having said. This is no exception. The
At most, budget constraints may have restricted ammunition for certain training exercises at times and held back the development of new forms of firepower. It's not unusual for generals to want more people and equipment at their disposal than they have. But they don't run out of bullets.
ECONOMY and TRADE
TRUMP: "Just out: MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME IS AT THE HIGHEST POINT EVER, EVER, EVER! How about saying it this way, IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY!" — tweet Tuesday.
THE FACTS: Another way of saying it is that median household income has been this high before.
Trump also builds his boast on the records of others.
While that was a welcome increase after household income fell sharply in the Great Recession, it also suggests that the median American household went back to where it was 19 years ago. (The median is the point where half of households earn more and half earn less).
Household income began rising in 2014, after falling in the aftermath of the recession, and jumped 5.1% in 2015, making its most significance gains in President
It grew just 0.9% in 2018, the slowest in three years.
It released a supplemental report showing that, adjusted for those methodological changes, median incomes in 2018 matched those in 1999. A separate census report, which has fewer details on incomes, said last month that median household income has reached a record high, but those data only go back to 2005.
TRUMP, on a
TRUMP: "We didn't win anything for years practically. Now we've won a lot of cases. You know why? Because they know I'll leave if they don't treat us fairly." —
THE FACTS: He's incorrect to say the
JULIÁN CASTRO: "
THE FACTS: No. Figures from the
These states do still have economic struggles.
TRUMP: "MORE PEOPLE WORKING TODAY IN THE
THE FACTS: True, but it's due to population growth, not just steady hiring.
A more relevant measure is the proportion of Americans with jobs, and that is still far below record highs.
THE FACTS: Earth's existence and life on the planet will not end because of climate change, as the
Science says climate change will cause great harm, but it won't wipe out everything and won't end humanity.
"It's an existential threat for many species," said
Life will be dramatically altered if the burning of fossil fuels continues unabated, said Oppenheimer, a co-author of many of the most dire international science reports on climate change.
"Existential" has perhaps lost its literal meaning, as politicians in general and
THE FACTS: No, the
Legislation under discussion in the
Buttigieg was citing the chance for an assault-weapons ban as a reason for not supporting the more radical proposal by Democratic presidential rival
THE FACTS: That's not exactly what special counsel
It's true that prosecutors examined more than 10 episodes for evidence of obstruction of justice, and that they did illustrate efforts by Trump to stymie the
But ultimately, Mueller did not reach a conclusion as to whether the president obstructed justice or broke any other law. He cited
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EDITOR'S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures