WASHINGTON (AP) — The political fallout from President Trump's push for a border wall is giving rise to overwrought rhetoric from Republicans and Democrats alike. Here are fact checks on nine issues roiling the nation’s political weather.
Trump, as he has so often done, claimed progress on the wall that is not borne out facts. In the Democrats' 2020 presidential campaign, Trump was assailed for confining kids in "cages," though his administration's fenced facilities for migrant children are the same the Obama administration used to hold children by the thousands.
One Republican senator, seeking to show there's a low bar for presidents to declare a national emergency, asserted President Barack Obama took that step against the swine flu even when there were no cases of that malady in the country. Actually, more than 1,000 Americans had died from that flu before Obama made his emergency declaration in 2009.
On other fronts, Trump misrepresented the history of U.S. diplomacy with North Korea as he anticipated his summit this week with that country's leader. And with the special counsel's Russia investigation possibly close to wrapping up, he revisited past attempts to discredit a "rigged" probe.
A look at recent political rhetoric:
TRUMP: "We have just built this powerful Wall in New Mexico. Completed on January 30, 2019 - 47 days ahead of schedule! Many miles more now under construction! #FinishTheWall." — tweet Wednesday, Feb. 20.
THE FACTS: This is the latest of many examples of Trump presenting replacement fencing or pre-existing barrier as evidence that his promised wall is coming along. In reality, Trump has not completed any additional miles of barrier in his presidency.
In this case, he is citing the replacement of 20 miles of existing fencing at Santa Teresa, New Mexico, just outside El Paso, the only barrier construction in New Mexico so far. The $73 million project started in April.
Construction was beginning this month for 14 miles of new fencing in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas — the first additional miles of barrier in Trump's presidency. That's from money approved by Congress a year ago.
Money approved by Congress this month to avert a government shutdown would cover about 55 more miles and he's trying unilaterally to free up money for more.
Trump often incorrectly portrays his wall as largely complete, with the rally cry, "Finish the wall," which replaced his initial slogan, "Build the wall." In fact, the barrier now in service — about 650 miles of fencing — was put in place by previous administrations.
TRUMP: "The failed Fast Train project in California, where the cost overruns are becoming world record setting, is hundreds of times more expensive than the desperately needed Wall!" — tweet Tuesday, Feb. 19.
THE FACTS: The high-speed rail project is nowhere close to being "hundreds of times" more expensive than Trump's proposed border wall. The estimated cost for a San Francisco-to-Los Angeles train has more than doubled to $77 billion. That's about 13 times the $5.7 billion Trump sought unsuccessfully from Congress to build just part of the wall. Last year, he sought $25 billion to pay the full costs of building his wall, also rejected by Congress. The California project would cost three times more than that — far from "hundreds of times more."
Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., said this month the project "as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long." He said the state would focus on completing a shorter segment in the Central Valley while seeking money from new sources for the longer route.
SEN. KEVIN CRAMER, Republican of North Dakota: "Barack Obama declared a national emergency to fight swine flu and we didn't have a single case of it in the United States." — podcast posted Tuesday.