WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's impeachment-eve letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was riddled with errors and outright lies, an AP fact-check reveals.
He did not win the presidency in a "landslide." He did not reinvent the Veterans Affairs Department. The Democrats did not shut him out of their impeachment process, but invited him in. His job-creation numbers are refuted by his own administration. And much more.
Here’s a look at the letter and other markers in a week filled with a storm of tweets, his impeachment-night rally and a day-after Democratic presidential debate:
TRUMP: "Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227)." — letter to Pelosi, D-Calif., on Tuesday
THE FACTS: Far from true. Trump's 2016 victory bore no resemblance to a landslide. He won with about 57% of electoral votes, a comfortable margin but no better than average or below average. Barack Obama and Bill Clinton each won bigger victories twice and many other presidents outperformed Trump.
Here is what Electoral College landslides look like: Franklin Roosevelt, 98.5% in 1936, 88.9% in 1932; Ronald Reagan, 97.6% in 1984; 90.9% in 1980. Richard Nixon, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Lyndon Johnson also topped 90% in an analysis of all elections by Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College.
Moreover, Republican Trump lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton, a rare occurrence for a winning candidate.
And Trump misstated the electoral count by which he won. The official count was 304-227, not 306-227, according to an Associated Press tally of the electoral votes in every state.
TRUMP, speaking when the stock market was down: "If the stock market goes up or down — I don't watch the stock market. I watch jobs." — remarks Dec. 3 during NATO summit
TRUMP, speaking when the stock market was up: "Broke all time Stock Market Record again today. 135 times since my 2016 Election Win. Thank you!" — tweet Friday
THE FACTS: He watches the stock market.
IMPEACHMENT and UKRAINE
TRUMP: "More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials." — letter to Pelosi
THE FACTS: No. Nineteen people were executed after being falsely accused of witchcraft in trials in colonial Massachusetts. Trump, meanwhile, has lawyers, a Republican-controlled Senate, the power of the presidency, constitutional protections and money behind him.
The Salem trials were so unfair that they have become the metaphor of choice for Trump in complaining about the "witch hunt" against him. Salem, Massachusetts Mayor Kim Driscoll urged Trump to "learn some history."
TRUMP: "You know full well that Vice President Biden used his office and $1 billion dollars of U.S. aid money to coerce Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars." — letter to Pelosi
THE FACTS: He's incorrect to say that Biden, now a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, pressed to have the prosecutor fired while the prosecutor was investigating Burisma, the energy company in Ukraine where Biden's son Hunter sat on the board of directors. In fact, by the time Biden came out against the prosecutor, the investigation into the company was dormant.
Biden, among other international officials, was pressing for a more aggressive investigation of corruption in Ukraine, not a softer one.