AP FACT CHECK: Trump exaggerates what’s getting done on the border wall and sees a Dem plot to ban cows.
Let Democrats have their way, President Donald Trump suggested, and the United States will become a country without border security, airplanes or cows.
Trump warned of a variety of dire consequences from the Democratic playbook as he rallied Monday night in the border city of El Paso, Texas, in a hall where banners proclaimed « Finish the Wall » even though he barely has a start on the one he promised.
Both at the White House and in El Paso, he presented the border wall as a work in progress, hailing the start of a « big, big portion » with much more coming soon. It was a hefty exaggeration from a president who has yet to see an extra mile of barrier completed since he took office.
With another government shutdown looming — a tentative agreement reached by lawmakers Monday could avert it — and illegal immigration still at the heart of the budget dispute, Trump is pulling out the stops to portray his proposed wall as an answer to crime and drugs. As he’s done repeatedly, Trump also defied the record in claiming that the wall that Congress has refused to pay for is rapidly coming together anyway.
In the course of the evening, he also took a swipe at the Green New Deal, a sweeping plan put forward by a group of Democrats last week to transform the U. S. economy to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy. This is where gaseous cows come into it.
A look at his remarks:
TRUMP, on the effects of the Green New Deal: « You’re not allowed to own cows anymore. » He added that the plan would « shut down American energy » and « a little thing called air travel. »
THE FACTS: The Democratic plan would do none of those things. Trump chose to ignore the actual provisions of the plan, which calls for a drastic drop in emissions from methane-generating cows, air travel and more but would not ban cattle ownership or flights.
Instead, Trump took his cue from a FAQ that was distributed by the office of Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York last week, then clumsily disavowed by her and replaced with a more accurate summary of the plan.
The first version described measures beyond those contained in the plan and made the impolitic statement: « We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast. »
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TRUMP, on the effect of a border wall on crime in El Paso: « When that wall went up, it’s a whole different ball game…. I don’t care whether a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat. They’re full of crap when they say it hasn’t made a big difference. I heard the same thing from the fake news. They said, ‘Oh crime, it actually stayed the same.’ It didn’t stay the same. It went way down…. Thanks to a powerful border wall in El Paso, Texas, it’s one of America’s safest cities now. » — rally remarks.
THE FACT: Trump falsely suggests a dramatic drop in crime in El Paso due to a border wall. In fact, the city’s murder rate was less than half the national average in 2005, the year before the start of its border fence. It’s true that the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that El Paso’s annual number of reported violent crimes dropped from nearly 5,000 in 1995 to around 2,700 in 2016. But that corresponded with similar declines in violent crime nationwide and included periods when the city’s crime rates increased year over year, despite new fencing and walls.

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