President Trump mounted a case for electing more Republicans to Congress in November with misleading attacks on Democrats and exaggerated boasts of his achievements at a campaign rally in Fargo, N.D., on Wednesday night.
He was in Fargo to stump for Representative Kevin Cramer, a Republican, who is trying to unseat the state’s Democratic senator, Heidi Heitkamp. During the speech, Mr. Trump warned that Ms. Heitkamp would vote against his nomination to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who had announced his retirement from the Supreme Court on Wednesday. (Ms. Heitkamp voted for his previous Supreme Court nominee, Neil M. Gorsuch.)
Mr. Trump also updated his familiar stump speech — and its repeated inaccuracies — with a few new claims. Here’s a fact check.
what was said
“We just came out with the association plan, which is phenomenal. Millions and millions of people are signing up.”
This month, the Trump administration announced a new rule that would allow small businesses to join together and set up association health plans. But Mr. Trump is counting his enrollees before the plans hatch.
Under the rule, association plans will not be offered until at least Sept. 1, so it is impossible that “millions and millions” have already enrolled under the rule.
The association plans may not have to provide “essential health benefits” that the Affordable Care Act requires for individual and small group market plans. These benefits include coverage for maternity care, mental health care and prescription drugs. As a result, the new plans could be cheaper and lure younger, healthier people away from Affordable Care Act marketplaces, driving up costs for those plans.
The Congressional Budget Office projected that about 4 million people would enroll in these association health plans by 2023. Avalere, a health consulting firm, estimated that 3.2 million would enroll by 2022, up from an initial enrollment of 130,000 by 2019.
what was said
“Maxine. She’s a beauty. I mean, she practically was telling people the other day to assault. Can you imagine if I said the things she said?”
This is misleading.
Mr. Trump is embellishing remarks made by Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, and falsely suggesting he has not urged physical violence himself.
At a rally in Los Angeles on Saturday, Ms. Waters urged those who are opposed policies that result in the separation of immigrant children from their families to confront top Trump administration officials.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” she said. “And if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Mr. Trump’s supporters have interpreted her use of the term “push back” as violence, but Ms. Waters has denied calling for harm and argues she only sought peaceful protest.
(For what it’s worth, the White House itself has used “push back” numerous times in reference to, among other things, California’s immigration laws, criticism of the C.I.A. director, and reporting from The New York Times).
Mr. Trump is wrong that he, himself, has never encouraged violence. During the 2016 campaign, he urged his supporters to “rough up” protesters, lamented the “old days” when protesters would be “carried out on a stretcher” and explicitly told supporters to “knock the crap out of them.”
what was said
“United States Steel is opening up six plants through expansion, and new.”
Mr. Trump announced that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in March. But since then, the United States Steel Corp. has not announced the opening of a single new plant, let alone six.
The company has announced that it would restart two blast furnaces at a plant in Granite City, Ill., one in March and the second in June.
Mr. Trump may have been referring to each individual component of the steel-making process at Granite City as its own plant, an analyst explained to the Washington Post Fact Checker, but those parts are not new either.
what was said
“The Democrats are always fighting against funding for the military, and funding for law enforcement.”
This is exaggerated.
Mr. Trump signed into law a $700 billion military spending bill into law in December — and most Democrats voted for it.
Those who voted against the bill in the Senate included three Republicans, four Democrats and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. In the House, 63 Democrats voted against the bill, but 127 Democrats supported it.
Mr. Trump also repeated numerous claims that The New York Times has previously debunked:
Source: Timothy Jost, Department of Labor, Federal Register, Congressional Budget Office, Avalere, The New York Times, YouTube, CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post Fact Checker, congress.gov, United States Steel Corporation website