How Truthful Was Trump’s RNC Speech?

Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP Images.
“But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else,” is how Donald Trump started his acceptance speech on Thursday night at the Republican National Convention. But some fact-checkers have a bone to pick with that statement. According to various fact-checks, the newly minted Republican nominee for president frequently used facts that were misleading, inflated, or in some cases just plain false. The New York Times said that while many of the facts appeared to be true, Trump “sometimes failed to offer the entire story, or provide all of the context that might help to explain his numbers.” One big claim was that crime — particularly homicides — was on the rise, which The Times broke down to point out that the data was misrepresented. Politifact rated his assertion that the Obama administration’s policies had undermined crime reduction as full on “Pants-On-Fire” in their annotated fact-check of Trump’s speech.
Another half-truth was his assertion that criminal immigrants were a big threat to Americans. “Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records ordered deported from our country are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens,” he said in his speech. The New York Times and Politico pointed out that while technically true, Trump did not mention that most of those people are likely non-violent, their criminal records reflecting things like missed court dates. NBC also noted that research shows first-generation immigrants, documented or not, commit less crime than American-born citizens.

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