Trump’s Error-filled Cabinet Meeting

For more than an hour, President Donald Trump presided over a cabinet meeting, reeling off numerous false or misleading claims:

  • Trump claimed, without evidence, that President Barack Obama tried to call North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “11 times” but that “the man on the other side … did not take his call” due to a “lack of respect.” Obama’s national security adviser and deputy national security adviser both called Trump’s claim false.
  • Trump took credit for making a “deal” between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds that he said “people have been trying to make” for years. One expert called this claim “nonsense.” The deal is only a five-day pause in the conflict that arose when Trump pulled U.S. troops from the Syria-Turkey border.
  • The president boasted that “nobody has ever done” a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day until he took office. In fact, it started in 2010.
  • He wrongly claimed that “many” of the “ambassadors” House Democrats are interviewing in the impeachment inquiry were “put there” by past administrations. Seven of the nine officials who have testified behind closed doors so far were appointed to their most recent positions under Trump’s administration.
  • Trump made the illogical and unsubstantiated claim that there was no informant who provided information to the whistleblower, whose complaint triggered an impeachment inquiry. And even more absurdly, Trump suggested the informant was Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee.
  • Trump was wrong in saying “no other president” has donated his salary. John F. Kennedy and Herbert Hoover also did so, according to news reports and Hoover’s library.
  • In defending the quashed plans to hold the next G-7 at his own resort, Trump suggested that Obama getting a book deal was like “running a business” while Obama was in office. The deal came after Obama left office.
  • Trump said, “China is doing very poorly — worst year they’ve had in 57 years.” China announced its economy grew by 6% in the third quarter of 2019, when compared with the same period the previous year. That was “the weakest pace in at least 27-1/2 years,” according to a Reuter’s analysis of quarterly data.

Trump made, which started — after a prayer from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson — with the president talking about the U.S. economy, which he described as doing “fantastically well.” (See “” for a statistical measure of how things have changed since Trump took office.)

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