By Calvin Woodward and Hope Yen
Washington, Oct 26 (AP) President Donald Trump says Mexico is paying for the wall (it isn't), health care choice for veterans came from him (it didn't) and his tax cut stands as the biggest in American history (nowhere close).
These are among his touchstones — the falsehoods that span his presidency — and he's giving them another go in the final days of his relentless campaigning.
A look at rhetoric from the weekend:
TRUMP: "Even without vaccines, we're rounding the turn. It's going to be over." — on C-SPAN, Sunday.
TRUMP: "We're rounding the turn. It's going to be over.” — New Hampshire rally Sunday.
TRUMP: “We're rounding the turn, we're doing great. Our numbers are incredible.” — North Carolina rally Saturday.
THE FACTS: The numbers have turned harrowing, not “incredible.” The U.S. set a daily record Friday for new confirmed coronavirus infections and nearly matched it Saturday with 83,178, data published by Johns Hopkins University show.
Close to 8.6 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and about 225,000 have died; both totals are the world's highest. About half the states have seen their highest daily infection numbers so far at some point in October.
TRUMP: "And by the way, Mexico is paying for the wall.” — New Hampshire rally.
TRUMP: “No, they are paying for it. Totally." — North Carolina rally.
TRUMP: “We got it financed. Mexico will be paying for it because we're going to charge a fee.” THE FACTS: The U.S. is paying for it. Mexico isn't. The Mexican government flatly refused to contribute to extending or reinforcing barriers on U.S. soil — “Not now, not ever,” Enrique Peña Nieto, then Mexico's president, tweeted in May 2018.
TRUMP: “We passed VA Choice.” — New Hampshire rally.
TRUMP: “The last administration failed our veterans. I reformed the VA, passed VA Choice." — North Carolina rally.
THE FACTS: He did not get the Choice programme passed. President Barack Obama did. Trump expanded it. The program allows veterans to get medical care outside the Veterans Affairs system under certain conditions.
TRUMP on Biden when he was vice president: “So Russia, the mayor of Moscow's wife, who's a very wealthy man, she's a very wealthy woman, retired, gave him three and a half million dollars.” — North Carolina rally.
THE FACTS: No she didn't.
A Republican congressional report that investigated the Moscow business dealings of Biden's son, Hunter, pointed to a USD 3.5 million investment made there to an investment firm linked to Hunter Biden.
The money didn't go to Joe Biden at all. Nor is there evidence that Hunter Biden pocketed the sum. The GOP report said the money went to the investment firm. And Hunter Biden's lawyer has said in a statement that his client had no interest in that firm.
TRUMP: “I banned people from China, where it was heavily infected, from coming into a country. Biden was totally against that. He called me xenophobic. And now he goes out and says we should have done it sooner. Well he didn't want to do it at all.” — North Carolina rally.
THE FACTS: That's false. Trump never banned travel from China; he restricted it. Biden did not call the travel restrictions xenophobic; he used the term in regard to Trump's other rhetoric about foreigners. And he did not oppose the restrictions, but rather took no clear position for many weeks, before supporting them.
BIDEN: “I never said I oppose fracking.” — presidential debate Thursday.
TRUMP: “You said it in the tape." — presidential debate Thursday.
THE FACTS: Trump is correct; Biden said it on tape, telling a Democratic primary debate, “No new fracking.” Trump has been playing Biden's remark at his own rallies.
A fracking ban wasn't and still isn't Biden's policy, though. Biden's campaign corrected his remark after the primary debate.
TRUMP: “In Nevada, they want to have a thing where you don't have to have any verification of the signature.” -- New Hampshire rally.
THE FACTS: Not true, despite his frequent assertions to the contrary. The state's existing law requires signature checks on mail ballots. A new law also spells out a process by which election officials are to check a signature against the one in government records.
In Nevada's June primary, nearly 7,000 ballots were thrown out due to mismatched or missing signatures.
TRUMP: “We brought in tremendous numbers of companies ... I said to Prime Minister Abe, a great, great gentleman who retired ... 'Shinzo, you got to open some factories in Michigan ... You're selling too many cars made in Japan, you got to make them in the U.S.' He'd say 'Well, I don't do that ... this is done by the private sector ...' I said, 'You have to do it.' The next day, they announced five companies were opening up factories.” — New Hampshire rally.
THE FACTS: That's a made-up story he's told before.
No Japanese automaker assembly plants have been announced or built in Michigan, let alone in one day, and there are no plans to add any.
TRUMP: “We got off that crazy Iran deal, right? The Iran nuclear deal, where Obama gave them USD 150 billion for the privilege." — North Carolina rally.
THE FACTS: No, Obama did not give the Iranians USD 150 billion for signing the multinational deal to constrain their nuclear development. The deal let Iran have access to USD 150 billion of its own assets that were frozen abroad until Tehran agreed to the terms. (AP)