The claim: Among other broken promises, Trump only built 3 miles of border wall
A post on Facebook shared over 10,000 times lists a number of promises that President Donald Trump made to his supporters that it claims he failed to fulfill.
"Dear Trump Supporters, Only 3 miles of wall got built; Mexico didn't pay; Hillary's not locked up; Obamacare wasn't repealed; the deficit's skyrocketed; millions are unemployed; and instead of being 'great again,' America is the epicenter of a global pandemic," the post reads. "Y'all got played."
The post is a screenshot of a tweet from July 19 by the account Translate Trump. Its bio claims that it provides "interpretations, insights, and fact-checks" of tweets from Trump, and the user behind the account declined to comment.
The user who posted the tweet to Facebook did not respond to a request from USA TODAY for comment.
First claim is false; over 300 miles of wall have been built, though just 5 miles are new
It's true that the number of miles of wall built at the southern border has fallen short of the number promised by Trump. But it's not quite as low as the post makes it out to be.
On Sept. 1, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that 307 miles of the border wall have been completed.
Still, the "3 mile" figure is likely referring to the number of miles of new border wall that have been built.
On June 23, the Los Angeles Times reported that of the 216 miles built since Trump took office, just 3 miles were "constructed in locations where no barriers previously existed." The rest were replacement walls or secondary to existing walls.
That figure seems to have grown a bit over the summer, too – on Aug. 7, the San Antonio Express-News reported that of the then-260 miles completed, a total of 5 miles were new.
The rest of the claims – about Mexico, Hillary Clinton, Obamacare, the deficit, unemployment, and the pandemic – are true
The rest of the claims in the viral tweet are true.
Of the 275 miles of the miles of wall that have been constructed, Mexico has not paid for them.
In 2019, an aide to Trump said that taxpayers foot the bill for the construction, according to CNN. And there's no provision in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to provide payment for the wall, though Trump has claimed otherwise, per Politico.
Hillary Clinton is also not "locked up." A State Department probe of her private email server concluded there was "no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information," per the Washington Post.
Clinton has not been charged or accused of any crimes – let alone "locked up" for them.
Obamacare also was not repealed in full. Congress only repealed the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, and the program is still in effect, according to Vox.
The federal deficit has also increased under Trump.
Between 2017-18, it grew 28%. Between 2018-19, it grew 17%, and surpassed $1 trillion for the first time since 2012, per the New York Times.
Millions of Americans are also unemployed, though much of the recent increase in unemployment appears attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. The unemployment rate increased from 3.6% in January to 14.7% in April, and dropped back to 10.2% by July, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That month, about 30 million workers collected unemployment benefits, per the New York Times.
And though the "epicenter" of the pandemic is difficult to define, the United States leads the world in reported cases of COVID-19 at over 6 million out of a global 25 million, according to the New York Times.
Our rating: Partly false
Based on our research, the Facebook post is PARTLY FALSE because some of it was not supported by our research. More than 3 miles of the border wall have been built under Trump. However, the rest of the claims – about Mexico, Hillary Clinton, Obamacare, the deficit, unemployment, and the pandemic – are true.
Our fact-check sources:
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Wall System
- Los Angeles Times, June 23, Trump campaigns on border wall progress. There’s not much of it
- San Antonio Express-News, Aug. 7, Border wall: Hundreds of miles funded, 5 new miles built
- CNN, Jan. 10, 2019, Taxpayers will pay for wall, White House aide acknowledges
- Politico, Jan. 10, 2019, Fact check: Mexico will 'indirectly' pay for a border wall through the new trade deal
- Washington Post, Oct. 18, 2019, State Department probe of Clinton emails finds no deliberate mishandling of classified information
- Vox, Jan. 6, Obamacare looks surprisingly sturdy after the individual mandate’s repeal
- New York Times, Jan. 13, Budget Deficit Topped $1 Trillion in 2019
- National Conference of State Legislatures, Aug. 7, National Employment Monthly Update
- New York Times, Aug. 30, U.S. Coronavirus Cases Top 6 Million
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Donald Trump has built more border wall than meme claims