Most notably, Trump’s first post-presidency address, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, included his usual lies about the 2020 election. He continued to falsely insist he was the legitimate winner and continued to falsely insist the election was “rigged.”
Trump repeated a bunch of other false claims we regularly heard from him as president, on subjects ranging from trade with China to his stance on the war in Iraq. He also offered up some new false claims about President Joe Biden’s early days in office.
We are still going through the transcript of Trump’s remarks, but here is an initial breakdown of some of the things he said.
Who won the election
Trump repeated various versions of his usual lie that he won the 2020 election. He said that Democrats “just lost the White House,” said that “it’s not possible” that he lost, said “no” after asking the rhetorical question “did Biden win?” and said another election win in the future would be his “third.”
Mail-in ballots and dead voters
Trump repeated his attack on mail-in voting and claimed that dead people voted in the election.
“(T)ens of millions of ballots. Where are they coming from? They’re coming from all over the place.” He then claimed that “dead people are voting.”
Early morning vote batches
Trump repeated the claim that some nefarious vote-dumping occurred in the earlier hours of the morning after the election.
“What happened at 3:02 in the morning?” Trump asked the CPAC audience.
More votes than people
Trump repeated another of his arguments about voter fraud, claiming that in multiple cities there were more votes than people. He specifically called out Detroit, Michigan, which came under scrutiny shortly after the election when Republican county election officials tried to block the certification of election results.
“We have a little problem adjusting in Detroit, we seem to have more votes than we have people. A lot more votes. An election changing number,” Trump said.
Votes in Pennsylvania
Trump also claimed that “in Pennsylvania, they had hundreds of thousands of more votes than they had people voting.”
Biden and the Keystone Pipeline
Trump claimed that Biden had not said during his campaign that he was planning to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.
“In one of his first official acts — which was incredible, because again, he talked about energy, he never said he was going to do this — he canceled the Keystone pipeline,” Trump said.
Biden and fracking
Trump claimed Biden reversed his stance on fracking between the primary and the general election, stating, “During the primary, ‘no fracking.’ As soon as he got through that, he said ‘no, of course, everybody can frack.'”
Trump said: “Your family still can’t go out to eat at local restaurants, but Joe Biden is bringing in thousands upon thousands of refugees from all over the world. People that nobody knows anything about. We don’t have crime records. We don’t have health records.”
Biden and schools
Trump called for children to return to school “immediately,” then said, “The only reason most parents do not have that choice is because Joe Biden sold out America’s children to the teachers unions.” He said Biden is “cruelly keeping our children locked in their homes.”
Trump’s repeated falsehoods
Florida, Ohio and Iowa
Trump claimed that “no president has ever lost an election after carrying Florida, Ohio and Iowa.”
Also, of course, this historical tidbit does not tell us anything about the legitimacy of Trump’s defeat.
Deportations to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador
Trump repeated an old false claim about Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, saying that before he took office, those countries were “refusing to take back illegal alien gang members, including MS-13.” He added soon after: “We’d fly ’em in, they wouldn’t let the plane land. We’d bus ’em in, they wouldn’t let the buses get anywhere near the border.”
ICE officials said there were some exceptions to the three countries’ general cooperativeness, but Trump’s general declaration that the countries were uncooperative was never true.
Trump’s stance on the war in Iraq
Trump repeated his usual false claim about his pre-war stance on the war in Iraq.
“Iraq: remember I used to say don’t go in, but if you’re gonna go in, keep the oil. Well, we went in and we didn’t keep the oil,” he said.
We could not find any examples of Trump saying anything before the war about keeping Iraq’s oil. (We asked the Trump-era White House communications staff if it could provide any evidence; we never got a response.) Trump appeared to be describing comments he made during the war, in which he did talk about taking Iraq’s oil, as if he made them during the run-up to the war.
Past tariffs on China
Trump repeated a familiar claim about how, before he took office, China “never gave us 10 cents,” but then, under him, the US took in “hundreds of billions” from China because of his tariffs.
The trade deficit with China
“We used to lose $504 billion trade deficit with China…not million; $504 million is a lot…now take $504 million, make it $504 billion; we had deficits with China,” he said.
The goods and services deficit with China declined to $308 billion in 2019. (We don’t have final figures for 2020.)
US deaths in Afghanistan
Trump said, “Not one American soldier has been killed in Afghanistan in over a year.”
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