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President Trump is obsessed with Fake News™, so his re-election campaign launched a weekly video series in which his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, informs the nation of the "real" news of the week. There's one small catch, though: Lara's first real news video is actually a bit misleading.
In the past, President Trump's description of what constitutes "fake news" seemed to include everything from stories he thinks are misleading to facts and sources he believes are completely made up. Apparently, his 2020 re-election campaign (which is already in motion) thought his supporters could use some help differentiating "fake news" from "real news."
After a short video introducing the new weekly series on Trump's official Facebook page, the first "show" was posted July 30 and shared by Team Trump.
Since the video claims to be real news, let's fact-check Lara's claims about all President Trump's successes last week.
On Trump's Salary
What Lara said: President Trump is donating his salary, with the first quarter going to the Parks Department and the second quarter going to the Department of Education. "This is a president who's putting America before himself," she says in the video.
Fact Check: Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer handed a check to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who oversees the Parks Department, back in April. However, the donation came after Trump proposed cutting $1.5 billion from the interior budget.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos confirmed that Trump donated part of his salary to help pay for a camp to encourage students to go into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. But similarly, Trump's proposed budget called for much deeper cuts to the Education budget than his $100,000 donation will cover ($9.2 billion to be exact).
And there are still questions about how much Trump is profiting from the presidency. In fact, the city of Washington, D.C., the state of Maryland, and nearly 200 congressional Democrats have sued Trump for allegedly violating the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, which prohibits presidents from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments.
Before taking office, Trump set up a trust for his business assets and put his sons in charge of the Trump organization to avoid conflicts of interest. Because he didn't sell the company, he's still profiting from it, and those suing him are worried about the business receiving money from foreign governments. Nations including Saudi Arabia and Turkey have booked rooms or event space at Trump-owned hotels since he moved into the White House.
While it's not known how much money Trump has made from the Trump Organization while president or how much his position has influenced the business' profits, those suing him are concerned that he's profiting from his role, and that how he's profiting could result in conflicts of interest.
All of this raises questions about whether the president's putting America or himself first.
On The Stock Market
What Lara said: The Dow, an average of significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ, hit an all-time high last week.
Fact Check: This is technically correct, though experts don't think Trump deserves all the credit for the stock market's recent success. It's also worth noting that the market has been on a steady increase since 2009.
What Lara said: The unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 2001. "That is quite an incredible fact," she boasts.
Fact Check: Yes, the unemployment rate is historically low. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the most recent unemployment rate available (for June 2017) is 4.4%. Since the unemployment rate was 4.2% in 2001, 4.4% is the lowest its reached — but it was also at 4.4% in 2007.
It's also worth noting that the unemployment rate has been on a steady decline since 2009, according to data from the Bureau of Labor statistics.
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