In a press conference largely devoted to lambasting “fake media,” President Trump responded to a fact-check of his election claims by saying, “I was given that information, I don’t know.”
Earlier in the press conference, which took place in the White House East Room, Trump had stated that he had the largest Electoral College margin since Ronald Reagan.
“I got 306 Electoral College votes,” said Trump, echoing comments he made in a Wednesday joint appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I wasn’t supposed to get 222, they said there’s no way to get 222. 230’s impossible. Two-seventy, which you need, that was laughable. We got 306, because people came out and voted like they’ve never seen before, so that’s the way it goes. It was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.”
The president earned 306 electoral votes, but technically received only 304 after two electors defected. Three hundred and six is fewer than the electoral votes earned by the winners in 2012 (332), 2008 (365), 1996 (379), 1992 (370) and 1988 (426). NBC News reporter Peter Alexander brought this fact up to the president.
“I was talking about Republican,” said Trump.
When Alexander cited George H. W. Bush’s numbers, Trump said, “I was given that information, I don’t know. We had a very, very big margin.” He added, “Actually I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory, would you agree with that?”
“You’re the president,” replied Alexander.
President Trump also cited the only poll that gives him a positive approval rating.
“A new Rasmussen poll just came out just a very short while ago [that] has our approval rating at 55 percent and going up,” said Trump.
Rasmussen’s Thursday tracking poll did put the president at 55 percent approval, 45 percent disapproval, for a net rating of plus 10. Trump neglected to mention two other polls released Thursday on his approval rating. A Pew Research Poll placed Trump at 39 percent approval, 56 percent disapproval, for a net approval rating of negative 17. At the same point in their presidencies, Barack Obama was plus 47, George W. Bush was plus 32, Bill Clinton was plus 31, George H. W. Bush was plus 50 and Ronald Reagan was plus 37.
The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll has Trump at 40 percent approval, 54 percent approval, for a net rating of negative 14.
Trump’s claim was consistent with his statement on February 6 that “any negative polls are fake news.”
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