The first misleading statement in President Trump’s Oval Office address Tuesday night came in the first sentence.New York Times:
Trump, addressing a national television audience from behind his desk, warned of a “security crisis at the southern border” — even though the number of people caught trying to cross illegally is near 20-year lows.
“The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.”Politifact:
Democrats have offered $1.3 billion in funding for border security measures like enhanced surveillance and fortified fencing. They do not support Mr. Trump’s border wall.
At a meeting with Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer in December, Mr. Trump took responsibility for the partial government shutdown.
“I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it,” he said.
"The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great, new trade deal we have made with Mexico."Politifact:
This is uncertain. Trump recently renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement, and rebranded it as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The Trump administration has argued that revenue from the renegotiated trade deal will help pay for the border wall.
But as trade experts note, any added revenue would flow to private businesses, not to the U.S. government. In the case that potential new revenue for firms leads to increased U.S. tax revenue, those funds would still need to be appropriated by Congress for a wall.
Lawmakers would have to agree to allocate that money to the border wall. But a disagreement over that is what has led to the current government shutdown.
In the past, Trump has made a more specific and often repeated false claim that Mexico will pay for the wall through the renegotiated deal. Nothing in the trade deal says the Mexican government will pay the U.S. government for the costs of the border wall. Also, the renegotiated trade deal is not in effect yet. It needs to clear logistical hurdles and be approved by all three countries.
Trump said “the border wall would very quickly pay for itself” by stopping the flow of illegal drugs. “The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year — vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress,” Trump said.AP:
The president overstated the economic cost of illegal drugs.
In a 2017 report, the White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated “the economic cost of the opioid crisis was $504.0 billion” in 2015 — but it is not all “illegal drugs,” as the president said. That figure “includes individuals who abuse prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin and individuals who abuse heroin or other illicit opioids,” the report said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that prescription drugs were involved in more than 35 percent of all opioid overdose deaths in 2017.
More to the point, Trump falsely claims that the wall would pay for itself by stopping the flow of illegal drugs. As we have written more than once, the majority of illicit drugs is smuggled through legal ports of entry.
In his prime-time speech to the nation, President Donald Trump declared a border crisis that’s in sharp dispute, wrongly accused Democrats of refusing to pay for border security and ignored the reality of how drugs come into the country as he pitched his wall as a solution to varied ills.Shepard Smith (of Fox News):
Trump: "The wall will also be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico." The President has made this false claim before.Let's all say it together: Donald Trump is a fucking liar.
Trump long ago abandoned his 2016 campaign promise that Mexico would pay to build a wall. Instead, he now makes the case that Mexico will "indirectly" pay for the barrier, thanks to the potential increase in tax revenue generated by his replacement for the North America Free Trade Agreement.
But the new deal hasn't yet been ratified by Congress, where Democrats have expressed opposition. And even if the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement ends up raising tax revenue, there's nothing earmarking that money for a wall. Income and corporate taxes are general revenue that would have to be appropriated by Congress.
Another way trade could bring money into the Treasury is through tariffs -- which are paid by American importers when they buy foreign goods. But like the original NAFTA, the new deal aims to keep trade between the three countries largely tariff-free.