Saturday, June 2, 2018

More . . .

TRUMP, on a possible summit with North Korea: "The Failing @nytimes quotes 'a senior White House official,' who doesn't exist, as saying 'even if the meeting were reinstated, holding it on June 12 would be impossible, given the lack of time and the amount of planning needed.' WRONG AGAIN! Use real people, not phony sources." — tweet Saturday.
THE FACTS: Actually, the source does exist. The White House official addressed a group of reporters as part of a background briefing arranged by the White House press office. . . While Trump has criticized the use of unidentified sources and labeled information related by anonymous officials "fake news," his White House regularly arranges briefings with officials who demand anonymity before relaying information. An Associated Press reporter in attendance at last week's briefing questioned why it was not on the record — meaning that the official's name could be used. The official said Trump had been talking publicly that day and so the briefing was intended to provide "background context."

TRUMP: "This whole Russia Probe is Rigged. Just an excuse as to why the Dems and Crooked Hillary lost the Election and States that haven't been lost in decades. 13 Angry Democrats, and all Dems if you include the people who worked for Obama for 8 years. #SPYGATE & CONFLICTS OF INTEREST!" — tweet Saturday.
THE FACTS: Trump's suggestion that the investigations into Russia meddling are "phony" and have yielded nothing is incorrect. So far, four Trump associates have been charged in Mueller's investigation, of whom three have pleaded guilty to lying to the authorities. Among them are Michael Flynn, former White House national security adviser, and Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide. Overall, 19 people, including 13 Russians, have been charged. (in response to additional Tweets) He refers to Mueller's team as "13 angry Democrats," but Mueller is a Republican and some others on his team owe their jobs largely to Republican presidents. Mueller did not work for President Barack Obama for eight years, as Trump states, but was FBI chief for less than six years under Obama, leaving in September 2013. He was nominated to be FBI director by Republican President George W. Bush in 2001.

TRUMP: "We've done a lot of work on the wall. We're doing a lot of work on security, generally speaking, security and border — border security. The border's down over 40 percent, and don't forget, we have a great economy, probably the best economy the country's ever had. So people come across, but we're going to get the rest." — interview broadcast Thursday with "Fox & Friends."
THE FACTS: Illegal crossings actually are up 20 percent since he became president, according to the yardstick he uses to measure them — the number of Border Patrol arrests. There is no precise measure of illegal crossings because some people don't get caught. The Trump administration uses arrests as the best gauge of whether crossings are going up or down. The Obama administration did likewise.

TRUMP: "This week, we passed a new landmark legislation to give more choice and better care to our great veterans. We're going to take care of our veterans. We're doing a great job with them. We are taking care, finally after decades, we're taking care of our veterans." — speech Friday.
THE FACTS: Congress passed a wide-ranging plan last week to expand private care for veterans as an alternative to the Veterans Affairs health system, but it'll take at least a year to implement and its actual scope in expanding choice to veterans will depend on the next VA secretary, who has yet to be confirmed. A successful expansion of private care will also depend on an overhaul of electronic health records at VA to allow for a seamless sharing of records with private physicians. That overhaul will take at least 10 years to be fully complete. The legislation would also expand a VA caregivers program to cover families of veterans of all eras, not just the families of veterans who were seriously injured in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001. Implementation of that program won't begin until after the VA secretary can provide assurances to Congress that the department's IT systems can handle a surge in new applicants. A phased rollout of benefits won't be fully finished until more than two years afterward.

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