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10 Falsehoods From Trump’s News Conference With Theresa May

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© REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By LINDA QIU, The New York Times

WHAT TRUMP SAID

“In Germany, we have 52,000 troops.”

THE FACTS

This is exaggerated.

In its most recent report, the Pentagon’s Defense Manpower Data Center said that 34,821 American troops were stationed in Germany as of March 31.

Mr. Trump may have also been counting the number of National Guard troops, reserve troops and civilian personnel in Germany, but he would still be off by a few thousand people. An estimated 47,500 Defense Department personnel are in Germany.

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WHAT TRUMP SAID

“We have left NATO with more money, with more unity, with more spirit, than NATO probably has ever had.”

THE FACTS

False.

[post_ads]Member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have increased spending on their own militaries since 2014. At an annual meeting this week in Brussels, the member states affirmed their 2014 pledge to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on national defense by 2024.

But NATO’s members, including the United States, are still spending less money than they did during the Cold War.

Military spending across NATO is estimated to reach 2.4 percent of G.D.P. this year, according to a report that the alliance released on July 10. By comparison, member states spent 4.5 percent of GDP on national defense during the 1980s.

WHAT TRUMP SAID

“Well, if you remember, I was opening Turnberry the day before Brexit and we had an unbelievably large number of reporters there because everybody was there, I guess, because of Brexit and they all showed up on the ninth hole, overlooking the ocean, and I said what’s going on? And all they wanted to talk about was Brexit. They asked for my opinion. And I think you will agree that I said I think Brexit will happen, and it did happen.”

THE FACTS

False.

Mr. Trump visited the Turnberry golf resort in Scotland on June 24, 2016 — the day after Britain voted to leave the European Union. At a news conference, he called the outcome a “great thing” and also tweeted several times that day about the Brexit vote and its parallels to the American presidential election.

On June 22, the day before the Brexit vote, Mr. Trump was in New York, where he delivered a 41-minute speechcriticizing Hillary Clinton. He did not mention Brexit.

It is true that Mr. Trump supported Brexit before the June 23 vote and said in a March 2016 interview with ITV that “I think that Britain will separate from the E.U.”

But his prediction did not occur at the golf resort in Scotland the day before the vote.

OTHER CLAIMS

Mr. Trump also repeated several other claims during the news conference at Chequers, Mrs. May’s official country residence, that The New York Times has previously debunked:

■ He misleadingly claimed that the United States pays “90 percent of the cost of NATO” (his figure is overstated and conflates different measures of the alliance’s military spending).

■ He falsely claimed that the United States has “become an oil exporter, which would not have happened under the past regime” (it has been exporting oil for decades, but is still not a net exporter).

■ He exaggerated the United States’ trade deficit with China as $500 billion (it was about $336 billion in 2017).
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■ He exaggerated the United States’ trade deficit with the European Union as $151 billion (it is $101 billion).

■ He claimed that North Korea has stopped nuclear testing and has blown up test sites (North Korea blew up one site, but independent analysts have yet to verify that the destruction was complete).

■ He falsely claimed military spending by NATO members was “going down” before he became president (spending began to increase before Mr. Trump took office).

■ He misleadingly claimed that Germany imports up to 70 percent of its energy from Russia (Germany relies on Russia for natural gas, but gets just 9 percent of their total energy from Russia).

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Politics - U.S. Daily News: 10 Falsehoods From Trump’s News Conference With Theresa May
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