Home featured A Fact-Checked List of Trump Accomplishments

A Fact-Checked List of Trump Accomplishments

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This list of President Trump’s accomplishments has been circulating on social media for months and has most likely been viewed by millions of people. I examined each claim to the best of my ability, reaching out to people and institutions who had special insight to see if they considered the claims accurate.

Some takeaways: Few items are outright false, which is something to celebrate in the age of QAnon conspiracy theories. Some are misleading and some are absolutely true. About a quarter relate to Mr. Trump’s signing of bills that Congress passed, many of which he had little to do with. A large portion of items on the list credit Mr. Trump for a booming economy, which is no longer booming because of the coronavirus pandemic.

You can read my piece about what I learned from the experience of fact-checking this list here. But I decided to post the full list as written, including the original emojis, to give readers a chance to examine it for themselves and see what Mr. Trump’s supporters are touting as his biggest achievements.

True, but tribal leaders credit bipartisan efforts in Congress for those bills. In 2019, Mr. Trump signed the Spokane Reservation Equitable Compensation Act for the loss of land that was flooded by the Grand Coulee Dam. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited the reservation and pledged to support the bill. But Carol Evans, chairwoman of the Spokane Tribal Business Council, said most of the credit for the law goes to two members of Congress from Washington, Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican. Mr. Trump also signed the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Programs Reauthorization Act, which revises an existing grant program. That bill was introduced by Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico. Lastly, Mr. Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, which included a provision that gave long-overdue federal recognition to the Little Shell Tribe. Tribal Chairman Gerald Gray credits the bipartisan efforts of Senators Jon Tester, a Democrat, and Steve Daines, a Republican, both of Montana, for tucking the tribal recognition provision into the military spending bill.


True. But senior military leaders publicly opposed its creation, including Mr. Trump’s secretary of defense, James Mattis, because they argued it would create further complicated bureaucracy and counteract the Air Force’s work to defend the country’s space assets.


True. A bipartisan group in Congress also deserves credit for the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.


The violent crime rate has dropped steadily since 1999, from 523 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1999 to 432 in 2009 to 369 in 2018. The rate rose slightly in 2015 and 2016, but the general trend has been a long downward slide that predated his election.


True. Congress also deserves credit for the inclusion of this measure in the 2018 Farm Bill, which Mr. Trump signed.


Both President Barack Obama and Mr. Trump deserve credit for this allocation, which was set in motion before Mr. Obama left office.


True. Domestic oil production has been expanding since 2010, predating the Trump administration.


True. Mr. Trump tweeted in support of this law and deserves credit for using the bully pulpit of the presidency to demand transparency in drug prices. But Congress deserves most of the credit for the unanimous 2018 passage of this transparency law, which prohibits gag orders that prevent pharmacists from sharing prescription drug prices with customers.


True. The bill was crafted and pushed through Congress by Representative Ann Wagner, a conservative Republican from Missouri, who thanked Ivanka Trump for advocating its passage.


True. Congress also deserves credit for the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act of 2017, which was championed by Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, and former Representative Stephen Knight, Republican of California.


Probably true. Before the pandemic struck, low-wage workers saw wage increases.


It is grossly misleading to claim this as a Trump accomplishment. Higher state and local minimum wages are results of state and local laws increasing the minimum wage, not federal law. Mr. Trump has flip-flopped on raising the federal minimum wage.


This is misleading. While Mr. Trump did sign the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act of 2019, he has stripped protections from far more land than he has preserved. Most notably, he removed some two million acres in Utah that had been part of the Bears Ears National Monument and the Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah. According to a study published in May 2019 in Science, Mr. Trump is responsible for the largest reduction in the boundaries of protected land in U.S. history.


True. The credit for the passage of this legislation goes to a bipartisan group in Congress, namely Senator Dan Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, and Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey.


President Trump has signed a series of executive orders aimed at making it easier for states to import cheaper drugs from Canada. But it is far from clear whether these executive orders will succeed in that aim. This proposal bears no resemblance to Mr. Trump’s 2016 promise to use the buying power of the federal government to negotiate lower prices for drugs for Medicare patients, which would save hundreds of billions of dollars over a decade. Mr. Trump has not kept that promise. If he were serious about doing so, he would push Republicans in the Senate to pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which Democrats passed last year. There’s no evidence that he has done so.


True. Hospitals are now required to publicize their prices, which was also required by a little-known provision of the Affordable Care Act, signed by Mr. Obama. But enforcement has been spotty, and there has been little effort to hold hospitals to uniform standards, so it is still difficult if not impossible for consumers to compare costs, according to the journalism project Clear Health Costs.


Mr. Trump did say this. Unfortunately, people are still getting blindsided by medical bills.


See No. 16.


The data is mixed on whether drug prices are going up or down.


True. Mr. Trump fulfilled this campaign promise by creating a West Virginia-based call center. It has limited powers to solve the problems of the veterans who call in from around the country.


Many Department of Veterans Affairs employees have been demoted, removed or suspended during the Trump era, although there have been allegations that some of them were being punished for their political affiliations, not poor performance.


True.


This is grossly misleading, at best. Far from being a champion of pay raises for federal workers, Mr. Trump proposed pay freezes for federal employees three years in a row; he was overridden by Congress. For 2020, Mr. Trump initially proposed a pay freeze, but then changed his proposal to a 2.6 percent increase. Congress raised that further, to 3.1 percent. Mr. Trump signed that pay raise into law when he put his signature on an omnibus budget bill, according to Jacqueline Simon, policy director of the American Federation of Government Employees.


True. Tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act was a provision that gave all federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the first time in history.


True. The drugs are being donated by Gilead, a drug-development company. But the cost of patient visits and testing are not covered, and the Trump administration opposes expanding Medicare in the Southern states where H.I.V. infection rates are rising.


Unclear what data this item is referring to.


True, but a federal judge struck down the plan.


True. Congress passed this act with broad bipartisan support, including 190 co-sponsors in the House.


True. The Trump administration championed these reforms. Credit also goes to criminal justice reform advocates from across the political spectrum who pushed these changes for years.


True.


True.


True.


It is true that the First Step Act calls for the Bureau of Prisons to significantly expand these opportunities, but because of a lack of funding, around 25 percent of people who spend more than a year in federal prison have not completed any program, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which backed the bill.


Krystal L. Williams, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama College of Education who has studied federal funding of H.B.C.U.s, points to publicly available data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System on this matter. The data suggest an increase of about 6 percent in federal appropriations, grants and contracts from the 2016-2017 academic year to 2017-2018, the most recent year for which such data is available.


True.


This appears to have been true at the time.


True. This previously existing position was moved from the Department of Education to the White House. Experts disagree about its impact.


True. Students protested.


This appears to have been true, according to census data, although economists disagree on the reason for the drop.


This was true before the coronavirus pandemic struck.


See No. 13.


This is true, though in 2016 Mr. Trump pledged to spend more than $800 billion on infrastructure.


False. The all-time high for the Consumer Confidence Index is 144.7, which was reached in January and May of 2000, according to Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators and surveys at the Conference Board, which puts out the index.


In January of 2020, there were about 152 million nonfarm jobs in the country — about seven million more than existed in January of 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the number of jobs has been growing since 2010. In fact, the country gained more jobs — about eight million — between 2014 and 2017, the last years of the Obama administration. And since the pandemic began, between 10 million and 20 million jobs have been lost.


Given that there are more Americans alive now than ever in history, this would not be surprising. Regardless, it’s no longer true, because of the pandemic.


It was true, but since the pandemic, the Trump administration has seen a net loss of about 200,000 manufacturing jobs, wiping out the past six years of growth, according to the Alliance for American Manufacturing. More than 900,000 manufacturing jobs were added between 2010 and 2016 during the Obama administration.


True.


Richard Grenell is leading an effort to decriminalize homosexuality around the globe. Mr. Grenell has said that Mr. Trump supports this effort, though its existence appeared to take Mr. Trump by surprise.


Convictions of human traffickers have not doubled. The number of convictions rose from 439 during Mr. Obama’s last year in office to 499 during Mr. Trump’s first year. In 2018, they rose again to 526 but then dropped back down again, to 475 in 2019.


True. But the sting against Backpage was years in the making. Authorities have had the website in their cross hairs since at least 2016.


This is true. But the anti-trafficking community gives the Trump administration low marks because the administration’s harsh treatment of undocumented immigrants has caused victims of human trafficking to fear turning to authorities for help. The administration has made it harder for victims to obtain the special T visas they used to get when they turned to authorities for help and provided information about their abusers.


See No. 51.


True. The hotline, which was founded in 2002, was also supported by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.


See No. 51.


See No. 51.


See No. 51.


Calling on Congress to do something is not really an accomplishment.


Mr. Trump, who campaigned in 2016 on eliminating or drastically reducing the size of the Department of Education, tried to slash federal funding for public schools and dramatically increase funding for school choice and voucher programs. Congress overrode him. The $42 million is a small amount compared to the $400 million his administration initially proposed to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools.


True. This is a tax break for those who send their children to private schools. Only about a third of American families have these savings plans.


American-led strikes against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq began in 2014, predating the Trump administration. In 2018, Mr. Trump claimed in a tweet that ISIS had been defeated and ordered a withdrawal of U.S. troops within 30 days. He eventually gave military leaders more time after their objections. By 2019, the Islamic State had lost nearly all of its territory, but the group remains a threat.


Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is said to have detonated a suicide vest during a 2019 raid by United States Special Operations forces.


True.


True. Attempts to expand and modernize apprenticeships, a goal shared by Democrats, are widely seen as a bipartisan bright spot in the Trump administration.


Mr. Trump signed an executive order that called for the vigorous enforcement of federal laws protecting religious freedom. Christians were not singled out.


True, though the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern that the order could be used to punish constitutionally protected criticism of Israel or the Israeli government.


True. Every Republican president has adopted a version of this policy since Ronald Reagan.


True. The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on Venezuela for more than a decade. Additional sanctions imposed by the Trump administration have increased economic pressure on the government of Nicolás Maduro, who remains in power.


Mr. Trump signed a revised version of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which had been in place since 2012. In 2017, Mr. Trump threatened to terminate the deal, which he said “should’ve never been made.” But the new version is considered similar to the old version, with a few tweaks.


True.


Mr. Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major change in U.S. trade policy. Experts disagree about the impact of the withdrawal on Americans jobs.


This is true. China agreed to increase agricultural purchases by $12.5 billion in 2020 and $19.5 billion in 2021, compared with 2017 levels, but China is under no obligation beyond 2021.


The Trump administration announced a total of $28 billion in aid for farmers in 2018 and 2019, and another $23.5 billion through the coronavirus stimulus package passed in March.


This is true. Mr. Obama amended a longstanding U.S. policy not to negotiate with hostage-takers, making it more flexible. Mr. Trump continued to push the envelope on what could be done to release hostages, earning praise from those who view his efforts as a major foreign policy success and criticism from others who accuse Mr. Trump of authorizing the payment of de facto ransoms, incentivizing terrorists to take more American hostages.


True.


Mr. Trump promised in 2016 that Mexico would pay for the wall. What happened?


See No. 77.


This is true, though it is unclear how many people have been able to participate in it.


True. Experts disagree about whether these zones will benefit low-income communities, or just wealthy developers.


True. See No. 78.


See No. 78.


Mr. Trump promised in 2016 to end Common Core, but according to PolitiFact, 37 states still use some version of it.


True. Members of both political parties in Congress deserve much of the credit.


True. And congressional supporters of these programs say the White House has been supportive.


True. TCJA refers to the president’s 2017 overhaul of federal tax law.


According to the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the rate of growth of manufacturing jobs in 2018 was impressive, but similar rates were achieved in 1994, 1997, 2011 and 2014.


The highest closing record of the Dow Jones industrial average, the index of 30 top U.S. companies, was reached in February, after investors appeared to be encouraged that the trade wars initiated by Mr. Trump were being resolved. Recent interest-rate cuts in 2019 also contributed. This March, the Dow fell a record 2,013.76 points to 23,851.02, after it became clear that the U.S. economy would lock down because of the pandemic. That drop was followed by two more record-setting point drops.


This is true.


See No. 40.


See No. 40.


This was true before the coronavirus struck.


This was true before the coronavirus struck.


This appears to have been true, before the coronavirus struck. But the labor force participation rate for young Americans is not as high as it was in 1989.


This is false. Unemployment rates were lower in the 1950s, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


In 2018, President Trump launched the Pledge to America’s Workers, aimed at boosting the private sector’s role in training American workers. Companies signed on, to much fanfare. But there is evidence that resources for training are actually going down.


This was true in 2018, but since the pandemic that number has dropped to 34 percent.


Not really. According to the Tax Foundation, the lowest top marginal rate in the past 80 years was 28 percent in the 1980s, although a “claw back” provision in the 1980s increased the top marginal rate to 33 percent for taxpayers with incomes over certain thresholds. Under current law, the top marginal rate is 37 percent, but pass-through businesses can receive additional tax breaks to lower their top marginal rate to 29.6 percent.


This appears to be true. Mr. Trump has made reducing regulations a signature part of his legacy. He signed an executive order directing all agencies to repeal at least two existing regulations for each new regulation issued in the 2017 fiscal year and thereafter. A list of regulations that have been removed is being compiled by the Brookings Deregulation Tracker.


The Trump administration released guidance in January 2018 that lets states take away Medicaid coverage from people who aren’t working or engaged in work-related activities. Tens of thousands of people have been affected. For instance, in Arkansas over 18,000 Medicaid beneficiaries lost coverage in 2018, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.


True. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, was praised for his efforts to streamline the process of drug approval before he left the administration.


It’s true that the Trump administration changed the rules for how Medicare pays for prescription drugs through the 340B program, lowering the rate that hospitals are reimbursed for drugs, which in some cases lowers co-payments for seniors, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. It is not clear how much seniors have saved through this change.


True. Some argue that a similar program that existed previously under the Food and Drug Administration was less risky.


According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, $9 billion in new grant funding was awarded to states and local communities to help increase access to treatment and prevention services during the first three years of the Trump administration.


Mr. Trump has signed a number of bipartisan bills that call for improvements to medical care for veterans, including more access to walk-in clinics.


True. (Duplicate of No. 7.)


True. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States began ramping up its exports of liquefied natural gas in 2016, and became a net exporter of natural gas during the Trump administration.


True. Although NATO countries were already modestly increasing their military spending before Mr. Trump took office, there is evidence that his public complaints led to a deal that allowed the United States to decrease its own spending, while some other countries increased their share each year that he has been in office.


It is true that Mr. Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Experts disagree on whether the accord would have created American jobs or destroyed them.


It is not clear how to measure this across every U.S. administration, but it is an ironic thing to highlight, given that Republicans systematically blocked Mr. Obama’s judicial nominees.


True.


True.


The Trump administration updated the North American Free Trade Agreement, fulfilling a campaign promise.


True. The agreement aims to resolve a longstanding dispute about a European Union ban on hormone-fed U.S. beef. But tensions over Mr. Trump’s 25 percent tariffs on some European goods remain.


True, though China has reportedly pulled back from its commitments in that deal amid the pandemic.


See No. 83.


The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research Act has been called the most comprehensive childhood cancer bill taken up by Congress. It was championed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers and passed unanimously in 2018.


True. According to the Tax Foundation, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act doubled the maximum child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000, while the phaseout threshold was increased from $75,000 to $200,000 for single filers and $110,000 to $400,000 for married couples filing jointly.


True. There is now a nonrefundable $500 credit for certain dependents who do not meet the child tax credit eligibility guidelines.


It is true that Mr. Trump signed this bill. Congress should also get the credit for passing it.


According to the Tax Foundation, this is an accurate description of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, but it’s important to note that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did not directly change the rules for the credit. Those rules existed before the Trump administration. So did the $5,000 dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts.


It is true that Mr. Trump signed this bill into law. Congress deserves the credit for passing this legislation, which received such broad support that 173 House members and 41 senators were co-sponsors.


True. The measure was championed by the bipartisan Congressional Lupus Caucus.


True. Congress gets credit for passing this law with bipartisan support. Even under the TRACED Act, the power of the F.C.C. to punish robocallers is limited.


See No. 86.

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