Trump keeps bragging about 7 new U.S. Steel plants. There’s just one problem.

During his speech Thursday night in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, President Trump touted seven new steel plants he claimed U.S. Steel is opening.

If true, Trump’s claim would be huge news, as according to PolitiFact, U.S. Steel only operates four steelmaking plants in the entire country at present. The development would represent a benefit of the steel and aluminum tariffs Trump imposed that launched a trade war and have sparked concerns about inflation.

“I’ll tell you what I’m really proud of now. About five months ago — it took a while to get all the statutory approvals — we’re putting our steel workers back to work at clips that nobody could believe,” Trump said on Thursday. “U.S. Steel is opening up seven plants.”

It wasn’t the first time Trump touted new steel plants. During a speech on Tuesday, Trump bizarrely said that “U.S. Steel just announced that they are building six new steel mills. And that number is soon going to be lifted, but I’m not allowed to say that, so I won’t.”

The number varies from speech to speech. On July 27, Trump claimed U.S. Steel was going to open seven plants. Twice in June, he hyped six new ones.

But there’s a major problem — Trump’s claim is a fabrication. U.S. Steel is not “opening up seven plants.” In fact, the company hasn’t publicly announced it is opening any new plants at all.

Following Trump’s speech in Pennsylvania, U.S. Steel provided CNN with a statement saying the openings of new plants “would be publicly announced if they happen.”

That accords with what the company told PolitiFact.

“All of our operational changes have been publicly announced and all information shared with the federal government has been properly disclosed and made available on our website,” a spokesman for the company said.

Trump is in the habit of making stuff up to make himself look good.

[Think Progress]

Media

Trump administration tells ACLU to find deported parents

The Trump administration on Thursday informed a federal judge that it isn’t responsible for locating deported parents separated forcibly from their children at the southern border.

DOJ said in a court filing that the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit over family separations, should instead take the lead in reunifying deported parents with their children.

“Plaintiffs’ counsel should use their considerable resources and their network of law firms, NGOs, volunteers, and others, together with the information that defendants have provided (or will soon provide), to establish contact with possible class members in foreign countries,” DOJ said.

The administration suggested that the ACLU find out whether the deported parents wish to be reconnected with their children, or whether they waive that option.

An administration official said Thursday evening that the filing “simply asks the court to require the ACLU to determine the wishes of and fulfill their obligations to their clients, as they have repeatedly represented in court that they would.“

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has statedrepeatedly that no parents were deported without first being given the option to take their children with them. But a Trump administration official told POLITICO on July 25 that an estimated three-quarters of the parents who left the country alone left no record behind that they ever consented to leave their children in the U.S. “We don’t see it in the documentation,” the official said.

At a Senate hearing earlier this week, Matthew Albence, executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, repeatedly dodged questions about whether DHS could document that it secured deportee parents’ consent to leave their children behind.

[Politico]

Update

A federal judge has said the Trump administration is 100% responsible to find the lost parents.

Trump tweets support for congressman not on the ballot

President Donald Trump issued one of his patented Twitter endorsements on Thursday, urging people to vote for a top political ally next week. But there was just one problem: He’s not on the ballot.

Trump tweeted that Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), who is leading House Republicans’ efforts to keep the chamber in this fall’s midterm elections, has earned his “full [and] total endorsement.” Stivers, Trump wrote, “has done a fantastic job” as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“Get out and vote for Steve on Aug 7th,” Trump wrote.

But Stivers isn’t up for reelection next Tuesday. The fourth-term incumbent was unopposed in his primary, all the way back in May. He will next go before voters on Nov. 6, when he faces Democrat Rick Neal.

Trump quickly deleted the tweet — but not before earning ridicule for the mix-up from other users of the platform.

It’s unclear whether Trump or his social-media team intended instead to tweet support for another Ohioan who ison the ballot Aug. 7: state Sen. Troy Balderson, the Republican nominee in next week’s closely watched special election in a neighboring district.

About a half-hour later, Trump teased his Saturday rally in Lewis Center, Ohio, where he will campaign for Balderson, who is facing Democrat Danny O’Connor — both next week and in the November general election.

“Looking forward to being in the Great State of Ohio on Saturday night where I will be campaigning hard for a truly talented future Congressman, @Troy_Balderson,” he tweeted, along with a link to sign up for tickets at a website set up for Trump’s reelection campaign.

[Politico]

Trump says his poll numbers are higher than Lincoln’s – but polling didn’t exist then

President Trump on Sunday claimed his poll numbers are higher than “Honest Abe Lincoln” despite the fact that presidential polling didn’t begin until 1936.

“Wow, highest Poll Numbers in the history of the Republican Party. That includes Honest Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan,” Trump posted on his Twitter account. “There must be something wrong, please recheck that poll!”

It’s unclear which survey he was referring to, but Gallup became the first company to poll a presidential election in 1936.

In a survey released last month, it found Trump’s approval rate was at 42 percent and his disapproval rate at 54 percent.

Comparing Ronald Reagan’s numbers at the same point in his presidency, Gallup found Reagan’s approval rating also at 42 percent.

Among other Republican presidents in July of their second year, George W. Bush had a 72 percent approval rating and George H.W. Bush had a 62 percent approval mark.

But Republicans gave Trump an 88 percent approval rating, compared to 9 percent among Democrats.

[New York Post]

Trump Celebrates ‘Record’ Sales of Nonexistent Health Insurance Policies

As usual, President Donald Trump is either ignorant or lying about his own policies. This time, it’s so ridiculously obvious that correcting the record might sound fake.

During an event Thursday at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Trump was very excited to report that “incredible” numbers of people were signing up for association health plans, a form of coverage his administration is making easier to buy. He’s right about one thing: That truly is incredible, in that it’s the opposite of credible.

Trump didn’t use the term ”association health plans” in his remarks, but he did repeatedly praise Alexander Acosta, the secretary of labor, whose department published the regulations governing these policies last month, so it’s clear what Trump is referring to.

“I hear it’s like record business that they’re doing,” Trump said. “We just opened about two months ago, and I’m hearing that the numbers are incredible. Numbers of people that are getting really, really good health care instead of Obamacare, which is a disaster.”

To recap: zero people have actually enrolled in this insurance because it is literally impossible to do so until Sept. 1 at the earliest. And as for Obamacare being a “disaster,” its current problems have a lot to do with Trump himself.

Association health plans are policies that allow small companies in the same industry to band together to buy health benefits for their employees. These already existed before Trump, and before the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010.

President Barack Obama’s administration made them comply with the Affordable Care Act’s rules requiring health plans to provide a minimum, basic set of benefits (things like prescription drugs and maternity care) and limited how insurers could set prices based on the health status of the workers.

The Trump administration is changing that. These association health plans could evade the benefit rules and also charge premiums based on workers ages, occupations and places of business.

Association health plans may save some employees and employers money because they offer skimpier benefits, although those savings could be negated if an employee needs care not covered by her plan and has to pay out of pocket.

And these plans are designed to attract healthy consumers, so the more of them that leave the Affordable Care Act exchanges to join association health plans, the more costly the exchange customer base becomes and the higher premiums for those customers will be.

[Huffington Post]

Trump Touts U.S. Being ‘Back on Track’ With the EU After Meeting With Juncker: We ‘Love Each Other’

President Donald Trump said during a White House event today the U.S. will be working with the EU to address the current trade dispute, and tonight he touted how things are “back on track.”

Trump met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today and he’s tweeting that it was a big success:

Trump also shared a picture of himself and Juncker:

[Mediaite]

Reality

Trump claimed the EU promised to purchase more soybeans and that made it all worth it, but the EU doesn’t buy goods such as produce, individual European countries do.

EU officials confirmed the Trump/Juncker agreement is nothing more than a political pledge by the EU not to do anything that affects the market conditions responsible for European countries buying more beans.

We alienated friends, trashed our reliability in front of the world, made us all pay more with his taxes on us, cost American jobs, all so soybean farmers could sell a few more barrels they were already going to sell to the EU anyway.

Got it.

Trump: Tariffs are ‘the greatest,’ president says ahead of EU chief’s visit

“Tariffs are the greatest!” Trump said on Twitter, following up with what he called a simple choice: “Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs.” He added, “It’s as simple as that — and everybody’s talking!”

His tweet came one day before EU President Jean-Claude Juncker is scheduled to visit the White House for discussions on trade and other matters. Trump has imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum and threatened new ones on cars. Juncker will reportedly focus on arguing that the EU is Washington’s friend, not foe.

[Marketwatch]

Trump Says ‘We Don’t Apologize For America’ a Week After Blaming U.S. For Bad Russia Relations

Today, President Donald Trump delivered a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, during which he told the largely military audience that unlike in the past, nobody is apologizing for America anymore.

“We don’t apologize for America anymore,” said the President to wild cheering. “We stand up for America. We stand up for the patriots who defend America.”

After a bit of applause, he added. “And we stand up for our national anthem.”

As CNN’s Jake Tapper pointed out on Twitter, Trump delivered this applause line just a week after tweeting that America was responsible for bad relations with Russia, and saying to the world that “the United States has been foolish” in foreign policy.

[Mediaite]

Trump Calls Media ‘Real Enemy of the People’ While Revealing ‘Second Meeting’ With Putin

Amid widespread blowback this week over his comments relating to the summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump is declaring the meeting a success, and going on the warpath against the media — which he’s labeling “the real enemy of the people.”

In a Thursday morning tweet, the president suggested that another meeting is forthcoming.

“The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media,” Trump wrote. “I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems…but they can ALL be solved!”

The president then tweeted a montage which aired on Fox & Friendsearlier of times in which he’s acknowledged Russia meddled in the 2016 election. (Although he also left open the possibility of China and other nations or individuals also meddling.)

Trump is floating the possibility of a second meeting just as initial polling has been released on the first. According to a poll from Axios and SurveyMonkey, 79 percent of Republicans approve of the president’s handling of the summit. Overall, however, the public disapproved of Trump’s handling by a 58-40 margin.

[Mediaite]

Trump: ‘People at the higher ends of intelligence loved’ my performance

President Trump said in an early morning tweet on Wednesday that “people at the higher ends of intelligence loved” his press conference performance alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was widely condemned.

“So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki,” he said. “Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match. Big results will come!”

[The Hill]

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