Fact checking Trump’s ‘play by play’ of Biden’s State of the Union

The former president used his Truth Social to ‘correct’ his successor. The Independent corrected his corrections

Alex Woodward
Friday 08 March 2024 16:37 GMT
Biden faces down Republican heckling, urges action on border bill

Donald Trump promised a play-by-play fact-check response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union, teeing up something of a virtual debate between the two men seeking their re-elections.

The former president planned to “correct, in rapid response, any and all inaccurate statements” from Mr Biden, particularly anything about the US-Mexico border and what Mr Trump called the “weaponization” of federal law enforcement “to go after his Political Opponent, ME,” he announced on his Truth Social this week,

Mr Trump’s account – between ads for his “signature trading card”, “mugshot coins”, Truth Social-branded sweatpants and a sponsored posts from an anti-vaccine “JesusMAGA” account with 80 followers – fired off dozens of posts, insults and memes throughout his rival’s remarks. Most of them were false.

Right off the bat, the former president’s account claimed Mr Biden was “very substantially late” (he wasn’t), and that Mr Biden would need racing driver Mario Andretti behind the wheel to get to the US Capitol on time for his 9pm address.

The president arrived in the chamber minutes after 9 o’clock.

Putin and Nato

Putin only invaded Ukraine, because he has no respect for Biden. Would have never happened under the Trump Administration, and for four years it didn’t happen!

No, I said NATO has to pay its bills, and if it doesn’t pay its bills, we are not going to protect you. THE MONEY CAME POURING IN! Under other Presidents, NATO was BROKE.

Mr Trump has repeatedly inaccurately described how Nato funding works. There are no “bills”; guidelines instruct member nations to spend a minimum of 2 per cent of their gross domestic product on defence. It’s not a binding contract.

Last month, the former president said he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to any Nato member country that he believes is not meeting those spending guidelines.

January 6

The so-called ‘insurrectionists’ that he talks about had no guns, they only had a Rigged Election. The only gun was that used on Ashli Babbitt, who sadly, is no longer with us!

Not only was the election not “rigged” against him, several members of the mob that stormed the US Capitol fuelled by that same lie came armed with firearms. Recently uncovered footage also shows a man firing a handgun into the air outside the Capitol that day.

The US Department of Justice has prosecuted dozens of defendants who were armed with deadly or dangerous weapons, including several who carried firearms. There has not yet been a full accounting of the number of firearms on the Capitol grounds that day.

The US-Mexico border

There is nothing he can say tonight that can absolve him from letting 15 million people into our Country illegally. He’ll probably blame me, but I had the Safest Border in the History of our Country, so that won’t go very far!

His Border Bill is a Disaster, it would let at least 5,000 Migrants in a day, and that is one of the better aspects of it!

He’s talking about Violence, but Migrant Violence is leading to the Worst Crime Wave in History!

Mr Trump and his allies have repeatedly pointed to numbers on border crossings and the number of “illegal” immigrants that are not supported by any data.

US Customs and Border Protection shows that US officials recorded nearly 8 million encounters at its borders from February 2021, the first full month of Mr Biden’s presidency, to October 2023. But encounters do not mean admissions. Most of those encounters result in expulsions.

The recently introduced bipartisan legislation on border security would not allow anyone trying to enter the US without legal permission unless they pass asylum interviews or are detained. The border would be effectively “shut down” once it reaches a certain threshold, but that accounts for encounters with individuals – not crossings.

Law enforcement would have authority to “close” the border if a seven-day average of those encounters reaches a seven-day average of 5,000.

Unsurprisingly, there is also no evidence of a migrant “crime wave,” despite polling that show an overwhelming majority of Republicans believe that an increase in immigration leads to more crime. A review of crime statistics from NBC News shows that crime rates have dropped in Democratic-led cities where Texas’s anti-migrant “Operation Lone Star” has bussed migrants.

Reproductive health

He just screwed up his primary line of the evening, having to do with Roe v Wade, while looking at the Highly Respected Justice of the Supreme Court, for whom it was intended!

IVF was just approved in Alabama, and the Republicans are totally in support of helping women. We are stronger on IVF than Democrats!

Mr Trump nominated three conservative justices to the US Supreme Court, ensuring that a conservative supermajority would strike down a decades-long affirmation of a constitutional right to abortion care.

The reversal of Roe v Wade in 2022 opened the door for anti-abortion lawmakers across the US to redefine abortion laws and advance fetal “personhood” definitions that effectively treat fetuses as children. Last month, a shock ruling from Alabama’s Supreme Court defined frozen embryos as children, expanding the scope of “personhood” supported by anti-abortion groups who believe that life begins at conception, and upending in vitro fertilization treatments across the state.

Republican lawmakers and figures across the right have scrambled to respond to the court’s decision, and Alabama lawmakers passed legislation this week to protect access to IVF, but Republicans and anti-abortion groups are resisting proposals that would address “personhood” for embryos created in IVF labs. Alabama’s new short-term legislation could be viurtally toothless against Alabama’s constitutional amendment that ensures the “rights of unborn children.”

Veterans healthcare

He did nothing for the Veterans Administration, or the Veterans – It was all TRUMP!

Mr Biden has signed into law what marks the largest healthcare and benefit expansion in the history of the Veteran Affairs, giving an estimated 3.5 million sick and dying US veterans and service members access to healthcare and disability benefits.

The PACT Act means that multiple cancers, respiratory illnesses and other conditions are now presumptively linked to a service members’ exposure to burn pits during their deployment.

It passed into law in August 2022 after years of lobbying by veterans and veteran organisations after 9/11.

Mr Biden also addressed burn pits in his 2022 State of the Union address, when he said he believed that the death of his own son Beau Biden was caused by his exposure to burn pits during his military service. Mr Biden urged Congress to act to pass legislation to automatically recognise the link between the toxic exposure and health conditions.

Social Security

Republicans have no plan to cut Social Security, a made up story by Crooked Joe!

Dozens of House Republicans backed a 2024 spending plan that would raise the retirement age at which Americans can receive full Social Security benefits to 69, cut the benefits of future beneficiaries by about 13 per cent, and deliver significant changes to the Social Security Disability Insurance program.

Those cuts would amount to $718bn over 10 years with more reductions in the years that followed, according to an analysis from the Center for American Progress.

The climate crisis

Other Countries are laughing at our stupidity on “Climate.” The Green New Scam is destroying our Economy and our Country!

Mr Trump, who has repeatedly falsely labelled climate change a “hoax,” withdrew the US from the Paris climate accords in June 2021, pulling the US out of an international pledge with more than 200 nations to reduce emissions in the hopes of warding off the worst effects of the climate crisis.

The Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act proposed a Green New Deal-inspired Civilian Conservation Corps to employ 20,000 young people to work in clean energy jobs.

The Second Amendment

He wants to take away everyone’s gun. Remember that when you go to the Voting Booth, because if I’m not elected, your guns are gone, along with your Freedom!

Mr Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to ban assault weapons like AR-15-style rifles that have been used to kill hundreds of people in dozens of mass shootings each year. Outside of that, he has admitted that he has done all he can within his executive authority to combat the proliferation of powerful firearms. The administration and Congress do not plan to take guns away from “everyone.”

Additional reporting by Rachel Sharp

:: This article was updated on 8 March to reflect that Mario Andretti is not dead

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