He will now state the facts, Donald Trump announces in his speech in Cleveland — and then he asserts things that are not true. Here are five examples.
During his speech at the Republican Convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump makes a promise: He will now tell the truth for once, says the presidential candidate, “the plain facts that have been edited out of your nightly news and your morning newspaper.”
Unfortunately, Trump then pretty quickly breaks this promise. Sometimes he leaves out important things. Sometimes he twists facts for impact. And sometimes he says things that simply are not true. One can also say: he lies.
Example 1 – Violence against Police
Trump says, “The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.”
That is not true. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page that lists the corresponding cases, as of today in 2016, 68 policemen have died in the line of duty. Last year it was 130. The deaths have different causes; frequently it is, for example, traffic accidents. What is true, however, is that the number of policemen shot to death is higher this year. Currently, 31 policemen have died by bullets this year; in the entire year 2015 the number was 39 policemen. In any case, it is questionable to express an increase in percentage with such relatively low numbers, because such a percentage would then turn out to be very high.
Example 2 – Violence in Major Cities
“Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America's 50 largest cities. That's the largest increase in 25 years.”
This is a good example of how Trump withholds important information. It is true that the number of homicides in 2015 was higher than in 2014. In at least some of the cities mentioned, however, it has decreased between 2015 and 2016. According to the Major Cities Chief Association, the number of murders has increased in 31 larger cities in the first quarter of 2016; in 32 it decreased.
Example 3 – Immigrants
“Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.”
That is a lie. However, the number that Trump states is not completely false. According to a statistic by the U.S. Customs and Immigration and Enforcement agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 1 million immigrants live in the U.S., of which 182,000 are considered criminals and 6,000 have been arrested. Many of them, however, are “criminal” on the grounds that they have violated immigration law; for example, by crossing the border illegally. Trump’s words that the immigrants “roam” around and “threaten” U.S. citizens, as if it were predominately a case of violent criminals, are therefore not tenable.
Example 4 – Refugees from Syria
“My opponent has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian…refugees. She proposes this despite the fact that there's no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.”
Hillary Clinton said on a U.S TV show last September that she did not want to admit 10,000 people from Syria as then planned, but instead 65,000. One can now pose the question whether it is reasonable to express a number of this magnitude with a 550 percent comparison, because in comparison to the intake numbers of other countries far smaller and less financially powerful than the U.S., Clinton’s plans are very modest.
In any case, Trumps’ assertion is false with respect to the fact that one cannot screen refugees. Several authorities in the U.S. are simultaneously involved in this. People are fingerprinted, their biographies are checked, they need to go through elaborate biographical and medical examinations. Refugees who indicate they are from Syria go through additional processes called the Syrian Enhanced Review Process. The life history and possible criminal records are more thoroughly examined, which can take several years.
Example 5 – Unemployment
“58 percent of African-American youth are now not employed.”
This number, too, is patently false. There is a study by the Economic Policy Institute which reports that 51 percent of African-American high school graduates aged 17 to 20 years old have no job (which is not unusual at this age) or work fewer hours than they would like. According to this study, the number among Latinos is 36.1 percent. That is, however, not the official unemployment rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. authority which collects labor market data, puts the number for 16 to 24-year-old African-Americans at 14.9 percent and for Latinos of the same age at 11.6 percent.