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President Donald Trump is addressing a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night in a State of the Union-esque speech. The president is expected to muse on current events, outline his administration’s objectives and make the case for his nascent presidency’s policy agenda.
Of course, this being the factually-challenged Trump the nation has come to know so very well, fact-checkers across the U.S. are standing ready to identify whatever “alternative facts” come down the pipeline. Follow Mic‘s live vetting of the president’s speech below.
9:11 p.m.: “A new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly in our grasp.”
Polls show Americans are broadly anxious about the future of the U.S. under Trump.
9:16 p.m.: Trump name-checks companies he says have kept jobs in the U.S. under his presidency
According to the New York Times, several companies which the president is taking credit for personally convincing to keep or create jobs in the U.S. were actually just following through on previously announced plans, including Sprint (owned by Softbank) and Chrysler.
Trump has cited misleading numbers of jobs he supposedly saved at Carrier, an air conditioning manufacturer.
9:22 p.m.: Trump claims enforcing immigration laws will make Americans safer
“By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone,” Trump said.
On the last point, multiple studies have concluded immigrants commit less crime than U.S. citizens, according to the New York Times. According to the Times, census data shows immigrant men aged 18-49 are one-fifth to one-half as likely to face incarceration as natural-born citizens, while non-citizens (comprising 7% of the population) are only 5% of the state and federal prison population.
9:25 p.m.: Trump misleads on his role in saving money on the F-35 program
While Trump has touted his supposed role in saving $700 million on the much-criticized, $1 trillion-plus F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, according to Politifact, program costs have been coming down for years.
9:27 p.m.: Trump defends his immigration policy, saying U.S. cannot afford a “beachhead of terrorists” or “sanctuary for extremists”
No nationals from the seven countries specifically banned from entering the U.S. by Trump’s executive order have committed terror attacks resulting in U.S. fatalities since 1975 and his plan would do little to prevent terrorism, which is mostly homegrown.
9:29 p.m.: Trump cites highly misleading figures on the labor force
As Politico’s Michael Grunwald noted, the vast majority of those in the 94 million figure are not typically considered working constituencies, including the elderly, students as young as 16, full-time students, stay-home parents and people who live off of investment income.
“94M Americans are out of the labor force!”
(The vast majority of them are seniors, students, and the disabled.)
— Michael Grunwald (@MikeGrunwald) March 1, 2017