Fact-checking Trump’s CNN town hall in New Hampshire | CNN Politics


CNN hosted a town hall with 2024 Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump on Wednesday night in New Hampshire.

Over the course of the night, Trump took questions from New Hampshire Republicans and undeclared voters who plan to vote in the 2024 GOP presidential primary about a wide range of issues.

Here is a fact check of some of Trump’s other claims in the speech.

Just minutes after the town hall began, Trump claimed the 2020 election was “rigged.”

Facts First: This is Trump’s regular lie. He lost the 2020 election to Biden fair and square, 306 to 232 in the Electoral College. Biden earned more than 7 million more votes than Trump did. Trump’s own campaign and senior officials in his administration found no evidence for his claims of widespread fraud.

From CNN’s Tara Subramaniam

Talking about the upcoming 2024 presidential election, Trump said “I hope we’re going to have very honest elections. We should have voter ID.”

Facts First: It’s misleading at best for Trump to claim voter ID doesn’t currently exist in US election.

There are several situations in which casting a ballot without showing an ID would be legal, specifically in the 15 states (plus Washington, DC) that rely on other forms of voter verification. In the rest of the states, voters are required to present some form of identification before casting ballots.

It is true that most Democrats have been against stricter voter-ID laws in the past, but on grounds that these laws could disenfranchise voters who may not have access to necessary identification – not in order to illegally obtain votes.

Republicans have wielded this Democratic position on voter ID laws to paint Democrats as complicit in election fraud despite the fact that voter fraud is exceedingly rare – and that even states that don’t require ID have other methods to prevent fraud, like signature checks.

From CNN’s Tara Subramaniam

As part of his argument that the 2020 election was “rigged,” Trump claimed 51 intelligence agents “made a 16-point difference” in the outcome of the election.

Facts First: There is no evidence for this.

Trump appears to have been referring to a letter signed by former intelligence agents weeks before the 2020 election. The letter stated that the release of emails purportedly belonging to then-candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter, which had been generating sensational stories in right-wing media, had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

No proof of Russian involvement in the release of those emails has emerged, and Republicans have argued that the letter helped discredit negative stories about the Biden family just before the election. But there’s also no proof that the letter swayed the outcome of the election.

From CNN’s Curt Devine

Former President Donald Trump tried to blame then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the violence on January 6, 2021 – when his own supporters stormed the US Capitol, claiming she was “in charge” of security that day.

Facts First: This is false. The speaker of the House is not in charge of Capitol security. That’s the responsibility of the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the US Capitol Police and approves requests for National Guard assistance.

Trump’s former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller also told lawmakers that he was never given a formal order by Trump to have 10,000 troops ready to be sent to the Capitol on January 6. “There was no direct, there was no order from the president,” Miller said.

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sent an email saying the National Guard would be present to “protect pro Trump people” in the lead up to the US Capitol insurrection, according to the report released by the January 6 committee.

From CNN’s Zachary Cohen

Trump claimed gas prices are higher under Biden than under his administration, and that Biden ended US energy independence.

Facts First: Trump’s claims about gas prices are misleading. Trump claimed Wednesday that he got gas prices down to $1.87 – and “even lower” – but they increased to $7, $8 or even $9 under Biden. While the price of a gallon of regular gas did briefly fall to $1.87 (and lower) during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the national average for regular gas on Trump’s last day in office, January 20, 2021, was much higher than that – $2.393 per gallon, according to data provided to CNN by the American Automobile Association. On Thursday, the national average for gas was $3.53, per AAA data, not $6, $7 or $8. California, the state with the highest prices as usual, had an average of $4.8, per AAA.

Trump’s claim that Biden shut down American energy is false even if Trump was talking specifically about non-renewable energy. US crude oil production in 2022 was the second-highest on record, behind only production in Trump-era 2019, and production in early 2023 has been near record highs. US production of dry natural gas set a new record in 2022. So did US exports of crude oil and petroleum products.

Biden has also approved some significant fossil fuel projects including the controversial Willow oil drilling project Alaska, and his administration outpaced Trump’s when it came to approving oil and gas drilling permits in Biden’s first two years in office.

From CNN’s Ella Nilsen

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