AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s fiction on gun violence, financial system

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AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s fiction on gun violence, financial system

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was every week of exaggeration and outright fiction for President Donald Trump as he confronted the aftermath of two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

Trump twisted science in in search of to assign blame on video video games for the shootings, moderately than on his personal phrases that critics say contributed to a flamable racial local weather spawning violence. He pointed to an imminent magic answer within the type of laws on background checks that was removed from sure and misrepresented his document on gun management.

Escalating a doubtlessly devastating commerce conflict with China, Trump exaggerated the advantages of tariffs and sought unfairly to fault the Federal Reserve for any weak spot within the U.S. financial system.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden claimed Trump did nothing on gun management, however in reality Trump banned bump shares, a gun attachment deemed authorized through the Obama-Biden administration.

A evaluation:


TRUMP: “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence.” — remarks Monday on the mass shootings.

THE FACTS: There is not any scientific hyperlink between video video games and mass violence.

Some research present a short-term enhance in aggressive ideas and emotions after taking part in video video games, however nothing that rises to the extent of violence.

In 2006, a small research by Indiana University researchers discovered that youngsters who performed violent video video games confirmed larger ranges of emotional arousal however much less exercise within the elements of the mind related to the power to plan, management and direct ideas and conduct.

“Plenty of gamers and get upset when they lose or feel the game was ‘cheating,’ but it doesn’t lead to violent outputs,” stated Benjamin Burroughs, a professor of rising media on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Patrick Markey, a psychology professor at Villanova University who focuses on video video games, present in his analysis that males who commit extreme acts of violence really play violent video video games lower than the typical male. About 20% had been occupied with violent video video games, in contrast with 70% of the final inhabitants, he stated.

Another research by Markey and his colleagues confirmed that violence tends to dip when a brand new violent film or online game comes out, presumably as a result of individuals are at house taking part in the sport or in theaters watching the film.

Trump’s statements this previous week assigning blame to the online game {industry} had been extra reserved in contrast together with his final brush with the topic in 2018, when he known as video video games “vicious” and summoned game-industry executives to satisfy on the White House, to little lasting impact.


TRUMP, on prospects for gun management laws: “There’s a great appetite — and I mean a very strong appetite — for background checks. And I think we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before. I think both Republican and Democrat are getting close to a bill on — they’re doing something on background checks.” — remarks to reporters Wednesday earlier than departing for Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

THE FACTS: He’s overstating the extent of political will for gun management measures.

Passage of a background checks invoice within the Senate stays removed from sure. Support for a bipartisan background checks measure co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia reached a excessive level with a 2013 vote after the Sandy Hook capturing, however it fell wanting the 60 votes wanted to advance. Both senators spoke to Trump on Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, below strain to name senators again to Washington from their summer season recess to work on gun measures, stated Thursday that he hopes to contemplate laws to develop federal background checks when Congress returns within the fall. He stated he desires to spend the August recess speaking with senators to see what’s potential.

Two different gun payments have handed the House this yr however languished within the Republican-controlled Senate. One of them would require federal background checks for all firearms gross sales and transfers, together with these on-line or at gun reveals. The second invoice permits an expanded 10-day evaluation for gun purchases.

With gun management laws stalled, some senators have pushed for a bipartisan proposal to create a federal grant program to encourage states to undertake “red flag” legal guidelines to take weapons away from folks believed to be a hazard to themselves or others. But it stays to be seen if such a legislation might move Congress.


BIDEN, Democratic presidential candidate: Trump is “doing nothing — nothing about the endemic and epidemic of guns that is fueling a literal carnage in America.” — remarks Wednesday in Burlington, Iowa.

THE FACTS: He’s unsuitable that Trump did completely nothing on gun management

A nationwide ban took impact in March on bump shares, the attachment utilized by the gunman within the 2017 Las Vegas bloodbath to make his weapons fireplace quickly like machine weapons.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives outlawed the attachments at Trump’s course after the shootings killed greater than 50 folks within the deadliest mass capturing in trendy U.S. historical past. It is the one main gun restriction imposed by the federal authorities previously few years.

The Trump administration’s transfer was an about-face for the bureau. In 2010, below the Obama-Biden administration, it discovered that the gadgets had been authorized. But below the Trump administration, officers revisited that dedication and located it incorrect.

After the Las Vegas shootings, the National Rifle Association initially stated “devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” After the bureau’s ruling banning the gadgets, nonetheless, the gun foyer known as it “disappointing” and stated it ought to have offered amnesty for gun house owners who have already got bump shares.

The authorities estimates that greater than 500,000 bump shares had been offered after they had been legalized in 2010.


TRUMP, on gun restrictions: “We have done much more than most administrations. …We’ve done, actually, a lot.” — remarks on Aug. 4 to reporters.

THE FACTS: Trump’s document on gun management isn’t groundbreaking.

Congress has proved unable to move substantial gun violence laws, regardless of the frequency of mass shootings, largely due to resistance from Republicans, notably within the GOP-controlled Senate. That political dynamic appears tough to alter.

It’s true that after different mass shootings Trump known as for strengthening the federal background examine system, and in 2018, he signed laws to extend federal company knowledge sharing. In December 2018, the Trump administration additionally banned bump shares.

But he has rolled again restrictions, reneged on pledges and resisted Democratic calls to toughen different gun management legal guidelines.

Within weeks of taking workplace, Trump scrapped a federal rule imposed by Obama that might have made it tougher for some mentally in poor health folks to personal weapons. Under the rule, the Social Security Administration was supposed to offer data to the gun-buying background examine system on recipients with a psychological dysfunction so extreme they can’t work or deal with their very own profit checks. The rule didn’t make sure folks ineligible to purchase a firearm however was designed to make sure the background examine system was complete.

In February, the House accredited bipartisan laws to require federal background checks for all gun gross sales and transfers and accredited laws to permit a evaluation interval of as much as 10 days for background checks on firearms purchases. The White House threatened a presidential veto if these measures handed Congress.

At a February assembly with survivors and members of the family of the 2018 Parkland, Florida, college capturing during which 17 folks died, Trump promised to be “very strong on background checks.” Trump claimed he would stand as much as the gun foyer and eventually get ends in quelling gun violence. But he later retreated, expressing assist for modest modifications to the federal background examine system and for arming academics.

Some Democrats have known as for stronger measures akin to renewing a federal ban on assault weapons, which was put in place through the Clinton administration earlier than it expired below President George W. Bush. Trump has proven no real interest in embracing that challenge.


TRUMP: “We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but, when necessary, involuntary confinement.” — remarks Monday on the mass shootings.

THE FACTS: His phrases don’t match his previous actions.

Trump’s budgets would have slashed the federal-state Medicaid program, which supplies medical insurance for greater than 70 million low-income and disabled folks and can be the foremost source of public funds for psychological well being therapy.

Such proposals didn’t advance in Congress, even when each chambers had been below Republican management.

The president’s 2020 funds does name for some spending will increase on smaller psychological well being applications, together with a rise of $15 million, for a complete of $107 million, to develop school-based applications. The Parkland shootings final yr at a Florida highschool heightened sensitivity to the psychological well being wants of scholars.

But such will increase for particular applications pale compared with the affect of Medicaid cuts. This yr Trump once more proposed to show this system over to the states, limiting future federal financing. That would have led to a lower of about $1.4 trillion over 10 years from presently projected ranges of federal spending.

The administration says that’s probably not a lower, since spending would have continued to develop, simply extra slowly. But limits on federal financing would have pressured states to confront onerous selections over competing priorities like psychological well being or habit therapy, nursing house prices or prenatal take care of low-income girls.

As a candidate, Trump had initially promised that he wouldn’t lower Medicaid.



TRUMP: “As your President, one would think that I would be thrilled with our very strong dollar. I am not!” — tweet Thursday.

TRUMP: “The Fed’s high interest rate level, in comparison to other countries, is keeping the dollar high, making it more difficult for our great manufacturers like Caterpillar, Boeing …. John Deere, our car companies, & others, to compete on a level playing field. With substantial Fed Cuts (there is no inflation) and no quantitative tightening, the dollar will make it possible for our companies to win against competition.” — tweet Thursday.

THE FACTS: The president is oversimplifying the Fed’s position in figuring out the greenback’s worth and failing to have in mind potential threats to the nation from a weaker greenback.

Trump is right that U.S. rates of interest play a job in figuring out the worth of the greenback towards different currencies. Higher U.S. charges have a tendency to draw overseas traders who need to earn larger charges of return on dollar-denominated investments and this does push the greenback’s worth larger.

The Fed lower its key short-term fee by a quarter-point final week, its first discount in additional than a decade. But the Fed’s motion in setting its short-term fee is just one issue influencing the greenback’s worth.

U.S. financial progress additionally performs a serious position. Investors have pushed up the worth of the greenback as a result of they’re interested in U.S. property since America’s financial system is rising quicker than most different main economies.

And Trump’s drumbeat for a decrease greenback ignores the threats that could possibly be posed if the greenback had been to weaken considerably. That might spark larger inflation on this nation and push rates of interest up as overseas consumers of Treasury bonds to fund the federal government’s $22 trillion debt demand the next return to protect towards the devaluation of the greenback.



TRUMP: “China is losing so many — they’re losing — thousands and thousands of companies are leaving China now because of the tariffs.” — remarks to reporters Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Not so quick. It’s true that many firms are rethinking their provide chains in an effort to dodge Trump’s tariffs on items from China. Some are shifting manufacturing to different international locations akin to Vietnam and Mexico. But there’s no proof of a mass exodus. For one factor, relocating factories takes time — typically 12 to 18 months. For one other, will probably be onerous for multinationals to duplicate what they’ve in China — long-standing relationships with Chinese contractors and entry to an enormous array of specialised suppliers who can rapidly ship area of interest parts.

Trump final week sought to accentuate strain on China to achieve a commerce deal by saying he’ll impose 10% tariffs Sept. 1 on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports he hasn’t already taxed. U.S. customers will seemingly really feel the ache if Trump proceeds with the brand new tariffs.


TRUMP: “China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low. It’s called ‘currency manipulation.’ Are you listening Federal Reserve? This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!” — tweet Monday.

TRUMP: “China is intent on continuing to receive the hundreds of Billions of Dollars they have been taking from the U.S. with unfair trade practices and currency manipulation. So one-sided, it should have been stopped many years ago!” — tweet Monday.

THE FACTS: He’s misrepresenting the details.

Trump is right to be nervous that China could resolve to make use of its foreign money as a weapon in its ongoing commerce conflict with the United States. But it’s Trump’s personal Treasury Department that had didn’t cite China as a foreign money manipulator in 5 reviews it had issued since Trump took workplace in January 2017, despite the fact that Trump promised within the 2016 marketing campaign to take action straight away. Treasury’s shock transfer to formally label China a foreign money manipulator late Monday got here after China allowed its foreign money, the yuan, to fall beneath the seven yuan-to-$1 stage for the primary time in 11 years. In the next days, China continued to decrease the buying and selling vary for the yuan, displaying the potential to make use of its foreign money as a weapon within the commerce conflict with the United States.

A weaker yuan would make Chinese items inexpensive within the United States, doubtlessly offsetting a number of the affect of the tariffs Trump has already imposed on $250 billion in Chinese items and is threatening to widen to an extra $300 billion in items subsequent month. Those U.S. tariffs drive up the price of Chinese imports to American customers.

Trump appeared accountable the Federal Reserve for not taking motion towards China within the foreign money space. In actuality, the Treasury’s earlier reviews had repeatedly stated that China didn’t meet the necessities established in U.S. legislation to be branded a foreign money manipulator. Under U.S. legislation, the Federal Reserve performs no position in deciding whether or not international locations are unfairly manipulating their currencies.

In its announcement Monday, the Treasury Department contended that the actual goal of “China’s currency devaluation is to gain unfair competitive advantage in international trade.” It was the primary time Treasury put China on the foreign money blacklist since 1994.

The administration’s shock announcement raised questions on what precisely had modified from the Treasury’s final report issued in May that stated China didn’t meet the factors to be labeled a foreign money manipulator.


TRUMP: “I am the least racist person. Black … Unemployment is the lowest (BEST) in the history of the United States!” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Trump is in search of credit score he doesn’t deserve for black job progress.

It’s true that black unemployment did attain a document low through the Trump administration: 5.9% in May 2018. It presently stands at 6%.

But many economists view the continued financial progress for the reason that center of 2009, when Obama was in workplace, as the first rationalization for hiring. More necessary, there are a number of indicators that the racial wealth hole is now worsening and the administration seems to have completed little, if something, to particularly deal with this problem.

The most dramatic drop in black unemployment got here below Obama, when it fell from a recession excessive of 16.8% in March 2010 to 7.8% in January 2017.


Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro, Colleen Long, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Paul Wiseman in Washington, Lisa Marie Pane in Boise, Idaho, and Mae Anderson in New York contributed to this report.


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