FACT CHECK: Trump’s Florence rally contained false and misleading claims

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FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) — Former President Donald Trump held a rally in Florence on Saturday that contained false and misleading claims.

Below is an overview of some of the claims made during the rally.

Claim: The 2020 election was rigged

Facts: This is false.

During the rally, Trump said there was overwhelming evidence the election was fraudulent, but offered no evidence. He also said Republicans needed a landslide victory in the midterm elections, suggesting Democrats would try to cheat.

There was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election that would have changed the outcome. The Associated Press investigated election fraud in states where Trump claimed he won, even though he didn’t. In those states, The Associated Press found fewer than 475 cases of voter fraud, not enough to change the result.

The Associated Press reported that not all of the voter fraud cases uncovered were votes for Biden and in most cases the fraudulent ballots weren’t even counted.

Claim: One Million Illegal Immigrants Entered the United States in the Last Fiscal Year

Facts: This is misleading.

Brandon Judd, one of Trump’s guest speakers, made that claim. According to NRP, 1.7 million migrants were apprehended at the border in fiscal year 2021, but this number may not represent the number of people who entered the United States illegally. NPR reports that migration patterns have changed over the past 20 years. NPR attributed the rise in the number of people trying to cross more than once and said the number may not accurately account for people who entered the United States illegally.

Claim: Joe Biden is to blame for rising gas prices

Facts: This is false.

Several guest speakers and Trump himself have made this claim. According to a New York Times reportmany things affect gas prices, including the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the supply chain.

Representative Russell Fry told Biden to open the Keystone XL pipeline, however, the pipeline was never even built and the main Keystone pipeline is still in service. GasBuddy’s head of oil analysis, Patrick De Haan, told the NYT that, through no fault of Trump, oil production also fell in his last eight months in office.

The war in Ukraine is also adding to the increase, according to the NYT.

Claim: The United States was energy independent before Biden

Facts: This is misleading.

While the United States was energy independent, by definition, in 2020, according to Forbes — quoting the Energy Information Administration — the United States still exported more energy products than it imported in 2021, which meets the definition of energy independence. The issue is complex and can fluctuate from month to month.

Claim: There were more deaths from COVID-19 in 2021 than in 2020

Facts: This is true.

More people died from COVID-19 in 2021 than in 2020, largely from the Delta variant, according to PolitiFact fact check.

Claim: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would not have happened if he had been president

Facts: This is Undetermined.

According to The hill, 62% of voters believe that Vladimir Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if Trump were president. However, this is purely hypothetical. We know that Putin did not invade Ukraine while Trump was in power, but it is impossible to know if Putin would have if Trump had won a second term.

Trump made headlines last week after he called Putin ‘smart’ and ‘savvy’. Trump’s first indictment was for refusing Ukraine’s help to pressure them to dig up dirt on Trump’s political opponents, according to Policy. The Senate did not vote to convict Trump.

Claim: Border security was strongest during the Trump presidency

Facts: This is Undetermined.

There is no real metric to determine the security of a border, however, according to PolitiFact, the peak of migrants arriving at the border began in 2020 while Trump was still in office and has climbed every month. Ultimately, there’s no way to tell if this is true or false because the immigration system is complex and what constitutes a secure border depends on who you ask.

Claim: Biden is responsible for supply chain issues

Facts: This is misleading.

While supply chain issues have continued under Biden, supply chain issues are largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which started early 2020. According to Associated press, stimulus checks, the stock market and rising home equity have pushed Americans to spend money, affecting global demand. The AP said many businesses were caught off guard by how quickly people started spending money again.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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