Fact-checking the State of the Union Address


Courtesy of CNN

Last night, President Donald Trump delivered his long-awaited State of the Union Address. Spanning 82 minutes, Trump covered everything from the current economy to relations with North Korea, and the continuing debate on immigration. Throughout his address, the President received mixed reactions from the crowd; from applause and spontaneous “USA” chants to bored looks and eye rolls.

With the President’s approval rating moving up from 37% to 40% since the end of the government shutdown, according to Fox News, the President’s consensus on the past year was that “The state of our union is strong.” He used the address to reminisce on the year through his accomplishments and current facts on the state of the country.

However, the President’s “facts” did not all prove to be factual, and his accomplishments need further context to be fully understood.


Fact #1: Americans are in constant danger from illegal immigrants.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, immigrants that are legal or illegal are less likely to be convicted of crimes than U.S. citizens. In fact, there has recently been a decrease in violent crimes in the U.S overall this past year.


Fact #2: There has been an unprecedented economic boom in the last 2 years.

According to CNN, President Trump “inherited a labor market in the later stages of a long recovery from the Great Recession, with fairly consistent job creation.” Or, in other words, at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, the economic boom had already begun, but Trump did manage to continue it throughout the past 2 years. However, he stated that 5.3 million jobs were added since he took office, but in reality, the number was 4.87 million. So some, but not all, credit can be given to Trump for the current state of the economy.


Fact #3: The election of Trump has helped America avoid war with North Korea.

Despite Trump making this claim in last night’s speech, his previous threats to North Korea counteract this argument. In 2017, Trump said in an interview, “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” in regards to North Korea. North Korea promptly responded by threatening to fire missiles to the U.S. territory of Guam.


President Trump had the stage last night, but many Democratic women and men in Congress, including the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, managed to make a statement by standing out in a sea of white suits, blazers, capes, and ribbons.

The night ended with history being made, as Stacey Abrams became the first black women to give the Democratic rebuttal to the State of the Union, in which she continually blamed Trump for the recent government shutdown; the longest one in history, and emphasized the importance of voting rights for all Americans.