President Trump used the final speech of his presidency on Wednesday morning to repeat many of the same falsehoods and exaggerations he told over the last four years.
He falsely claimed, as he has previously done almost 300 times, to have passed the “largest tax cut and reform in the history of our country by far” despite the 2017 tax cut ranking below several others.
Mr. Trump also boasted once more to have presided over the “greatest economy,” with “numbers” that were “at a level that nobody had ever seen before.” Annual average growth, even before the coronavirus pandemic decimated the economy, was lower under Mr. Trump than under recent former Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.
And he heralded his legacy in transforming the judiciary, exaggerating the number of appointments to “almost 300” and claiming that it was “record-setting.” In reality, Mr. Trump appointed 229 judges, a large amount for a one-term president but well below the total number for Presidents Barack Obama (320), George W. Bush (322) and Bill Clinton (322).
Mr. Trump also used his final speech as president to once again wrongly take credit for creating the Veterans Choice health care program that was signed into law by his predecessor in 2014. As president, Mr. Trump signed a measure making changes to the program.
He also falsely claimed that the Department of Veterans Affairs could not fire employees before he took office. In reality, Mr. Trump signed a law to encourage whistle-blowing and made it easier to fire bad employees at the department.