While Donald Trump has certainly made some changes as president, he has occasionally made erroneous claims about his achievements, particularly regarding historical firsts. Many false claims made by Trump have reached substantial infamy, such as his assertion that the crowd present for his inauguration in January 2017 was the biggest ever. This was later proven to be false via aerial photos and past data. Some believe the things Trump said that aren't true are merely an aspect of his bombastic personality and his exaggerations are intentional and not meant to be taken 100% seriously. However, opponents classify the false information as deliberately misleading. Regardless of where you personally stand, being informed on the issue is important.
The list of things Trump has lied about is varied. Often the topic is serious, such as when he boasted about unprecedented military action at the border, while other times the topic is less dire, such as claims about bolstering Stephen Colbert's ratings. There are also many things Trump claims he did for the first time in history, both major and minor, that have been done before, such as claims of historical achievements during his first days in office. To stay informed on the issue, read this chronological list with the most recent claims at the top.
Wow, highest Poll Numbers in the history of the Republican Party. That includes Honest Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. There must be something wrong, please recheck that poll!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
In July 2018, Donald Trump tweeted (pictured above) that he had the highest poll numbers in the history of the Republican Party, including Abraham Lincoln. In an interview with The Sun three days later, he repeated this claim.
While Trump's approval ratings within his own party were relatively high, there are several fallacies in regards to his statements. First, it is impossible to establish whether his ratings were higher than Lincoln's. Polls conducted during that time were non-scientific and no poll numbers for Lincoln exist that could be reasonably compared to Trump's numbers. The Gallup polls now used to assess approval ratings were not used until 1935.
In addition to this, Trump's Gallup polls are not higher than any Republic president in history. Politifact compared Trump's approval ratings at the time he made the claims to past Republican presidential approval ratings during similar points in their presidencies. At the time Trump made his claims, his approval rating was 85%. George W. Bush and Dwight Eisenhower polled higher than Trump, with ratings of 96% and 92% respectively.
When discussing the security of the US-Mexico border in April 2018, Trump claimed that, in lieu of a wall, he would send troops to the border to ensure proper security measures could be put in place. He followed this statement with the bold claim, “That’s a big step, we really haven’t done that before, or certainly not very much before.”
Every president since Ronald Reagan actually sent troops to the border, with Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama both deploying thousands of troops to the border in 2006 and 2010, respectively. However, most recent missions focused more on logistical support and military surveillance rather than military action, although it's unclear if Trump intends to carry out military operations at the border.
Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2018
In February 2018, Trump claimed on Twitter (above) that his State of the Union address had the highest viewership of any State of the Union address in history.
Nielsen data indicated that, since 1993, multiple State of the Union addresses saw higher ratings than Trump's 2018 speech. Obama’s first State of the Union speech from 2010 had 48 million viewers, as opposed to Trump’s roughly 46 million in 2018. Even prior to Obama’s 2010 address, George W. Bush garnered 51.8 million and 62.1 million viewers in 2002 and 2003 respectively.