3 Trump claims that are actually true

3 Trump claims that are actually true
President Donald Trump greets visitors touring the White House on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Source: Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump greets visitors touring the White House on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Source: Evan Vucci/AP

It's been said that "even a stopped clock is right twice a day," and by that metric, President Donald Trump narrowly outperforms the clock. To put another way, he would beat the stopped clock if the clock's day was measured against Trump's entire campaign and nascent presidency.  

Here are three claims Trump has made that are actually true.

President Donald Trump greets visitors touring the White House on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Source: Evan Vucci/AP

"Our infrastructure at home is crumbling."

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly lamented the state of the nation's infrastructure. He referred to New York's LaGuardia Airport and others as being from "a third-world country." In his first joint address to Congress, he said "our infrastructure at home is crumbling." 

Trump also said he would ask Congress to present a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. Such a plan would go a long way toward fixing America's collapsing bridges, decrepit airports and woefully inadequate rail system

Trump's infrastructure plan could gain support from Democrats and would help create jobs and restore American pride. Unfortunately, the New York Times  pointed out that infrastructure is not a priority for Republicans and may not be presented until 2018. 

A U.S. Navy F18 fighter jet lands on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson following a patrol off the disputed South China Sea.
Source: Bullit Marquez/AP

China is "build[ing] up disputed islands in the South China Sea"

China is constructing artificial islands in the South China Sea in an attempt to extend its territorial waters far beyond the legal limit. These islands are becoming increasingly militarized and present a challenge to freedom of navigation through international waters. 

Trump has strongly opposed further construction in the South China Sea. CNBC reported Trump is planning a massive naval build-up in East Asia, and Trump has made clear statements that further construction should not be allowed to continue. 

The Guardian reported in January that Rex Tillerson, then-nominee for secretary of state, "told his confirmation hearing the White House needed to send China a 'clear signal' that such activities had to stop and that its access to such territories was 'not going to be allowed.'" 

The problem in this case is that the Trump administration both takes it too far — seemingly issuing a "red line" on construction that China will certainly cross — and sets itself up for continuous escalation rather than friendly negotiation or maintenance of the status quo.

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a December rally at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
Source: Brynn Anderson/AP

He would become the 45th U.S. president 

Trump ran for president and won. He may not have collected the most votes, but he knew the system, played for the Electoral College and emerged victorious. He understood the electorate better than did the punditocracy.

His triumph was so unlikely that if you had bet $1,000 in December 2015 that Trump would be the next president, you would have gotten a pretty hefty return on your investment — perhaps better than Trump has ever received. Sure, $3,500 might not sound like much, but without his tax returns we don't really know how much money Trump actually has. 

On the other hand, maybe Trump himself never expected to win at all. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Jonathan Cristol

Dr. Jonathan Cristol is a fellow at the World Policy Institute (www.worldpolicy.org). He is also a senior fellow at the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College (www.bard.edu), where for many years he was a professor of international affairs and director of Bard's Globalization and International Affairs Program. Dr. Cristol is an independent advisor/expert at Duco, a global affairs, policy, technology, and security consulting firm (www.ducoexperts.com).

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