Reality Check: President Trump makes several false, misleading claims during acceptance speech

President Donald Trump made numerous false or misleading claims during his acceptance speech at the final night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday.

Trump spoke for about 70 minutes to an audience on the White House’s South Lawn, repeating many statements he’s made before.


Claim: “We will again build the greatest economy in history, quickly returning to full employment, soaring incomes and record prosperity.”

Reality Check rating: misleading

Trump did oversee part of the largest economic expansion in the country’s history, but that began in 2009 under former President Barack Obama.

The U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, grew at about the same rate as it did under previous administrations, and the nation only got to Trump’s goal of 3% growth per year once during his term, after the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. After that, growth slowed to 2.3% in 2019.

The U.S. did set records with the stock market and unemployment, but those are not the only measurements of a strong economy.


Claim: “Our NATO partners, as an example, were very far behind in their defense payments. But at my strong urging, they agreed to pay $130 billion more a year the first time in over 20 years that they upped their payments.”

Reality Check rating: misleading

NATO allies agreed to increase contributions at the Wales Summit in 2014.


Claim: “(I) secured for the first time American energy independence.”

Reality Check rating: False

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. imported more than 9 million barrels of petroleum per day in 2019. That’s about 44% of total petroleum consumption (about 20.46 million barrels per day) that year.

The same agency reported petroleum is the United States’ most used energy source.


Claim: “We also passed VA Accountability and VA Choice.”

Reality Check rating: Mostly false

This act was created in 2014, under the Obama administration. Trump did expand it in 2018.


Claim: “We worked hard to pass … long-term funding of Historically Black Colleges and Universities”

Reality Check rating: True

In 2017 Congress passed the FUTURE Act with bipartisan support, and HBCUs have received more funding under Trump than any other president.