AP FACT CHECK: Trump promises the moon, Mars too


WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump rejected the hard realities of his trade contest with China as mere stupidity on Monday and advised individuals to expect people on Mars “very shortly,” which isn’t occurring.

Here’s a glance at a portion of his pronouncements in a news gathering with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and how they stack up with the real world:

TRUMP: “You know, foolishly, some people said that the American taxpayer is paying the tariffs of China. No, no, no — it’s not that way. They’re paying a small percentage, but our country is taking in billions and billions of dollars.”


THE FACTS: That’s not valid. U.S. buyers and the public are fundamentally if not by any stretch of the imagination paying the costs of the tariffs, as his chief economic consultant, Larry Kudlow, has acknowledged. That is the manner by which taxes work: Importers cover the government expenses and frequently pass on the expense to shoppers. The U.S. isn’t “taking in” billions from China subsequently.

A continued trade debate isn’t easy for China, either. Its merchandise become pricier and hence less competitive. Be that as it may, China isn’t paying a tab to the U.S. treasury in this issue.

As Kudlow said, precisely: “Both sides will suffer on this.” But in his view, “this is a risk we should and can take.”

TRUMP: “Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed to dramatically expand our nations’ cooperation in human space exploration. Japan will join our mission to send U.S. astronauts to space. We’ll be going to the moon. We’ll be going to Mars very soon.”

THE FACTS: Not very soon. The U.S. will very likely not be sending people to Mars in his administration, regardless of whether he wins a second term.

The Trump administration has a main concern more on the moon than Mars for human investigation (President Barack Obama favored Mars) and would like to quicken NASA’s plan for returning individuals to the lunar surface. It has requested that Congress support enough cash to make a moon mission most likely by 2024, instead of 2028. Yet, regardless of whether that happens, Mars would come a very long time after that. International space agencies have optimistic expressions about perhaps landing people on Mars in the 2030s.

TRUMP on Iran: “If you look at the deal that Biden and President Obama signed, they would have access — free access — to nuclear weapons, where they wouldn’t even be in violation, in just a very short period of time. What kind of a deal is that?”

THE FACTS: That’s a distortion of what the deal required . Iran would not have nuclear weapons capability in a “brief period” without violating the terms of the 2015 accord. The U.S. pulled back from the multinational agreement a year ago.

Amid the 15-year life of most provisions of the deal, Iran’s capabilities were constrained to a level where it couldn’t create a nuclear bomb. Iran was believed to be just months away from a bomb when the arrangement became effective.

After 15 years, Iran could have a variety of  advanced centrifuges prepared to work, the limits on its reserve would be gone and, in principle, it could then devote itself completely to delivering much improved uranium. However, nothing in the deal kept the West from trying to get control Iran over again with sanctions. The deal incorporated a vow by Iran never to look for a nuclear weapon. Consequently, players in the deal eased sanctions on Iran.