Fact Checking The Viral Post About Trump’s First Days

Late on January 24th, an ominous post starting “We are 4 days in. PAY ATTENTION!” started to circulate social media, listing off in bullet points all the offensive actions made by Trump and administration during his first four days in office. While we haven’t yet been able to identify the original author, we have noted that at least half of those reposting this list comment “I don’t know if this is all true, but….” As informed and fact-loving liberals, we know it’s important to always vet the claims we make, or share, but with a laundry-list like this, it can be quite hard. So we’ve done the “heavy listing” for you.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.

True, as reported by Mother Jones.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

True. As was first reported in The Hill, Trump’s proposed budget completely eliminates funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. Time confirms it, noting the total budget for the NEA costs $150 million, or about 46 cents per taxpayer per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer 46 cents per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer $1.46 per year. Although Media Matters reports that Trump said he wants to privatize it, rather than kill it.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer 11 cents per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer 66 cents per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer $1.60 per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer 43 cents per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer 88 cents per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer $1.48 per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer 48 cents per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer 38 cents per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Mostly True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency is self sustaining, costing the taxpayer no money at all. So it would seem Trump wants to end this, rather than cut its funding.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer 3 cents per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer 81 cents per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer $8.95 per year.

On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.

True. Same as above. According to Time, this agency costs one taxpayer $2.71 per year.

If you are doing the math, then all these cuts proposed in the new Trump budget amount to $7.3 billion per year, or a little over $22 per taxpayer per year. Trump has promised to cut $10.5 trillion in spending over the next decade, or as Vanity Fair called it, “a $10.5 trillion ‘screw you’ to Democrats.” Cutting these 17 programs will amount to about 7% of that goal.

On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.

True. The White House memorandum can be read here.

On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.

True. This has been widely reported, like here by CNN.

On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.

True. This is verified, however it seems a stretch to list this under things Trump and his administration have done.

On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.

True. This is verified, however again, it’s a stretch to connect this to Trump and his administration

On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.

True, as reported by CBS. The White House denies this.

On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”

True. The video is up for anyone to see. Here’s one example.

On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.

True. It happened on NBC’s Meet The Press (video included).

On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.

True. Here is the story and video from HuffPost.

On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.

True. Although according to Salon, he “massively expanded” it too.

On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.

True. And China hit back hard, as would be expected.

On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.

True. It happened at a dinner where Trump met with Congressional Leadership. Sources familiar with the event said Trump also spent 10-15 minutes rehashing the campaign and his electoral-college win.

On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.

True. This is verified, however as before, the relevance to Trump and his administration is dubious.

On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.

False. During that day’s press conference, Sean Spicer agreed that Trump believes this claim, but he did not repeat or defend it as fact.

On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is of the 2009 inauguration of 44th President Barack Obama, and is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.

This seems to be a few stories confused in one. Here’s the tweet and photo:

The photographer admits he put the wrong date on the photo. However, this is a picture from Trump’s inauguration. The picture used from Obama’s inauguration was sent out from the @POTUS twitter account right after it was switched from Obama to Trump:

On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.

True. The EPA was given a media blackout and its grants/contracts have been frozen.

On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.

True. AP broke the story, and the vetting order actually reads “Incoming media requests will be carefully screened. Only send out critical messages, as messages can be shared broadly and end up in the press. According to The Hill, the gag order was lifted on Jan 25.

On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.

True. You can read the bill here.

On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.

True. Trump has ordered the resumption of the pipeline. And North Dakota did consider that bill, although it was last week.

On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

Unclear. A website called citylab has run this story. US News reports only that police will not comment on whether they have warrants to search the devices. However, there is no direct or indirect link between Trump and these arrests.


The Verdict

36 claims, and 34 are clearly true. However, four of them, while certainly frustrating, really have nothing to do with Trump taking the helm. Still, there’s a long laundry list left over to have the author of the post end with

“How much of a chance do we need to give? Seriously. Tell me.”

About Charlie Barrel 144 Articles
Charlie has been writing news, opinion, and spoof pieces on politics off and on since 1994. In between gigs, he's a stand-up philosopher.