One in four Donald Trump tweets as president contain dubious 'facts' at best

Donald Trump tweets
One in four Trump tweets were found to contain dubious claims.

A quarter of Donald Trump tweets since he became US president have contained unproven or disputed claims, a study has found.

Analysis by the Press Association revealed that of the 447 tweets he posted since he entered the White House, 108 (or 24.2%) contained statements that could not be backed up.

The study looked at whether or not claims made from the president’s @realDonaldTrump account were supported by publicly-available evidence or disputed by news outlets.

It found that Mr Trump’s tweeting of disputed claims peaked in the middle of February, a month in which a series of damaging reports emerged relating to his team’s alleged communications with Russia during the election campaign.

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In that month, Mr Trump tweeted 37 disputable claims, including 12 in the week of security adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation over suggestions he covered up talks with Kremlin officials.

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Of those, six appeared to directly defend his team’s conduct in the Russia scandal, while five specifically contained the phrase ‘fake news’.

On February 15, just hours after Mr Flynn’s departure, Mr Trump tweeted: ‘This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign’.

Two days later, he posted: ‘The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story – RUSSIA. Fake news!’

The Press Association found 13 questionable claims in the president’s tweets at the beginning of April.

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All but two of these related either to Russia or to unproven allegations of surveillance against the president and his team.

Mr Trump also tweeted unfounded claims that he had his ‘wires tapped’ by his predecessor, Barack Obama, in the run-up to the election.

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In a string of four tweets sent in the early hours of March 4, Mr Trump made the claims which he later disowned – telling a press conference two weeks later that he was merely quoting a ‘very talented’ Fox News reporter, Andrew Napolitano.

Mr Napolitano had cited three unnamed sources claiming that the surveillance had been carried out by British intelligence agency GCHQ, at the request of Mr Obama.

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Fox later said it had ‘no evidence of any kind’ that Mr Trump had been subject to such surveillance.

There was only one week of tweets without questionable claims – the seven days following Mr Trump’s decision to launch air strikes on a Syrian air base in retaliation for a chemical gas attack by the country’s government.

WEEK-BY-WEEK BREAKDOWN OF MR TRUMP’S ‘QUESTIONABLE’ TWEETS:

January 20-27………………………………………………………… 4
January 28-February 3…………………………………………… 11
February 4-10…………………………………………………………. 10
February 11-17…………………………………………………………. 12
February 18-24…………………………………………………………. 6
February 25-March 3……………………………………………….. 10
March 4-10…………………………………………………………….. 12
March 11-17…………………………………………………………….. 5
March 18-24……………………………………………………………. 9
March 25-31……………………………………………………………. 9
April 1-7………………………………………………………………….13
April 8-14………………………………………………………………… 0
April 15-21……………………………………………………………….. 5
April 22-25………………………………………………………………. 2