“I better say ‘think,’ otherwise they’ll give you a Pinocchio,” Trump said, referring to The Washington Post’s rating system for fact-checking politicians’ statements. “And I don’t like those, I don’t like Pinocchios.”
It took roughly 8.5 minutes for Trump, who has an extensive history of lies, to deliver what appears to be another doozy — taking credit for the creation of tens of thousands of new mining jobs.
“In Pennsylvania, two weeks ago, they opened a mine, the first mine that was opened in decades. Opened a mine!” he said during a speech to kick off the White House’s “Made in America” week, referring to the state’s new coal mine. “And you know all the people that were saying the mining jobs? Well we picked up 45,000 mining jobs in a very short period of time. Everybody was saying, well, you won’t get any mining jobs. We picked up 45,000 mining jobs.”
“And the miners are very happy with Trump and with Pence,” Trump boasted. “And we’re very proud of that.”
While America’s miners may be happy with the administration’s push for increased fossil fuel development, there’s a problem: The number of coal mining jobs has increased by roughly 800 since Trump became president.
In a pair of posts to Twitter, Washington Post Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler addressed both Trump’s Pinocchio comment and his claim about mining jobs.
“Well, this is how you end up with Pinocchios!” Kessler wrote, linking to the Post’s fact-check of a similar claim made by the head of the Environmental Protection Agency last month.
In a series of TV interviews on June 4, in which he defended Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt bragged that the administration had added 50,000 jobs.
“Since the fourth quarter of last year until most recently, we’ve added almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “In the month of May alone, almost 7,000 jobs.”
However, there are only 50,800 coal mining jobs nationwide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In another interview June 4 with Fox News, Pruitt said that since the fourth quarter “we’ve had almost 50,000 jobs created in the mining and coal sector alone,” being careful to not pin the number specifically to coal.
The Washington Post noted in its analysis that the increase in all mining and logging jobs since Trump took office was, at the time, around 33,000. Including preliminary figures for June, BLS estimates roughly 47,000 new mining and logging jobs have been added since December.
Trump didn’t mention logging in his remarks Monday.