Reeling From Shutdown Loss, Trump Spews Misinformation About Immigrants On Twitter

President Donald Trump makes his way to the podium to annonce that a deal has been reached to reopen the government through Feb. 15 during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House January 25, 2019 in Washington, DC.Photo by Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25: (AFP OUT) US President Donald Trump makes a statement announcing that a deal has been reached to reopen the government through Feb. 15 during an event in the Rose Garden of the White Hous... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25: (AFP OUT) US President Donald Trump makes a statement announcing that a deal has been reached to reopen the government through Feb. 15 during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House January 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. The White House announced they've reached a deal with Congress to end the shutdown and open the federal government for three weeks to give time to work out a larger immigration and border security deal. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS

On the heels of caving to Democrats over his demands for border wall money — which did not bear fruit, aside from a record-breaking partial government shutdown — Donald Trump bombarded Twitter on Sunday with waves of presidential misinformation.

At 8:22 a.m. ET, while Trump allies and White House staff prepared to appear on Sunday morning TV shows to defend Trump’s agenda, the President sent out his first blatantly false tweet of the day.

In fact, it’s not true that 58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas, nor is it true that 95,000 non-citizens are registered to vote.

Trump’s tweet refers to numbers released by the office of the Texas Secretary of State, which recently sent a list to local election officials across the state of 95,000 registered voters who at one point indicated in some way that they were not citizens — such as when they obtained a driver’s license.

The Secretary of State’s office was clear that the list should not be considered proof of widespread illegal voting.

“All records submitted through this process will need to be treated as WEAK matches, meaning that the county may choose to investigate the voter, pursuant to Section 16.033, Election Code, or take no action on the voter record if the voter registrar determines that there is no reason to believe the voter is ineligible,” Director of Elections Keith Ingraham wrote.

The Texas Tribune, two days ago, wrote a “pre-buttal” of sorts for the inevitable, inaccurate claims of widespread illegal voting.

“Of those 95,000, 58,000 individuals cast a ballot in one or more elections from 1996 to 2018,” the paper tweeted on Jan. 25. “That is a 22 year time period. And that does not mean the state is saying 58,000 non-citizens voted.”

The accompanying article read: “It’s unclear exactly how many of those individuals are not actually U.S. citizens and whether that number will be available in the future.”

Trump has also repeatedly, and falsely, made claims of mass voter fraud in California. He continued not to provide any evidence for the false claims on Sunday.

Trump’s second easily-provable falsehood of the day came just a few minutes later, when he tweeted some bizarre statistics about the cost of undocumented people living in the United States.

It’s unclear where these numbers come from.

A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, which Trump appeared to cite at the end of his tweet, referred TPM to the White House for questions about Trump’s sources.

White House spokespeople did not respond to TPM’s questions. However, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told CBS’ Margaret Brennan in an interview Sunday that “I’ve seen ranges as high, I think, as 30 or 40 million. I’m not exactly sure where the President got that number.”

According to Pew Research Center, those “ranges” are incorrect: The organization tallied 10.7 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States in 2016, and the number had been fairly consistent for years before that.

Just last month, DHS itself released a report estimating that in January 2015, there were 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country.

Regarding the “cost of illegal immigration so far,” Trump has frequently inflated this claimed “cost,” losing credibility each time.

As various factchecks have shown, Trump’s fluctuating claims are so far off of existing data that even eliminating undocumented immigrants’ yearly tax contributions — a substantial sum — doesn’t account for the discrepancy.

Without a White House explanation, it’s unclear where Trump’s numbers came from on Sunday, nor where they’ve come from in the past.

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