That Donald Trump continues to have a unique relationship with the truth isn’t news; The Washington Post has now tracked more than 5,000 falsehoods uttered by the U.S. president.
But one, in particular, keeps cropping up in his public appearances—and the lie keeps growing.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that his tariffs have led to U.S. Steel opening new plants stateside.
Fact-checkers picked up on the claim months ago, but a direct refutation from U.S. Steel itself not stopped Trump from making the claim.
Indeed, he’s super-sized it: From his claim of “six new plants” in Tampa on July 31, he’s bumped the number to seven in Wilkes-Barre a few days later and, now, “eight or nine” Monday morning at the White House.
Trump has reason to back the outlandish claims, of course. The administration’s 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and aluminum were a vanguard for his proposed future tariffs, some of which have already been deployed; the idea that the steel tariffs “worked” is essential to building support for future restrictive trade initiatives.
But they didn’t “work”—at least not in the way Trump is claiming.
And so we can only sit and watch the number of imaginary new U.S. Steel plants keep increasing.