FACT CHECK: 3 Checks On Trump’s Claims From His Montana Rally

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

President Donald Trump held a rally in Missoula, Montana, Thursday night in support of Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale.

Here are three checks on his claims.

Claim 1: “Here in Montana, household incomes have reached an all-time high. Think of that.”

The median household income in Montana increased from $50,968 in 2016 (inflation-adjusted) to $53,386 in 2017 – the highest figure recorded by the Census Bureau since it began tracking median household income in 2005. This marked a 4.7 percent increase, the strongest percentage growth of any state. (Household income did grow 7.5 percent in Washington, D.C.)

Median household income nationally, when adjusted for inflation, increased 2.6 percent, from $58,820 in 2016 to $60,336 in 2017 – also the highest on record. Household incomes in the U.S. have now risen for five years in a row.

Claim 2: “Two years ago you watched over me, because we won this state by a lot.” 

Trump won Montana, which has a total of three electoral votes, in 2016 with 56 percent of the vote, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton came in second with almost 36 percent of the vote, followed by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who received about 6 percent.

Montana has voted for the Republican Party in every presidential election since 1992, when Democrat Bill Clinton won the state with 38 percent of the vote.

Claim 3: “I say beautiful, clean coal – and we have more of it than anybody.” 

The U.S. has the largest proved coal reserves in the world with more than 250 billion tonnes at the end of 2017, according to a statistical review done by the oil company BP. This makes up about 24 percent of the world’s total coal reserves.

Russia has the second-largest reserves with 160 billion tonnes, and Australia the third-largest with 145 billion tonnes.

When it comes to coal production, however, the U.S. is second to China, which produced 1.7 billion tonnes of coal in 2017, compared to 371 million tonnes produced in the U.S.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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