Fact-Checking Donald Trump’s January 10 Town Hall

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

Former President Donald Trump appeared at a Jan. 10 town hall on Fox News that was moderated by hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum where he discussed a variety of topics such as foreign policy, polling and others.

Here are fact-checks on a few claims Trump made during the town hall.

“I’m leading Biden in every single poll that’s been taken in the last month or two.”

RealClearPolitics, which tracks polls, shows that Trump is leading in many polls against President Joe Biden, including state polls. However, a few polls, such as a January Morning Consult poll, shows Biden with a slight lead over Trump, though it falls under the margin of error.

Trump is currently leading Biden in RealClearPolitics’ polling average, 46% to Biden’s 44.8%. Most outlets, however, suggest that the race as of now is too close to call, according to Reuters.

“We had no terrorist attacks in my four years as president.”

Terrorist attacks occurred during Trump’s presidency, according to CNN. This includes a truck attack in 2017 that killed 8 people and injured 12 that the Department of Justice said was carried out in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Other examples include a December 2019 shooting carried out by a Saudi national that left three service members dead at a military base and a 2019 shooting in Texas that left 22 people killed that was described as domestic terrorism.

“I withdrew from Syria, I withdrew from Iraq.” 

Trump said in August 2020 that he would withdraw all troops from Iraq, according to the Associated Press.  The Trump administration announced it would withdraw thousands of troops from Iraq in September 2020, the Associated Press reported. It planned to reduce the amount of troops from 5,200 to 3,000 by November 2020.

NPR reported in November 2020 that the Trump administration would reduce troop levels to 2,500 troops, with the goal of withdrawing all troops by May 2021. The United States had 2,500 troops in Iraq by Jan. 15, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: Joe Biden Claimed In 2019 There Is No Evidence His Son Hunter ‘Did Anything Wrong’)

Trump announced in October 2019 that he would withdraw troops from northern Syria, though more troops also arrived in different parts of the country, according to the New York Times. Trump never withdrew all troops from Syria, with more troops and vehicles being deployed in eastern Syria in September 2020, the Guardian reported.

“We beat the hell out of ISIS. We won 100%.”

When Trump took office in January 2017, ISIS had taken over a substantial part of Iraq and Syria, including the major city of Mosul, according to the Wilson Center. Over 95 percent of ISIS held territory was retaken by November 2017.

ISIS has lost nearly ALL the territory they once held. More than 7.7 million people are now free, but this does NOT mark the end of the campaign. We know this enemy is as adaptive and savvy as it is cruel and evil. We will continue to support our partners & keep pressure on ISIS.

— OIR Spokesperson (@OIRSpox) December 19, 2017

Trump himself did not declare victory over ISIS in Syria until December 2018, according to The Associated Press. In that tweet, he stated that ISIS was the only reason why U.S. forces were in Syria.

We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018


Trump would later declare in February 2019 that US-backed forces retook 100% of the territory ISIS held in Syria, according to CNN. The last stretch of ISIS territory was taken in Syria by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and other allied troops, NBC News reported.

Trump noted in multiple tweets in October 2019 that his administration defeated “100% of the ISIS Caliphate.” He later walked back that claim during an October 2019 speech and said 70% of ISIS was defeated, according to Roll Call.

The State Department issued a statement in March 2023 noting the fourth anniversary of the territorial defeat of ISIS.

“Four years ago, the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS and its local partners liberated the final stretch of territory controlled by Daesh/ISIS in Baghuz, Syria, a major milestone in the ongoing effort to ensure the terrorist group’s lasting defeat,” the statement partially reads.

ISIS recently took credit for bombings in Iran that killed dozens of people, according to the New York Times. (RELATED: Did Donald Trump Deliver A Bigger Tax Cut Than Ronald Reagan?)

“Biden gave $85 billion of our military to Afghanistan, so stupidly.”

Check Your Fact previously reported in August 2021 that “the U.S. has appropriated over $88 billion to ‘help the Afghan government provide security in Afghanistan’ over roughly 20 years, not all of those funds went toward equipment. The funding also went toward things such as salaries, training, infrastructure and maintenance. Estimates vary, but the U.S. equipment left behind does not appear to equal $85 billion.”

An April 2022 Pentagon report found that $7 billion worth of equipment that was transferred from the U.S. to Afghan forces was left during the August 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to CNN. Pakistani officials have suggested that U.S. equipment provided to Afghan forces have fallen into the hands of militant groups that are fighting with the Pakistani military, Voice of America reported in December 2023.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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