Donald Trump’s 2024 interviews with TIME are fact-checked

Read our full cover story on Donald Trump . You can also read the transcript of the interviews and a full fact check .

Former President Donald Trump sat down for a lengthy interview with TIME on April 12 at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla. He continued the discussion in a follow-up call on April 27. During those exchanges with TIME national politics reporter Eric Cortellessa, Trump made a number of claims that lacked context or were not supported by facts.

Below is a review of dozens of Trump’s statements from both interviews. TIME has also published of those conversations.

What Trump Said: “What’s happening to us, with probably 15 million and maybe as many as 20 million by the time Biden’s out. Twenty million people, many of them from jails, many of them from prisons, many of them from mental institutions.”

The Facts: Trump is talking about the undocumented population. The current undocumented population is not known. The Department of Homeland Security estimated there were 11.4 million as of 2018. have estimated the population is between 11 and 11.5 million as of 2022.

What Trump Said: “These aren’t civilians. These are people that aren’t legally in our country.”

The Facts: A civilian is commonly defined as anyone who is not an active member of the armed forces. Immigration status does not factor into whether someone is a civilian. Any person in the U.S., regardless of their immigration status, may be entitled to many of the same as U.S. citizens, including the and equal protection.

What Trump Said: “It was done by Obama in a form of jails, you know, prisons.”

The Facts: Trump was talking about building migrant detention camps. The Obama administration undocumented migrants in detention facilities. In spring 2014, there was a wave of illegal border crossings by migrants fleeing Central America. After border detention cells in McAllen, Texas, filled to capacity, border patrol agents placed immigrant families in “sally port” areas outside of the detention centers. Amid an outcry over the dismal conditions, the government converted a nearby empty warehouse into a new holding facility.

What Trump Said: “I completed what I said I was going to do, much more than I said I was going to do … I built much more wall than I thought necessary.”

The Facts: Throughout the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump to build a wall across the southern border and have Mexico pay for it. Neither happened. Trump was unable to secure border wall funding from Congress and instead directed military funds to construct portions of it. By the time he left office, the Trump administration roughly 450 miles of border barriers along the U.S. Mexico border, much of it replacing dilapidated barriers that were already there. America’s southern border for nearly 2,000 miles across four separate states.

What Trump Said: “China was going along making $500-600 billion a year and nobody was ever even mentioning it until I came along.”

The Facts: In 2017, the year Trump took office, the U.S. imported $505 billion from China and exported $130 billion, leaving the US.-China trade deficit at . In 2018, the deficit rose to $418 billion, the highest it’s been since 1985. In Dec. 2020, just before Trump left office, the trade deficit was $308 billion.

What Trump Said: “We ended up handing over a higher stock market substantially than when COVID first came in.”

The Facts: The CDC reported its first COVID cases in the U.S. in January 2020. On Jan. 2, 2020, the S&P 500 closed at. When President Biden took office in January, 2021, the S&P 500 closed at 3851.85, up 594 points.

What Trump Said: “We had the greatest economy in history. And Moody’s acknowledges that.”

The Facts: Moody’s did not say Trump “had the greatest economy in history.” In Oct. 2019, the company’s that Trump would win in 2020 if the economy held up.

What Trump Said: “China was dumping massive amounts of steel into our country. And we saved the steel industry.”

The Facts: In March 2018, Trump imposed a 25% tariff on imported steel, aiming to increase demand for domestic steel. The tariff temporarily drove up steel prices in the U.S., diminishing demand and sparking job cuts in U.S. industries reliant on steel, such as Michigan auto makers like General Motors and Ford. Entire steel , including the Great Lakes Works, where 1,250 people lost their jobs. As domestic steel prices increased, increasingly competitive imports drove the prices down again, and Trump rolled back the tariff for multiple countries in response.

Toward the end of Trump’s term, the steel industry overall 1,900 fewer steel workers than it did when he took office. One study found Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs resulted in of 75,000 American manufacturing jobs within a year. Michigan was hit especially hard—between the time Trump announced the steel tariffs and August 2020, the state’s metal manufacturers alone employed 7,300 fewer people.

What Trump Said: “We can’t do business with India, because they charged us with such a big tariff. It was over 100%.”

The Facts: Trump was talking about high tariffs India previously levied on motorcycles that affected U.S.-based Harley Davidson. Trump has brought up this specific tariff before. In 2017, India levied a 100% tariff on motorcycles, however most of the company’s motorcycles were assembled at their factory outside of New Delhi, the company from import tariffs. (The plant in 2020.) India later lowered its tariff on imported motorcycles to 50%, according to .

What Trump Said: “Mexico has taken 31% of our auto manufacturing auto business.”

The Facts: Trump has said this before, in a 2019 interview on CNBC. The independent research firm, the Center for Automotive Research, told the network they knew of no data or examples to support Trump’s claim. “There are no cases that I can name where an automaker closed a plant in the U.S., moved that work, opened a new plant in Mexico, and you can definitely call it a replacement,” said one of the group’s researchers . That said, the Mexican auto manufacturing industry has grown in recent years. As of the end of 2023, Mexico was the world’s passenger vehicle manufacturer. Eighty-eight percent of those vehicles are exports, with 76 percent going into the United States, to the International Trade Administration.

What Trump Said: “I even built the embassy. And it’s a beautiful embassy for a lot less money than anybody ever thought possible.”

The Facts: Trump is talking about his decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusaem, which he announced in December 2017. In early 2018, Trump the U.S. would spend only $200,000 to $300,000 on the project. The embassy opened in May 2018, with the U.S. originally spending just under $400,000 on modifications to the site. But just months after the opening, Desbuild Limak, a Maryland-based firm, was awarded a $21.2 million contract from the State Department to design an extension and security enhancements—upgrades that put the embassy’s cost more than $20 million over budget.

What Trump Said: “The people of Israel appreciate it. I have like a 98%—I have the highest approval numbers.

The Facts: Recent polls do not show Trump having a 98% approval rating in Israel. A by Israeli television station Channel 12 found that 44% of Israelis would like to see Donald Trump return to the White House in 2025, and 30% would like to see Joe Biden serve a second term.

What Trump Said: “Every legal scholar for 53 years has said that issue is a state issue from a legal standpoint … Every legal scholar, Democrat, Repub