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Washington Post Reporter Fact Checks Fox News on Trump and Trade: Four False Statements in 90 Seconds

A Fox & Friends segment on Tuesday featuring Fox Business Network reporter Jackie DeAngelis argued that President Trump may be seeing his trade war proved right in real time, based on new economic data. But Washington Post video editor JM Rieger called b.s., with four “false statements” from the segment, in a Twitter thread.

A short time later, he upped the count to five.

The segment in question is above, and Riger quoted from it as he did a blow-by blow. The first of his original four points was that the mechanics are not a mysterious or debatable point. Tariffs are “paid by importers, not China,” he wrote. Fellow WaPo reporter Phillip Bump later added an illustration in an article on the segment.

“On one side, you have people saying that Earth is flat. On the other side, you have people saying that it is some sort of ball or sphere,” wrote Bump.

Rieger’s second point was that, contrary to DeAgelis’ assertion that consumers haven’t been “on the hook”, they have in fact paid out $22 billion dollars according to the study he cited.

His third was that DeAngelis’ claim that companies haven’t expressed worry or reacted in negative ways is contradicted by the fact that companies have done those things.

Bump again elaborated later in the WaPo article.

“So here’s what I’m seeing from the floor: Second-quarter earnings are starting to come through, and you’re not hearing companies say that they’re worried about China or that China impacted the bottom line. And that’s really the important thread of this story. We’re taking money in. U.S. companies aren’t saying they’re being hurt by it.”

DeAngelis is talking to the wrong companies. Concerns about the trade war and the increased cost of doing business with China has spooked a number of companies, some of which are slowing down on hiring as a result. Markets have slipped over the past month. Companies reliant on imports, such as retailers, may be downgraded by ratings agencies.

Rieger’s fourth knock on the Fox News report was that it is misleading to suggest the U.S. is just raking in money while ignoring the above-mentioned cost to consumers and the fact that the Trump administration is paying out $16 billion in farm bailout. And that they’re paying that out because the tariffs have taken money out of American pockets rather than China’s coffers.

He then summarized.

Later he noted the fifth item, that DeAngelis didn’t even correctly cite the numbers, conflating all tariff money with just that from tariffs on China.

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