In the space of 12 seconds during his CNN town hall in Milwaukee on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden made three separate errors when talking about refugee admissions to the United States.
“We used to allow refugees, 125,000 refugees into the United States in a yearly basis,” he said. “It was as high as 250,000. Trump cut it to 5,000.”
Biden is correct in saying that President Trump slashed refugee admission numbers to record-low numbers. But all three figures he gave were off the mark.
--Over the years since the modern-day refugee admission program was established in 1980, the highest number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S. in any one year was 207,116, in fiscal year 1980, according to the numbers published by the State Department. It was not 250,000, as Biden asserted. (Even had he been referring to the ceiling rather than the actual number of admissions, the highest ceiling ever set, by the Carter administration for FY 1980, was 231,700, not “as high as 250,000.”)
--Biden said the U.S. “used to allow … 125,000 refugees into the United States in a yearly basis.” In fact, according to the State Department, over the 42 years since the Refugee Act was enacted in 1980, the U.S. admitted 125,000 or more refugees only three times – in fiscal years 1980 (207,116 refugees), 1981 (159,252 refugees), and 1992 (132,531 refugees). The average number of refugees admitted a year over that 42-year period stands at 88,207.
--Biden said Trump reduced the number of refugee admissions to 5,000. In fact, the lowest number of refugees resettled in the U.S. during the Trump presidency was 11,814, in FY 2020. Of the five years accounting for the smallest number of refugee admissions since 1980, three were under Trump – fiscal years 2020 (11,814 refugees), 2018 (22,517 refugees) and 2019 (30,000 refugees) – and two under President George W. Bush – fiscal years 2002 (27,131 refugees) and 2003 (28,403 refugees).
Goodenough weirdly added at the end of his article: "During his presidency Trump was frequently criticized or mocked for giving exaggerated or inaccurate figures during speeches or interviews." Not that we can recall Goodenough pointing out those inaccuracies they way he did to Biden.
A little over a week later, Goodenough had the chance to put his words in action by pointing out false and misleading claims former President Trump, he punted. Instead, Goodenough's Feb. 28 article on Trump's speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference is largely fluff and stenography, leading with Trump's narcissistic teasing about a 2024 presidential run:
Former President Trump made his return to the political arena in a fired-up speech on Sunday, slamming the five-week-old Biden administration’s record and making clear he has no intention of going away quietly. He stopped short of announcing plans to run again for the White House in 2024.
Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida just two weeks after the U.S. Senate acquitted him of inciting insurrection, Trump pledged to throw his support behind strong conservative candidates, while dismissing by name those he characterized as “Republicans in Name Only.”
But he left hanging the question of whether he envisaged being the party's standard-bearer in the next presidential race.
While actual news outlets have performed fact-checks on just Trump's claims of election fraud that purportedly cost him the election, this fawning statement is all Goodenough wrote about it: "Evidently unfazed by the criticism he received for his reaction to the declared outcome of November’s election, Trump returned to the issue several times."
And while there are many fact-checks of Trump's speech as a whole, Goodenough didn't reference them or do any-fact-checking of his own here or in any other article. Instead, he uncritically forwarded Trump's rants that Biden has had “the most disastrous first month of any American president in modern history” (by what metric? Goodenough didn't seem interested in finding out) and that the Biden administration is "anti-jobs, anti-family, anti-borders, anti-energy, anti-women and anti-science."
If one was looking for a compare-and-contrast of how CNS' pro-Trump, anti-Biden editorial agenda operates, Goodenough couldn't have delivered a better example.