In a tweet Thursday morning, the president said his State of the Union address on Tuesday night drew the highest number of viewers in history.
It did not.
According to the AP, approximately 45.6 million people watched Trump’s speech on Tuesday. That’s fewer viewers than the last three presidents drew for their first State of the Union addresses — 48 million tuned in to watch Barack Obama’s speech in 2010, 51.7 million watched George W. Bush’s speech in 2002, and 46.8 million watched Bill Clinton’s in 1993.
This is not the first time Trump and his team have tried to fudge the numbers. In his first press conference after Trump was inaugurated, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, “This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.” It was not. (Spicer told the New York Times in September that he regrets making those claims.)
According to Politifact, between 250,000 and 600,000 people attended Trump’s inauguration last year, significantly less than the estimated 1 million who attended Obama’s second inauguration, and the 1.8 million who attended his first inauguration.
So, counting may not be the president’s strong suit, but at least he has his health.