AP Fact Check: Trump Gets It Wrong on the Ratings for His State of the Union Speech

Feb 1, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Donald Trump and the media are providing different versions of the turnout for Trump’s State of the Union speech. The AP reports that Trump “falsely claimed Thursday that more people watched his State of the Union speech on TV than any other in history.”

The story reports that each of the previous three presidents received higher ratings for State of the Union addresses.

Trump said in a tweet: “Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history.”

The AP reports that Trump’s number is not, in fact, the highest in history. “Trump’s TV viewership as measured by Nielsen (45.6 million, as he said) trailed that for first State of the Union speeches by Barack Obama (48 million), George W. Bush (51.7 million) and Bill Clinton (46.8 million),” the story reports.


  1. Like all things Trump, the starting point is Trump. So, yes, highest rating ever for first SOTU by a President named Trump. Next year’s rating will be similarly impressive as it will be first second SOTU for a president named Trump, and so on.

  2. Accorting to Politifact, he got something wrong on the average of every 4.5 minutes.

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