Five things Donald Trump got completely wrong at his press conference

May Bulman
AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump used his first solo news conference to mount a sustained attack on the media and aggressively defend his administration’s actions.

During his 80 minutes on the podium, his remarks verged on the extreme, the difficult to dissect and at times entirely false.

Here are some of the statements made by Mr Trump that have been quickly disproved:

“It was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.”

Mr Trump officially received 304 Electoral College votes when all the counting was over.

The US president is not directly chosen by voters, but by "electors" that people state vote for in each US state. There are 538 electors in total, corresponding to 435 members of Congress, 100 Senators and three additional electors for the District of Columbia.

Almost every state chooses to allocate all its Electoral College votes to whichever Presidential Candidate comes in first place statewide, regardless of their margin of victory. A total of 270 are required for an outright Presidential victory.

Mr Trump would have notched 306 votes from his performance on Election Day, but two "faithless" electors did not vote for him when the Electoral College met in December.

Mr Reagan won two terms, gaining 525 electoral college votes in 1984 and 489 the previous election. It was the largest landslide in recent political history, but Mr Trump's 2016 victory did not come close.

Former President Barack Obama won 365 votes in 2008 and 332 votes in 2012. Prior to that .Bill Clinton received 370 votes in 1992 and 379 in 1996 and George Bush meanwhile won 426 Electoral College votes in 1988.

Mr Trump said that he "was given that information" about the vote.

“Let me tell you about the travel ban. We had a very smooth roll-out of the travel ban.”

After making this claim the President went on to say the implementation of the measure had been “perfect”.

In reality, Mr Trump’s executive order to block any travellers from seven majority-Muslim countries caused chaos on a global scale.

People already in transit were stranded, green card holders were initially blocked from re-entering the US and protests erupted across the country.

A number of judges in the US challenged aspects of the measure, and even senior Republicans who agreed with the aims of the order said it had been “poorly implemented” and was “overly broad”.

"Our administration inherited many problems across government and across the economy. To be honest, I inherited a mess."

The unemployment rate in the US was 4.8 per cent in January, according to the New York Times, compared with 7.8 per cent when Mr Obama took office in January 2009.

The economy added 227,000 jobs last month, and the number of people filing new claims for jobless benefits are falling to lows not seen since the 1970s.

"We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 per cent of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right?"

It is not the first time Mr Trump has made this claim, which was already disputed by fact-checking website PolitiFact back in September.

The President was referring to the purchase by Russia's atomic energy agency, Rosatom's, of a controlling interest in a Canadian company called Uranium One.

The Toronto-based firm's mining assets in the states of Wyoming, Utah and elsewhere in the United States account for about 20 percent of US uranium production capacity, according to The New York Times.

Uranium capacity is different to existing Uranium, which has already been produced.

Although Ms Clinton was Secretary of State at the time, she was not in a position to approve or reject the deal.

The State Department was one of nine government agencies that had to sign off on the deals and other federal and state regulators also had to approve them.

"I think you have a lower approval rating than Congress. Is that one right?"

While the US news media’s approval rating does have a poor reputation among many Americans, polls in recent years show that Congress fares far worse.

In the latest major poll of Americans’ confidence in their institutions, carried out by Gallup — considered the most authoritative survey on the topic — found that as of June 2016, 21 per cent of the population had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in TV news and 20 per cent in newspapers, while Congress got markedly lower ratings, with just nine per cent.

Meanwhile 40 per cent of the public said they had a negative opinion of television news, but 55 per cent said the same for Congress — again showing that Congress has a lower rating than the news media, counter to Mr Trump's claims.