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AP FACT CHECK: Trump Is Wrong About Military Pay, Ships

May 25, 2018 - 4:28 pm
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By CALVIN WOODWARD ,  Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump misrepresented what he's doing for members of the armed forces when he spoke Friday to graduates of the United States Naval Academy.

TRUMP: "Going to have new equipment and well-deserved pay raises. We just got you a big pay raise. First time in 10 years. We got you a big pay increase. First time in over 10 years. I fought for you. That was the hardest one to get, but you never had a chance of losing."

THE FACTS: That's not right. U.S. military members have gotten a pay raise every year for the past 10 years and several have been larger than this year's 2.6 percent increase. Pay increases in 2008, 2009 and 2010, for example, were all 3.4 percent or more.

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TRUMP: "We have now the lowest number of ships that we've had since World War I, and very soon you're going to get to 355 beautiful ships. 355. That's almost a couple of hundred more ships."

THE FACTS: No it isn't. The Navy now has 283 ships.

And a 355-vessel battle fleet is not going to be achieved "very soon." The Navy plans to reach 355 in the 2050s while saying that could happen in the 2030s if it gets more money and extends the normal life of ships in the fleet.

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Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns contributed to this report.

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