Fact check: In series of false claims, Republican Rep. Lisa McClain says Trump caught Osama bin Laden

McClain’s office did not respond to requests for comment about his false claims in the rally speech, which lasted less than six minutes. McClain tweeted Monday: “Joe Biden talks trash every day and the media doesn’t pay attention to him. Isn’t it ironic how I get attacked for an honest mistake?”

However, he did not specify which of the claims he called “an honest mistake.” If he was referring to the bin Laden comment, that would not explain the other three comments that we debunk below.

Reciting what she claimed were Trump’s achievements, McClain said: “I got Osama bin Laden and Soleimani, al-Baghdadi.”

facts first: McClain’s claim about bin Laden is false. Bin Laden, the leader of the terrorist group Al Qaeda, was assassinated in Pakistan in a 2011 raid ordered by then President Barack Obama. Trump took office in 2017.
Trump ordered the 2020 drone strike in Iraq that killed Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, and presided over the 2019 incursion into Syria that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr. al-Baghdadi.


Criticizing the state of the economy under President Joe Biden, McClain said: “Unemployment: 40-year high.”

facts first: Fake again. The unemployment rate is actually close to a 52-year low, not a 40-year high. The rate in March was 3.6% — only one tick higher than the The Trump-era low of 3.5%what was he lowest since late 1969.

The unemployment rate has fallen significantly under Biden. After rising as high as 14.7% under Trump in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was 6.4% in January 2021, the month Biden took office.

McClain’s pronunciation of “unemployment” sounded more like “unenfloyment”; it is theoretically possible that he was wrong in thinking about inflation, which is at its highest point in 40 years. But she did not correct herself at the rally, and her office did not respond to requests for comment on the claim.


McClain stated, “Under President Trump, if my memory serves me correctly, I don’t think we’ve had any war. We have a war in Ukraine right now.”

facts first: McClain’s memory did not serve him well. Obviously, there were wars during the Trump presidency.

US ground troops fought with Trump in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, although Trump reduced the US military presence in all three countries. A Navy SEAL was killed in a 2017 raid against al Qaeda during Yemen’s civil war. The United States carried out Trump-era airstrikes against ISIS in Libya amid the civil war there. In Somalia, the US carried out air strikes and participated in raids against Al-Shabaab, an affiliate of Al Qaeda.
And since McClain criticized Biden citing the war in Ukraine, in which US troops were not involved, it is worth noting that there were also wars in the world during the Trump era, in which US troops were not involved.
Trump himself has boasted that he did not start any new wars. That claim is different from McClain’s claim that we didn’t even have wars under Trump.

Who won the 2020 elections?

Speaking of the crowd at the Macomb County rally, McClain said, “But look around for a minute. Tell me, did Joe Biden win? You couldn’t have that many people at a rally, State of the Union combined.”

facts first: Biden was the rightful winner of the 2020 election. The size of a rally crowd says nothing about who won the election.

McClain did not explicitly say that Biden was not the real winner in 2020, but he certainly suggested it. His office did not respond to requests to explain his position.

McClain voted on January 6 and 7, 2021, against certifying Biden’s victories in Arizona and Pennsylvania, joining 146 other Republicans in Congress who oppose one or both outcomes. Asked in a January 2022 appearance on a Michigan television show if he had any doubts that Biden won Michigan in 2020 (he won by more than 154,000 votes), he said, “Well, I think there are a lot of Doubts”.

This article has been updated to include a Monday tweet from McClain.

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