[Ed. – WaPo now giving lectures on fake news?]
Appearing with U.S. and Japanese business leaders in Tokyo on Monday, Trump said something that seemed to suggest he didn’t know Japanese auto manufacturers, in many cases, make their cars in the United States.
“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over,” Trump said. “Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so.”
Plenty of snarky commenting ensued on social media. CNN ran a fact check declaring: “Trump asks Japan to build cars in the U.S. It already does.” The piece noted that an estimated 4 million Japanese cars were built in the United States in 2016, with 75 percent of Japanese vehicles sold here having been build in North America. Slate said this raised “questions about his familiarity with basic facts about the American economy.”
But this is completely unfair to Trump. A look at this fuller remarks makes clear he did know that Japanese cars are built in the United States. He even talked about it at-length and praised the manufacturers for the amount of jobs they’ve created here.