USA TODAY will follow up its impressive live fact check of President Donald Trump’s Oval Office speech on border wall funding last month by live fact-checking the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday.
When President Trump spoke on national TV about his proposed border wall in January, editors and reporters from USA TODAY and across the USA TODAY NETWORK, including journalists who worked on the Pulitzer-Prize winning special project The Wall, teamed up to fact check and add context to his assertions in real time. Prior to the speech, Kristen DelGuzzi, USA TODAY managing editor of politics & world, assembled about a dozen of the president’s key phrases and talking points and grouped them by topic with data, statistics and links to previously published stories and fact checks. USA TODAY then used this information when tweeting fact checks throughout the Oval Office speech.
The @usatodayDC account where the fact-checking took place dominated Twitter that night, accounting for four of the top 10 overperforming political tweets between 6 pm to midnight MT and nine of the top 15, according to CrowdTangle. Because the fact checks were done in real time, USA TODAY was also able to livestream them to millions of people on social media shortly after the president’s comments – sometimes after just a few seconds.
USA TODAY plans to expand on these efforts for the State of the Union address by adding even more journalists to the fact-checking team. In addition to immigration experts, the fact-checkers will include veteran journalists who cover the topics Trump plans to cover in his address: trade, infrastructure, health care, diplomacy, and the health care.
“With so many people tuning in to the State of the Union, we feel it is especially valuable to provide instant insight and analysis from the top journalists across the country,” said DelGuzzi.