Donald Trump is spinning some fake news about his State Of The Union TV ratings.
The president tweeted that his speech was watched by 45.6 million people, the “highest number in history” for any SOTU. While he’s not inflating those viewership numbers, Trump’s Tuesday speech was not the most watched in history – it wasn’t even his most watched speech since taking office.
Even the ratings-obsessed Trump’s favourite network, Fox News, proved his claims false with a tweet.
Each year, the president addresses Congress and the nation about how the country is doing and what he envisions for the U.S. in the coming year.
Nielsen viewership ratings place Trump’s speech below his predecessors Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. His State Of The Union was also two million viewers short of his address to Congress last year.
In comparison, Barack Obama’s first State Of The Union in 2009 attracted 52.4 million and 48 million the following year. George W. Bush’s post 9/11 speech attracted 54 million viewers and his 2003 speech, in which he made a case for the Iraq war, was watched by 62.1 million people. But neither Trump, Obama, nor Bush came close to matching Clinton’s record.
The most watched presidential speech was Clinton’s 1993 joint session speech, which had 66.9 million viewers.
The self-aggrandizing Trump has long been obsessed with his popularity and TV ratings, falsely claiming his reality competition “The Apprentice” was the No. 1-rated show for years, even after it fell out of the top 10, or boasting “record turnouts” for his sparsely attended public appearances. He repeatedly bashed “The Celebrity Apprentice” host Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2017 over low ratings and erroneously trumpeted declining ratings for CNN, readership for The New York Times, and more.