AUTO CONFUSION: US President Donald Trump has taken credit for Toyota's $13-billion investment in Kentucky. Image: News24
Detroit - President Donald Trump claimed direct credit for Toyota's new investment in a Kentucky plant, calling it new evidence of economic improvement in a White House discussion with CEOs. The company says the move was planned long before Trump even announced he was running for president.
Trump's statement Tuesday was not the first time he has veered from reality when claiming he's produced new jobs in his 82 days in office.
What Trump said: "Already we've created more than almost 600 000 jobs. And yesterday Toyota just announced that it will invest more than $1.3-billion ... into its Georgetown, Kentucky, plant, an investment that would not have been made if we didn't win the election."
THE FACTS: Trump had nothing to do with the changes that Toyota announced. The company says it's the culmination of plans in the works for at least four years.
The investment is part of revamping the underpinnings of Toyota's midsize Camry sedan, long the best-selling car in the United States. Such a change requires years to plan and doesn't hinge on the economic conditions of the moment.
The company didn't mention Trump in a statement sent on Friday in advance of its announcement. The release was updated Sunday evening with the addition of a paragraph in which Trump claimed credit, calling it evidence that "the economic climate has greatly improved under my administration."
The company initially said Trump's comment was added at the request of the White House. The administration countered that Toyota had asked for it. On Monday (April 10), Toyota said it had requested a Trump comment.