President Donald Trump lied in a tweet Thursday morning when he bragged that his State of the Union was watched by the "highest number [of people] in history"—a demonstrably false claim.
While Trump appeared to be citing Neilsen ratings released Wednesday which said that 45.6 million watch his speech, that number falls well short of the number of people who watched President Barack Obama's first SOTU and isn't even as many people as watch Trump's first joint statement to Congress last year.
Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 1, 2018
As the New York Daily News points out:
About 48 million people watched Obama's first speech to Congress on Jan. 27, 2010, the data-collecting Nielsen Company said in a statement Wednesday.
Trump, who's famously obsessed with TV ratings, also saw his SOTU fall behind his own first joint address to Congress. That speech, delivered on Feb. 28, drew 47.7 million viewers.
On Twitter, Trump was not spared fact-checking, ridicule, and derision after he again—like he did for his inauguration address—tried to claim credit for a crowd size that wasn't:
Fewer viewers than the first SOTU’s for Obama in 2010, Bush in 2002, Clinton in 1994.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 1, 2018
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) February 1, 2018
I like that Trump gets everybody all frustrated with his bogus SOTU ratings claim. I’ll tell y’all the same thing I tell my 7-yo when my 5-yo annoys him, “STOP LISTENING TO HIM AND HE’LL STOP DOING IT”
— Chris Howell (@ChrisHHowell) February 1, 2018
Trump lying about his SOTU ratings was more predictable than the the sun coming up this morning
— 912 CHAINZ (@TravisTarver) February 1, 2018