Trump's State of the Union ratings are not the highest in history

Trump Presses McConnell On White House Immigration Plan

Bush's 2003 speech, which took place weeks before the US invasion of Iraq, drew 62 million viewers, while his 2002 speech, months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, attracted 51.7 million. His claim about Fox News holds up, but not so much for total State of the Union viewership. He then boasted about Fox News' ratings for the speech, which were the network's highest ever.

But not to worry, President Trump suggested in his State of the Union address Tuesday, because the money will magically appear. To date, it's the highest viewed such speech. Deadline reported that Barack Obama's first State of the Union address in 2010 was seen by more than 48 million, while 52 million saw George W. Bush's address in 2002, following the 9/11 attacks.

The President's criticism of Democrats also went beyond policy, with Trump knocking Democrats for not standing up and applauding during his national address when he touted sinking unemployment numbers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fox News led coverage on Tuesday, with 11.5 million viewers tuning in.

This statement came just hours after Trump delivered his State of the Union address in Washington DC on Tuesday and said U.S. forces and their Afghan counterparts will engage in the war in the country with new rules and regulations.

The document also stated that "Trump will relentlessly pursue threats to America's security, prioritizing efforts to confront and defeat radical Islamic terror and the ideology that sustains it". More than 45 million people watched, Nielsen data confirms.

For further comparison, the NFL's AFC Championship game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots scored a massive 27.3 overnight rating among metered-market households and almost 41 million viewers overall, per Sports Media Watch. ABC delivered 5.4 million viewers, NBC 7.1 million, CBS 7 million and FOX 3.6 million, according to Nielsen.

However, the number he tweeted is not the cable ratings. Otherwise, speeches later in presidencies tend to be less popular than earlier ones.

Given the misleading nature of the first statement, and the accuracy of the second, we rate Trump's statement Mostly False. And given that he just had the "highest number in history", he's set a high bar for himself to beat.

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