Originally appeared in The New York Times.
As the self-anointed job creator in chief, Donald Trump rarely misses a chance to use the presidential podium or his alternative podium, Twitter, to take credit for employment being created or retained in America.
But a thorough review of Mr. Trump’s celebrations reveals that virtually none of the pronouncements involved jobs generated or preserved by the new president’s actions. Indeed, they mostly consisted of a rehash of old decisions — some with origins dating back as many as six years — or plans made independently by companies for their own business reasons.
Thus companies from General Motors to Exxon Mobil have been congratulated by Mr. Trump for what they were already doing.
To take two examples, in late March, the president tweeted that he was “thrilled to announce a commitment of $25 billion and 20,000 American jobs over the next four years” by Charter Communications.
That commitment was made by Charter in June 2015, as part of gaining approval for a merger.
When Ford canceled plans for a $1.6 billion factory in Mexico, Mr. Trump tweeted his thanks for the company’s “creating 700 new jobs” in the United States.
“We didn’t cut a deal with Trump,” Mark Fields, the Ford chief executive, told CNN. “We did it for our business.”
In fact, there’s not a single new job that the president can clearly take responsibility for creating and only one case of jobs being retained because of his efforts, the 800 positions that Carrier was persuaded shortly after Mr. Trump’s election not to send to Mexico.
Even those few jobs came at a stiff price — $7 million of incentives from the state of Indiana, where Vice President-elect Mike Pence was still governor.
Below are instances that my associate Sundas Hashmi and I found of Mr. Trump’s claiming credit for creating jobs, matched with the reality.