AP FACT CHECK: Trump doesn’t wait for facts in Amtrak crash

December 19, 2017
Cars from an Amtrak train that derailed above lay spilled onto Interstate 5 alongside smashed vehicles Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, in DuPont, Wash. The Amtrak train making the first-ever run along a faster new route hurtled off the overpass Monday near Tacoma and spilled some of its cars onto the highway below, killing some people, authorities said. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump isn’t waiting for the facts to emerge from the deadly Amtrak train derailment south of Seattle before using the accident to plug his infrastructure plan.

Trump’s first tweet on the accident Monday: “The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!”

THE FACTS: From what’s known, it’s not at all clear his coming infrastructure plan is relevant. The accident did not happen on a crumbling railway but rather on a section of track that had just been upgraded as part of a $181 million project for a new, faster route. The high-speed train was making its first run on newly constructed tracks when it derailed.

The new route was designed to speed up service by drawing passengers away from the sort of aging system that Trump speaks about: a route with curves, single-track tunnels and freight traffic.

Authorities initially doubted any maintenance problem was responsible because the stretch is new.


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This story has been updated to delete a reference to the number of people killed in the crash.

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