Fact Check

Did Trump Say This About His Plans for a Second Term?

The president "has strained to define what his second-term agenda would be."

Published Aug. 31, 2020

 (Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com)
Image courtesy of Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com
A quote meme reproduced U.S. President Trump's August 2020 statement about his plans for a second term.

During the build-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump was often criticized for his inability to articulate any goals that he expected or hoped to accomplish during a second term in office if he were reelected.

A quote meme from late August 2020 reflected that criticism, putatively quoting the president as saying nothing concrete about his plans for the next four years other than that he would continue doing what he was already doing and would have "other things on [his] plate":

This meme accurately reproduced a statement from Trump, although the meme's presenting it without any context made it sound like the statement was the only thing the president said about his plans for the next for years, which was not the case.

On Aug. 26, The New York Times conducted a 40-minute interview with Trump over the telephone, covering his past three-plus years in office and the upcoming election. The Times' resulting article noted that the president had "strained lately to define what his second-term agenda would be" and quoted him as uttering the words reproduced in the above meme, but it also referenced Trump's offering "a list of what he has done and would continue to do," so the president did in fact provide some specifics about what he had, and wanted to, accomplish:

Beyond more of the same, [Trump] has strained lately to define what his second-term agenda would be. Asked at various points, even by friendly interviewers on Fox News, he has offered meandering answers. His fellow Republicans seem no more certain. They therefore dispensed with a party platform altogether, opting instead for a simple resolution of loyalty to the president.

In the interview, Mr. Trump rattled off a list of what he has done and would continue to do, like increasing military spending, cutting taxes, eliminating regulations, reinforcing the border and appointing conservative judges.

“But so I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing, we’d solidify what we’ve done, and we have other things on our plate that we want to get done,” he said.


Baker, Peter.   "Instead of Evolving as President, Trump Has Bent the Job to His Will."     The New York Times.   27 August 2020.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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