AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s distortion on Dems and the pledge

Politics

FILE – In this Aug. 17, 2020, file image from video, grandchildren of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, including Finnegan Biden, Hunter Biden, Natalie Biden, Naomi Bisden and Maisy Biden, lead the Pledge of Allegiance during the first night of the Democratic National Convention. (Democratic National Convention via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is accusing the Democrats of taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance at their national convention. He’s distorting what happened.

TRUMP: “The Democrats took the word GOD out of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democrat National Convention. At first I thought they made a mistake, but it wasn’t. It was done on purpose. Remember Evangelical Christians, and ALL, this is where they are coming from-it’s done. Vote Nov 3!” — tweet Saturday.

THE FACTS: That’s a misleading accusation. The central programming of the convention featured the entire pledge, complete with “under God.”

The first night of the Democratic National Convention, Joe Biden’s grandchildren said the pledge, followed by the convention’s chorus of “The Star Spangled Banner.” On the second night, it’s statedby a diverse group of Americans; same with the third night. On the fourth night, it’s recited by Cedric Richmond Jr., the son of Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana. “Under God” was in each rendering. The convention also devoted a segment to showcasing Biden’s religious faith.

During two caucuses before the evening conventions started, the Muslim Delegates and Allies Assembly and the LGBTQ Caucus meeting, both Tuesday, left out “under God,” from the pledge. The party’s series of caucus meetings was livestreamed but not part of the prime-time convention broadcast.

The pledge was written in 1892 and altered in the 1920s. “Under God” was added in 1954, when President Dwight Eisenhower encouraged Congress to do so. Those two words have prompted a debate at times over whether people who do not practice religion should be expected to pledge allegiance to a country under God.

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EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.

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