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Threads Post Distorts Trump’s Remarks on Iron Dome for U.S.

Este artículo estará disponible en español en El Tiempo Latino.

Quick Take

At a campaign rally in Michigan, former President Donald Trump promised to build an Iron Dome missile defense system for the U.S. that would serve as “a shield around our country.” A post on Threads falsely claimed Trump said the system would be used to “‘defend us’ from Canada.”

Full Story

On a day off from his criminal trial in New York City, former President Donald Trump traveled to the swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan on May 1 for campaign rallies in support of his effort to regain the White House.

A post shared on Threads on May 1 shows a clip from Trump’s rally that day in Freeland, Michigan, and the Thread user claims, “Donald Trump wants to build an ‘iron dome’ at the border of our country to ‘defend us’ from Canada. Yes, Canada.”

In the 22-second video in the Threads post, Trump says, “In my next term, we will build a great Iron Dome very much like Israel has, but even better. I’m saying, why don’t we have that? We should have that too. We have a lot of hostile people out there. We have a lot of bad actors out there. We’re going to build the greatest dome of them all.”

But Trump does not mention Canada in the short video on Threads. And a YouTube video of his entire remarks in Michigan shows he didn’t cite any need to “‘defend us’ from Canada.” Nor did he identify whom he meant by “hostile people” or “bad actors.”

As he did in Michigan, Trump has advocated an Iron Dome system for the U.S. in other recent speeches as well. But never as a defense against Canada.

Defense Against Short-Range Attack

Trump’s references are to a missile defense system first used by Israel in 2011 to shoot down short-range rockets fired from Gaza. The Iron Dome, along with the Arrow 3 system — an Israeli air defense system that can intercept ballistic missiles — successfully downed nearly all the 300 drones and missiles launched at Israel by Iran on April 14.

The U.S. Army acquired two Iron Dome batteries from Israel in 2020, but they “have subsequently been returned to Israel as part of US security assistance efforts to our Israeli partners,” a Pentagon spokesperson told us in a May 2 email.

The Pentagon spokesperson referred us to U.S. weapons manufacturer Raytheon for information on the capabilities of the Iron Dome system.

Raytheon works with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, an Israeli company, on the Iron Dome, which Raytheon describes as “the world’s most-used system, intercepting more than 1,500 incoming targets with a success rate exceeding 90 percent since being fielded in 2011.”

The system “detects, assesses and intercepts a variety of shorter-range targets such as rockets, artillery and mortars,” Raytheon’s website explains. “Iron Dome’s Tamir missile knocks down incoming threats launched from ranges of 4-70 km,” or 2.4 to 43.5 miles.

“Ten Iron Dome batteries protect the citizens and infrastructure of Israel, with each battery comprising three to four stationary launchers, 20 Tamir missiles and a battlefield radar. Each of the batteries can defend up to nearly 60 square miles, and are strategically placed around cities to intercept threats headed toward populated areas,” the Raytheon site also says.

But “against the normal threats to U.S. security, the Iron Dome is not a useful system,” Stephen Biddle, adjunct senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, told us in a phone interview. “Iron Dome is designed to deal with short-range threats, especially unguided rockets,” not long-range ballistic missiles that could be fired from adversaries like China or Russia.

The Congressional Research Service explains that “a ballistic missile leaves the atmosphere and follows an unpowered trajectory or flight path before reentering the atmosphere toward a predetermined target. Ballistic missiles have an effective range from a few hundred kilometers (km) to more than 10,000 km,” or 6,200 miles.

“If the North Koreans launched intercontinental ballistic missiles at the U.S., an Iron Dome would not be able to intercept reentry vehicles,” explained Biddle, who is also a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University. Reentry vehicles are the parts of intercontinental ballistic missiles carrying warheads back into earth’s atmosphere before striking a target.

‘A More Sophisticated Version’

At the May 1 rally in Michigan, Trump touted the security and economic benefits of an Iron Dome system.

After the remarks quoted in the Threads clip about building “the greatest [Iron] Dome of them all,” the YouTube video of Trump’s full remarks shows that he then said: “We’re going to have it all made right here in America. Some of it’s going to be made right here in Michigan. State-of-the-art missile defense shield that will be entirely built in America and will create jobs, jobs, jobs, and we’re going to have the greatest Dome of them all. … We’re going to have a more sophisticated version. We have the technology. We have the genius. We’re going to have a more, we’re going to build a great Iron Dome. We’re going to have a shield around our country and it’s made here, and it’s going to be a great day.”

Defense experts are skeptical that a missile defense system can “shield” the entire U.S., as Trump suggests. But Trump did not say such a system was needed to “defend us” from our neighbor to the north.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.


Biddle, Stephen. Adjunct senior fellow for defense policy, Council on Foreign Relations. Phone interview with FactCheck.org. 2 May 2024.

Congressional Research Service. “Defense Primer: Ballistic Missile Defense.” Updated 30 Jan 2024.

Fowler, Stephen. “Away from his New York trial, Donald Trump’s campaign rallies are business as usual.” NPR. 1 May 2024.

Rafael Advance Defence Systems Ltd. “Our Story.” Accessed 2 May 2024.

Raytheon/RTX. “Iron Dome System and SkyHunter Missile.” Rtx.com. Accessed 2 May 2024.

Reiss, Adam, et al. “Key witnesses in Trump’s criminal trial describe how the hush money deals came together.” NBC News. 30 Apr 2024.

Seitz-Wald, Alex. “Trump has long promised a ‘beautiful’ wall. Now he’s pledging ‘the greatest dome ever.'” NBC News. 23 Jan 2024.

U.S. Department of Defense. Email from Pentagon spokesperson to FactCheck.org. 2 May 2024.

Vinograd, Cassandra and Matthew Mpoke Bigg. “What Weapons Did Israel Use to Block Iran’s Attack?” New York Times. 14 Apr 2024.