As a reader service, here’s a running list of our Four Pinocchio rulings. Since Trump never takes anything back — and often repeats the same false claims — voters are likely to hear these time and again during the campaign season. As an “honorable mention,” we also included a column in which we gave a Geppetto Checkmark to attacks ads disputing Trump’s claims about Trump University.
Click on the headline to read the original column.
Donald Trump’s false comments connecting Mexican immigrants and crime
Donald Trump repeatedly defended his claim that the Mexican government is sending criminals and rapists to the United States. But a range of studies shows there is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans. Moreover, the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants in prison do not belong in the category that fit Trump’s description: aggravated felons, whose crimes include murder, drug trafficking or illegal trafficking of firearms.
Trump’s bogus claim that he never said ‘some of the things’ claimed by Megyn Kelly
Fox News host Megyn Kelly asked Donald Trump a pointed question about his verbal treatment of women. On the Sunday shows, Trump refused to apologize — and further asserted that Kelly lists things he did not say. But there is ample evidence for each of the slurs against women uttered or tweeted by Trump. He had a small point that he attacks once he is provoked, but there is little doubt that the over-the-top language cited by Kelly was correct.
Trump’s zombie claim that Obama spent $4 million to conceal school and passport records
Trump, one of the most high-profile “birthers” during the 2012 presidential campaign, resurfaced this zombie claim that President Obama spent $4 million in legal fees to conceal records that would indicate his true citizenship. There is no proof that Obama spent $4 million in legal fees (personally or through his campaign) to keep his school application or passport application records away from the public. Federal campaign finance records show from 2008 through 2012, the Obama for America campaign paid more than $4 million in legal services to Perkins Coie, the law firm that defended the campaign in some of the eligibility lawsuits. But campaigns have in-house and outside counsel to vet a wide range of issues, not just those related to lawsuits.
Trump’s absurd claim that the ‘real’ unemployment rate is 42 percent
Trump’s made a ridiculous leap in logic to come up with his claim that the “real” unemployment rate was 42 percent — at a time when the official rate was 5.3 percent. He took an estimate for the number of people not working — 93 million — and assumed they were all unemployed. But the vast majority of those people do not want to work. Most are retired or simply not interested in working, such as stay-at-home parents. Even a President Trump would be unable to make much of a dent in this supposed 42-percent unemployment rate, given that most of the Americans he is counting as “unemployed” are not in the labor force by choice.
Trump’s tax plan and his claim that ‘it’s going to cost me a fortune’
Trump pitched his tax plan as being tough on the wealthy, saying “it’s going to cost me a fortune.” Trump has not released his tax forms — though he claims he made $604 million in 2014. In going through the details of his plan, it appears clear that it would significantly reduce his taxes — and the taxes of his heirs. This was later confirmed by an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
Trump’s repeated claim that Obama is accepting 200,000 Syrian refugees
Like a broken record, businessman Donald J. Trump keeps repeating a statistic with little basis in fact — that the Obama administration wants to accept 200,000 refugees from Syria. It appears to be based on a misunderstanding — the Obama administration says it planned to admit 185,000 refugees over two years from all countries. For Syria, Obama has only directed the United States to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year. Ironically, that’s a number that Trump indicated was fine.
Trump’s baseless claim that the Bush White House tried to ‘silence’ his Iraq War opposition in 2003
Trump brags that he had the vision and foresight to oppose the Iraq War ahead of the invasion in 2003. He says his opposition was so vocal, and his reach so great, that the White House approached him and asked him to tone it down. There is scant media coverage of his supposed opposition ahead of the Iraq War. (We later compiled a complete timeline of Trump’s comments in 2002 and 2003 about the Iraq invasion, which showed he was not vocal about his opposition prior to the invasion, and they didn’t make headlines.) Trump ignored our request for the names of White House officials he supposedly met with, so we checked with former senior White House officials. None of the dozen people we contacted directly or through former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer could recall a meeting with Trump, concerns about his opposition, or even Trump’s views being on their radar prior to 2004.
Repeat after me: Obama is not admitting 100,000, 200,000 or 250,000 Syrian refugees
Trump had previously earned Four Pinocchios for falsely claiming President Obama was planning to admit 200,000 refugees from war-torn Syria. (The real number is 10,000; a total of 180,000 refugees from around the world will be admitted in 2016 and 2017.) Undeterred, Trump upped the number to 250,000 — and fellow novice politicians Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson followed up with claims of 100,000 refugees from Syria. All three earned Four Pinocchios.
Trump’s outrageous claim that ‘thousands’ of New Jersey Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks
GOP presidential hopeful Trump falsely and repeatedly asserted that he saw TV clips of “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the collapse of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks. Despite an army of fact checks, including ours, and repeated debunking, Trump continued to assert he was correct, even though he could produce no evidence except a handful of news stories that made brief mentions of alleged celebrations — which never could be confirmed. He earned Four Pinocchios. Ben Carson, another GOP aspirant, briefly said he, too, had seen such a video. But to his credit, he withdrew the statement after realizing it was of Palestinians in Gaza, not New Jersey.
Trump’s false claim that the 9/11 hijackers’ wives ‘knew exactly what was going to happen’
In the wake of the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., involving a Muslim couple, Trump has emerged with the claim that the 9/11 hijackers sent their wives home before the attacks — and those wives knew “exactly what was going to happen.” But there is no support for Trump’s claims, as the exhaustive 9/11 Commission report states that virtually all of the hijackers were unmarried. The report includes a number of references to the hijackers cutting off communication with their families: “The other operatives had broken off regular contact with their families. …The majority of these Saudi recruits began to break with their families in late 1999 and early 2000. …[The ringleader] complained that some of the hijackers wanted to contact their families to say goodbye, something he had forbidden.”
Trump’s claim that he ‘predicted Osama bin Laden’
In various speeches and interviews, Trump has claimed that two years before the 9/11 attacks, he warned that Osama bin Laden was a threat — going to “do damage” to the United States — and even predicted the rise of terrorism. This claim rests on some vague references in a book he published in 2000. The references have little relationship to how Trump portrays them now — and he ignores the fact that well before 9/11, experts, news organizations and even bin Laden himself said he planned to attack the United States.
Trump’s claim that the unemployment rate is 23 percent
After falsely asserting the “real” unemployment rate was 42 percent, Trump suddenly tossed out a new estimate of “22 to 23 percent.” But this was also wrong. His figure is still more than double the most expansive rate published by the U.S. government, which at the time was 9.9 percent. That means there are about 35 million “unemployed” who Trump has not accounted for — and as usual the Trump campaign refused to explain how he came up with his estimate.
Trump’s dubious claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
After Trump put a price tag on the wall he wants to build on the 2,000-mile border with Mexico — $8 billion — we investigated whether this figure was in the realm of possibility. We concluded it was not — and after the fact check appeared, Trump increased the projected cost to $12 billion. That’s still too low. A reasonable estimate is $25 billion.
Trump’s truly absurd claim he would save $300 billion a year on prescription drugs
Trump said that he would allow Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies, thus saving $300 billion a year. This made little sense, given that the prescription drug portion of the Medicare program costs only $78 billion a year. Total annual spending on prescription drugs in the United States is between $298 and $423 billion, which suggests Trump thinks he can eliminate virtually any cost to prescription drugs. Once again, we are confronted with a nonsense figure from the mouth of Donald Trump.
Timeline of Trump’s comments on Iraq invasion: Not loud, not strong, and no headlines
We compiled a complete timeline of Trump’s comments ahead of the Iraq invasion in March 2003, due to his repeated claim that he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning. As our timeline shows, that was not the case. Trump expressed lukewarm support the first time he was asked about it on Sept. 11, 2002, and was not clearly against it until he was quoted in the August 2004 Esquire cover story.
A trio of truthful attack ads about Trump University
This is in effect a reverse Four-Pinocchio rating, as we presented a rare Geppetto Checkmark to three ads attacking Trump’s involvement with Trump University. We concluded that Trump University appears to have been a classic bait-and-switch operation, designed to lure people into paying increasing sums of money. We also examined Trump’s false claim that Trump University received an “A” rating from the Better Business Bureau, when in fact its rating was D- before it started winding down. The BBB even felt compelled to dispute Trump after he made this claim again during a debate.
Trump’s false claim he built his empire with a ‘small loan’ from his father
Trump often says he started his business empire with just a $1 million loan from his father. But that is simply not credible. He appears to have inherited about $40 million. He also benefited from numerous loans and loan guarantees, as well as his father’s connections, to make the move into Manhattan. His father set up lucrative trusts to provide steady income. When Trump became overextended in the casino business, his father bailed him out with a shady casino-chip loan — and Trump also borrowed $9 million against his future inheritance. While Trump asserts “it has not been easy for me,” he glosses over the fact that his father paved the way for his success — and that his father bailed him out when he got into trouble.
Trump’s false claim that John Kasich ‘helped’ Lehman Brothers ‘destroy the world economy’
Trump blamed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the collapse of the investment banking firm and helping start a global financial crisis, but it was a preposterous claim. Kasich was one of about 700 managing directors at Lehman Brothers and largely played a facilitator role, using his experience in government regulations and contacts in various sectors. He gave strategic financial advice to other companies and generated business by using his contacts in various sectors — not making risky mortgage investments. Kasich’s former boss at Lehman equated this attack by Trump to blaming a pilot for the failure of Trump Airlines.
Trump’s trade rhetoric, stuck in a time warp
We examined a series of Trump statements on trade, manufacturing and currency manipulation, in essence fact checking the economic world that he depicts in his speeches — a world in which the United States never wins at trade and is flooded by imports because China and Japan keep their currencies low, a world in which high tariffs would bring manufacturing back to Michigan and other states. We concluded that Trump appears to have little understanding of the economic reality of today’s interconnected world.
Trump’s smear of Time magazine as the source for his ‘facts’
In a contentious interview with a conservative radio host, Trump was quizzed on claims he made about Wisconsin at a time when Gov. Scott Walker (R) was still a presidential contender, in particular the false claim that under Walker the state had gone from a $1 billion surplus to a $2.2 billion deficit. Trump refused to apologize, saying the blame should be placed on Time Magazine; he claimed he was simply quoting the magazine. But we could find little evidence for Trump’s claim. While Time at one point has mentioned a $2 billion budget “shortfall,” that was different than Trump’s phrasing. Moreover, the budget issue had already been resolved two weeks before Trump started making the claim—and he didn’t change it even after being called out by fact checkers.
Trump’s nonsensical claim he can eliminate $19 trillion in debt in eight years
In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump asserted he could eliminate the nation’s $19 trillion in debt in just eight years, apparently through renegotiating trade deals. Using federal budget data, we demonstrated why Trump’s pledge is mathematically impossible. First, he has to eliminate the deficit that is adding to the debt year after year. (That is projected to add another $7 trillion in debt by 2024.) Even if Trump eliminated every government function and shut down every Cabinet agency, he’d still be $16 trillion short. Unfortunately, we only had Four Pinocchios to give for this whopper.
Donald Trump’s false claim that there have been no negative ads against Kasich
It’s fine to say far more ads have aired attacking Trump than John Kasich, but Trump went even further to say that no ads have attacked Kasich. That’s just not true. In fact, his own campaign has run an ad attacking Kasich. Attack ads sponsored by candidate committees and outside groups were fairly consistent earlier in the primary cycle, especially ones contrasting his record to other governors in the race.
Trump’s false claim that the Islamic State is ‘making a fortune’ on Libyan oil
Trump asserted that the Islamic State terror group had seized the oil in Libya and “is making a fortune now” in the country. But analysts said this is completely false. ISIS has attacked oil fields and destroyed equipment but it has not captured any – or even sought to control the fields. At best one can say ISIS has disrupted the flow of oil. But it is certainly not making any money from such tactics.
Trump’s claim that no foreign leader greeting Obama was ‘without precedent’
Trump claimed that the fact that President Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia and Cuba and was not greeted at the airport by the country’s leader was “without precedent.’ But we found numerous examples of this happening under Obama – and previous presidents. We don’t know where Trump comes up with this stuff, but once again he’s wrong, wrong, wrong.
Trump’s false claim that ‘scores of recent migrants’ in the U.S. are charged with terrorism
It’s unclear where Trump is getting this information but it appears to be a bungled reference to a list issued by a Senate office concerning 30 foreign-born individuals who were arrested on charges relating to terrorism in recent years. But the majority of the 30 cases involved naturalized U.S. citizens — people who came to the U.S. as children or had arrived before 2011. There is no evidence that “scores” of “recent migrants” are charged with terrorism.
No, Putin did not call Donald Trump ‘a genius’
Trump likes to brag that Russian president Vladmir Putin has “called me a genius.” But Putin said no such thing. The Russian president used a Russian word that means “colorful” or “lively” or even “flamboyant.” A handful of news organizations used the word “bright,” but not in the sense of intelligent. As usual, Trump stretched the meaning even further.
Trump’s false claim that the National Enquirer story on Cruz’s father was not denied
Donald Trump refused to apologize for citing a thinly sourced National Enquirer article alleging that Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, worked with Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Part of the reason, he said, was because it had not been denied. But actually, Cruz himself denounced Trump’s claim, calling the businessman a “pathological liar.” The Cruz campaign also dismissed the story as “garbage” and “false” when the Miami Herald published an article on it on April 22 — 11 days before Trump gave it national currency on Fox News. Meanwhile, reports in The Washington Post, PolitiFact, FactCheck.Org and CNN all had concluded the story was hogwash.
Donald Trump’s ridiculous claim that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement
On the day Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee, he resurrected a zombie claim that has previously been debunked by fact checkers. The allegation that Clinton was the first, or even one of the first, to question President Obama’s birth certificate is simply false. Trump would be on safer ground if he blamed her supporters for stoking the birther rumors, since in spring 2008, some of Clinton’s supporters began circulating anonymous emails questioning Obama’s citizenship. But there’s no evidence that Clinton or her campaign questioned Obama’s birth certificate.
Trump’s false claim that ‘there’s nothing to learn’ from his tax returns
In refusing to release his tax returns—becoming the first major candidate in 40 years to do so—Trump claimed that there is “nothing to learn” from them. Actually, tax returns would reveal a lot about Trump’s finances—and whether he is as rich as he claims. That could be a reason why he has repeatedly failed to honor promises to release his tax returns.
Donald Trump’s unsupported claim that crime is ‘through the roof’ because of illegal immigration
Trump blamed illegal immigration for a spike in violent crimes in the past year, particularly in California. But so many factors, including weather, can influence short-term changes in violent crimes. The overall trend for California shows that violent crimes have steadily declined since at least 2005. Trump continues to argue for sweeping deportation policies by pointing to isolated instances where Americans were killed by known criminals who are in the country illegally. But aggravated felons are a small percentage of the population of undocumented immigrants, and Trump exaggerates the actual threat of undocumented immigrants pose to everyday Americans’ lives.
No, Donald Trump, there’s nothing ‘fishy’ about Vince Foster’s suicide
Trump appears intent on dredging up every last bit of every Clinton controversy, including the 1993 death of the Clintons’ close personal friend, White House deputy counsel Vincent W. Foster Jr. He called theories of possible foul play “very serious” and the circumstances of Foster’s death “very fishy.” But there were five official investigations into Foster’s death, conducted by professional investigators, forensic experts, psychologists, doctors and independent prosecutors with unlimited resources. The fifth probe lasted three years — and still found nothing. We provided a guide to the five investigations and their findings.
Sorry, Donald Trump, the Trump University judge was just following the law
Trump has blasted U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel for having an “inherent conflict of interest” in the Trump University fraud case because of his Mexican heritage and Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. In particular, Trump points to Curiel’s use of a procedural move — a summary judgment — as evidence. But it is clear that Curiel made a straightforward legal judgment as to whether two sides agreed or disagreed on facts, and whether those should be presented to a jury. Under the law, he had little choice in his ruling. Trump also overlooks that Curiel, in his November 2015 ruling, did grant him partial summary judgment.
Trump’s bizarre claim that the Obama administration actively ‘supported’ terror groups
Trump tweeted out an article in Breitbart, asserting it proved he was right that the Obama administration actively supported Al Qaeda in Iraq. The article featured a 2012 intelligence report obtained by Judicial Watch. But it turned out that this was a relatively unimportant memo, with little information not in newspapers at the time. Rather than showing that the Obama administration is supporting terrorist groups, the information in the memo demonstrates why the administration was so reluctant to back rebel groups in Syria.
Trump’s false claim that Saddam Hussein was ‘so good’ at ‘killing terrorists’
Trump repeatedly has claimed that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was good at killing terrorists. This is yet another puzzling claim for which he has offered no evidence, given that Hussein had a long record of providing financial and operational support to international terrorist organizations. Perhaps Trump is referring to Hussein’s fight against internal religious extremist movements that he viewed as a threat to his regime — a part of his overall suppression of dissent. But Trump’s description — that Hussein “killed terrorists,” and did it “so well” or was “so good” at it — is just not credible.
Trump’s claim that ‘I have nothing to do with Russia’
In a news conference responding to evidence suggesting Russian agencies hacked the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee, Trump insisted that he had no business dealings in Russia — with the single exception of selling a Palm Beach house to a Russian for $100 million. The problem with this account is that it is contradicted by other evidence suggesting the Trump Organization has long been interested in business in Russia. We documented the evidence and concluded Trump’s remarks are artfully deceiving.
Donald Trump’s revisionist history of mocking a disabled reporter
One of the most damaging attacks on Trump has been a Hillary Clinton ad that highlights his mocking of a disabled reporter who writes for The New York Times. Trump revisited the incident in a campaign rally, adamantly denying this was the case. But in a detailed examination of his claims, we showed that much of what Trump says about the issue is Four-Pinocchios false. He clearly was mocking the reporter.
Trump’s false claim that Clinton ‘started the talks’ to give $400 million to Iran
Trump jumped on an interesting report in the Wall Street Journal that the Obama administration shipped $400 million in cash to Iran at about the same time that four Americans being held in Iran were released after negotiations. But then he falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton as secretary of state started the talks on the money. In reality, the dispute over the money—which had been deposited in the U.S. by the pre-revolutionary government of Iran in the late 1970s—started before her tenure at State and was resolved after she left.
Trump’s absurd charge that Clinton raised $60 million in July from just 20 people
At a campaign rally, Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton raised $60 million in July from just 20 people. He repeated the claim five more times, saying “I want to get a list of those 20 people” and “they own her.” But under the law, contributions to Clinton’s campaign are limited to $2,700 per person in the primary season and $2,700 for the general election. The Clinton campaign said about 900,000 made donations to the campaign in July, with an average donation of $44. So Trump’s figure is just fantasy math.
Trump’s false claim that Clinton only recently pledged to renegotiate NAFTA
In numerous settings, Trump has asserted that Hillary Clinton only in July began to say she wanted to renegotiate trade deals, such as the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, because he had pushed her to do. But we checked her statements, and found that as far back as 2008 she has pledged to renegotiate the agreement with Mexico and Canada.
Trump’s remarkable suggestion that Clinton’s emails led to an Iranian defector’s death
Trump and VP nominee Mike Pence have asked whether Clinton’s emails led to the execution of a former U.S. defector from Iran. This is among the stupidest claims made so far in this campaign. A check of newspaper clips shows that the saga of Shahram Amiri, the executed scientist, was well-covered by the media in 2009 and 2010. Iranian officials could have learned everything they needed to know about Amiri’s defection from reading The Washington Post — and there was little to be learned from the cryptic messages in Clinton’s emails.
Too good to check: Sean Hannity’s tale of a Trump rescue
It seemed like such a sweet story — Donald Trump sending his personal plane down to Camp Lejeune, N.C., when 200 Marines were stranded after fighting in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. At least that is the story that Sean Hannity of Fox News has touted on his website for several months. The Trump Campiagn even confirmed it. But a review of the records shows Trump had nothing to do with the dispatch of the jet to the troops stranded at Camp Lejeune.
Trump’s claim that Clinton lacks the ‘physical stamina’ to be president
Two days in a row, in prepared speeches, Trump asserted that that his rival Clinton lacks “mental and physical stamina” to do the job as president. Through innuendo, he is trying to surface debunked Internet rumors from the fringes of the right. But these are half-baked, ridiculous and easily disproved. We thought it would be a valuable service to collect all of the claims in one place — and assess whether any hold water. Nope.
Trump’s false claim that undocumented immigrants collect Social Security benefits
This claim, asserting that under Hillary Clinton illegal immigrants would skip the line and begin collecting Social Security benefits, originally appeared in a Trump campaign ad but then also emerged in the candidate’s speeches. But it’s completely false. In general, people in the United States illegally are not eligible to collect Social Security benefits. They must be granted some type of lawful status — either by obtaining legal status or being granted deferred action. People who obtain lawful status under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) need to work for at least 10 years, pay taxes and reach retirement age before they are eligible to receive Social Security benefits.
Trump’s misleading claim that 58 percent of black youths are unemployed
The official Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment rate for black youth is 19.2 percent — about one-third of the rate Trump uses. Trump gets his number by counting people who are not looking for work, such as students. But that does not fit the definition of “unemployed,” especially in an age group when most people are in school. If you apply Trump’s definition to white youth, 49 percent are “unemployed.” That’s five times the official BLS unemployment rate (10 percent) for white youth. Asians fare even worse under Trump’s fuzzy math – 63.6 percent – even though using the correct method the Asian unemployment rate is lower than blacks and whites.
Trump’s thin case for ‘pay-for-play’ regarding Clinton and Ericsson
As part of what he describes as Hillary Clinton’s corruption, Trump has highlighted incidents involving Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson, the world’s largest mobile network equipment maker. We examined his evidence and concluded there an almost nonexistent case for “pay-for-play.” This is a clear example to trying to conjure up smoke when there isn’t even a fire.
Trump’s ridiculous claim that veterans are ‘treated worse’ than undocumented immigrants
Trump has been using this talking point for more than a year, and it’s never been quite clear exactly what he meant. On its face, this claim doesn’t make much sense: People in the country illegally, by definition, are not given the basic rights that people here legally — veterans or civilians — have. We examined the evidence assembled by the campaign and it’s clear that these are apples-to-oranges comparisons that don’t make much sense.
Trump’s absurd claim that 92 million Americans represent a ‘nation of jobless Americans’
Trump is citing a figure from the Bureau of Labor Statistics concerning Americans who are “not in labor force.” But the BLS data shows 93 percent of these people do not want a job at all. The picture that emerges from a study of the data is that the number consists mostly of people who are retired, students, parents or disabled. Only about six percent said they wanted a job, though most had not looked for one in a year; less than one percent said they were discouraged about their job prospects.
Trump’s claim that ‘we’re not allowed to profile’ potential terrorists
After the explosions in New York, Donald Trump complained about restrictive policies that he said do not allow “profiling” of potential terrorists on ethnic grounds. But Trump gets the rules wrong. Profiling to prevent terrorism is permitted, with some restrictions, under policies first set by President George W. Bush and affirmed by President Obama. Profiling is permitted to screen airline passengers and immigrants – and law enforcement can use it to combat terrorist threats. From the context of his remarks, those are the situations that he is describing when he says profiling is not permitted.
Trump’s claim that Obama is trying to ‘delay’ Obamacare enrollment until after the election
Trump repeatedly slams the Affordable Care Act, warning of premium increases of 40, 50, 60 percent — and alleging that the Obama administration is trying to delay open enrollment, scheduled for Nov. 1, until after the election because the drastic rate hikes will be “election-defying.” In reality, the most common plans in the marketplace will see an average increase of 9 percent. Trump also falsely says the Obama administration wants to, and is trying to, move the Nov. 1 open-enrollment date because everyone will see the premium hikes on that date. Yet this open-enrollment date is set in federal statutes, and if the administration wanted to move it, it would have needed to tell the public months ago through a public notice and comment process.
Trump’s false claim that stop and frisk in NYC wasn’t ruled unconstitutional
In the first Clinton-Trump debate, Trump disputed moderator Lester Holt’s comment that stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York. But he was wrong, resorting to word games to cover up the fact that while stop and frisk as a tactic is constitutional, the way the tactic was applied in New York City has been found unconstitutional.
Trump’s claim that a racial discrimination suit was ‘brought against many real estate firms’
Also during the first debate, Trump tried to shrug off a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against his company in 1973 by arguing it was a federal lawsuit filed against “many, many other companies.” This is false. The Justice Department under then-President Richard Nixon though the case against Trump was one of the strongest ever for violations of the Fair Housing Act. Trump and his father eventually settled the suit – but they were back in court three years later, as the Justice Department in 1978 alleged that they had reneged on the agreement to allow minorities to rent properties.
Trump’s ridiculous claim that he won ‘every poll’ on the second presidential debate
Nope. Every poll with a solid methodology showed a win for Hillary Clinton, in three cases by wide margins. Not a single quality poll showed that Trump was the winner.
Trump’s false claim that Clinton ‘lost’ $6 billion at the State Department
Trump repeatedly claims that Clinton “lost” or “misplaced” $6 billion of taxpayers’ funds while she was secretary of state, as part of an effort to rebut news stories about the nearly $1 billion loss that he claimed in a 2005 tax return. But this figure stems from a misunderstanding of a Inspector General report that highlighted missing paperwork for about $6 billion in contracts. No money was lost – and most of the contracts in question stemmed from the Bush administration, before Clinton became secretary of state.
Trump’s claim that a Clinton-backed Haiti factory ‘amounted to a massive sweatshop’
Trump claimed that the State Department under Clinton used $400 million in aid to build “a massive sweatshop.” Trump is referring to a garment factory that was built in a town called Caracol, located north of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, after the devastating earthquake in 2010. But the $400 million figure is overstated and the factory is not a sweatshop. In fact, the company pays at least minimum wage for all full-time workers and provides paid time off and free transportation to and from the factory.
Fact-checking two false claims by Trump alleging widespread voter fraud
We fact-checked two separate claims by Trump on allegations on a “rigged” election, both of which resulted in Four-Pinocchio rulings. He claimed that there was widespread voter fraud and that undocumented immigrants are voting and swaying elections. Both claims fell apart under scrutiny. Confirmed instances of actual voter fraud do exist, but Trump makes a totally unsupported extrapolation of these isolated cases. And even the researchers of a study cited by Trump said he was taking the findings out of context.
Trump’s mixed-up version of the latest Hillary Clinton email controversy
Trump seized on a Wall Street Journal article about donations made by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a close Clinton ally, to suggest again that Clinton escaped prosecution over her private email server because of malfeasance by the FBI. But Trump must not have read the article too closely. The very first sentence says that the election campaign in question was over by the time the FBI official began investigating Clinton. Trump makes it seem as if both things were happening at once ¬–and then makes the unsupported claim that Clinton knew about campaign contributions to the FBI official’s wife.
The facts behind Trump’s repeated claim about Hillary Clinton’s role in the Russian uranium deal
Trump claims that Clinton “gave” or “handed over” 20 percent of U.S. uranium to the Russians. Through the Uranium One deal, the Russian state-owned nuclear energy company does now have control over 20 percent of U.S. uranium extraction capacity. But it cannot export the uranium. Moreover, the State Department was one of nine agencies on the committee that approved the deal. The deal was also separately approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. There is no evidence Clinton herself got involved in the deal personally, and it is highly questionable that this deal even rose to the level of the secretary of state.
Trump’s bizarre claim that the Clinton email controversy is ‘bigger than Watergate’
Trump said that the Hillary Clinton email controversy is a bigger political scandal than Watergate in the aftermath of the FBI director’s letter to Congress about new emails that might be relevant to the Clinton email controversy. But there have been no criminal charges, and therefore no convictions or guilty pleas in the Clinton email scandal. That makes the Clinton emails fundamentally different from Watergate, where 48 people were found guilty and President Richard M. Nixon resigned as a result of the 1972 burglary of a Democratic National Committee office and the following cover-up.
Trump’s false claim that the murder rate is the ‘highest it’s been in 45 years
Trump has repeatedly claimed that the United States has the highest murder rate in 45 years. This is false. Both the rate of homicides and violent crimes are back down to the levels they were 45 years ago, and are at about half the rates at their peak in the 1980s and early 1990s.
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