Politics Magazine

Fact-Checkers Expose Donald Trump's Debate Lies

Posted on the 28 September 2016 by Jobsanger
From CBS News:
TRUMP STATEMENT: “We defend Japan. We defend Germany. We defend South Korea. We defend Saudi Arabia. We defend countries. They do not pay us what they should be paying us because we are providing a tremendous service. And we’re losing a fortune. That’s why we’re losing. We lose on everything. All I said is that it is very possible that if they don’t pay us, because this isn’t 40 years ago… they may have to defend themselves or they have to help us out.” FACT CHECK: According to the Wall Street Journal, South Korea paid about $866.6 million in 2014 to the U.S. for the American military presence in the country (which is meant to deter North Korea). That’s about 40 percent of the total cost. For Japan this year, the country actually covers 90 percent of the cost of Japanese nationals employed by U.S. military bases, including most of the utility costs, rent, and noise abatement. Altogether, the Japanese pay $4 billion of U.S. “base-related expenses.” TRUMP STATEMENT: “She spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me, many of which are absolutely untrue, they’re untrue and they’re misrepresentations and I will tell you this, Lester, it’s not nice and I don’t deserve that. FACT CHECK: This is partially false. Clinton has not yet spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” on advertising – she has spent just about $100 million overall. Clinton spent $109.4 million on ads through Sept. 13, according to Bloomberg, compared to Trump’s $18.7 million. A Politico article from Aug. 23 cited data from Advertising Analytics as saying that 55 percent of Clinton’s ads were attacks on Trump and 45 percent were positive spots. TRUMP STATEMENT:  ISIS has “oil all over the place, including the oil, a lot of the oil, in Libya.” FACT CHECK: According to a Bloomberg analysis, Libyan oil fields and pipelines are controlled by a combination of the Government of National Accord, allies of the Tripoli Petroleum Facilities Guard, and the Libyan National Army (and groups aligned with them). Claudia Gazzini, a Tripoli-based senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, told the Washington Post that it was simply not true that the Islamic State has control of any Libyan oil. TRUMP STATEMENT: “Well, it’s very simple to say. Sidney Blumenthal works for the campaign and a very close friend of Secretary Clinton, and her campaign manager, Patty Doyle, went to—they were in the campaign, her campaign against President Obama, fought very hard, and you can go look it up and you can check it out, and if you look at CNN this past week, Patty Solis Doyle was on Wolf Blitzer saying that this happened. Blumenthal sent McClatchy, a highly respected reporter at McClatchy, to Kenya to find out about it, they were pressing it very hard, she failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn’t fail, I got him to give the birth certificate.” FACT CHECK: This has been Trump’s line since the “birther” issue resurfaced this fall, but Clinton’s campaign has repeatedly denied being involved. Patti Solis Doyle, Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager, told Wolf Blitzer a volunteer forwarded an email promoting “birtherism” and that that person was fired. “The campaign nor Hillary did not start the ‘birther’ movement, period, end of story,” Solis Doyle told CNN, saying the volunteer’s actions were “beyond the pale” and that Clinton called Obama campaign manager David Plouffe to apologize. Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton confidante but not a current campaign staffer, denies ever contacting McClatchy; the former McClatchy bureau chief, James Asher, recently said he clearly recalled the conversation with Blumenthal. TRUMP STATEMENT: “My lawyers say don’t do it. In fact watching the shows, reading the papers…almost every lawyer says you don’t release your returns until the audit is complete. When the audit is complete I’ll do it.” FACT CHECK: In the letter from Trump’s lawyers released by his campaign, they do NOT say the taxes should not be released. Trump’s tax returns from 2002 through 2008 are closed administratively by agreement with the IRS. Audits for years 2009 and forward are ongoing. An IRS spokesperson also told the Washington Post that nothing — including an audit “prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.”  TRUMP STATEMENT: “You want to approve Trans-Pacific Partnership. You were totally in favor of it.” FACTCHECK: Clinton has said she no longer supports TPP. During a Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas last October, Clinton said that as secretary of State she’d “hoped it would be the gold standard,” but that when the full details of the deal became available it didn’t “meet [her] standards.” “My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans. And I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, ‘this will help raise your wages,’” she said. “And I concluded I could not.” TRUMP STATEMENT: “So Ford is leaving. Their small car division is leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan. Leaving Ohio. They’re all leaving, and we can’t allow it to happen anymore.” FACT CHECK: “Their small car division is leaving” – This part is true, but Ford says it will affect “zero” U.S. jobs. “Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States,” said Ford Motors CEO Mark Fields, at a daylong investor conference in Dearborn, Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press. But this will, according to Fields, not result in any job loss in the U.S. Earlier this month, on Sept. 15, 2016, CNN’s Poppy Harlow asked Fields, “So it is not true that Ford will be, quote, ‘firing all of its employees in the United States?’ Will Ford cut any U.S. jobs as a result of this move? One? Any single one?” “Absolutely not. Zero,” Fields responded.  And from Politifact:
Trump: "They're using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China." Earlier this year, Trump claimed that "we’ve rebuilt China." This is an overly simplistic description of the economic relationship between the two countries. Experts told us China’s rapid economic growth can be largely attributed to its in-house reforms and inclusion in global trade. The United States can take some, but certainly not all, of the credit for the latter. We rated Trump’s claim Half True. Trump: "My father gave me a very small loan in 1975, and I built it into a company that's worth many, many billions of dollars, with some of the greatest assets in the world." Since Trump has yet to release his tax returns, it’s hard to gauge just how much money Trump started with and how much he has now. The "very small loan" Trump was referring to was $1 million from Trump’s father, Fred, to finance his Grand Hyatt hotel in 1978. (At this point, Donald Trump was already president of his father’s real estate company.) But Fred Trump made out many other loans to his son until his death in 1999, including a $70 million construction loan for the Grand Hyatt and a $3.5 million casino chip loan to bail out Trump’s struggling gaming empire, the Washington Post Fact-Checker reported. Trump: "I did not" say that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Trump did say this in a tweet four years ago. Though he’s since described the tweet as a "joke" and hasn’t pushed the exact theory since, he has repeatedly called climate change a "hoax" in speeches, tweets and media appearances. And he has said as recently as Jan. 18, 2016, that action on climate change "is done for the benefit of China." Trump: The Obama administration "has doubled" the national debt in eight years. PolitiFact Virginia rated a previous version of this claim Half True. While Trump’s figure is correct, he leaves out some key points. First, Obama is not the only one responsible for the added debt; Congress has to approve as well. Second, the recession that began before Obama took office in 2009 cut government revenues and led to some of the higher debt incurred during the president’s term. Trump: "You will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the Federal Election Commission" to see the financial disclosure form than by looking at tax returns. The financial disclosure form Trump is referring to is legally required and extensive. But we found little evidence to support Trump’s argument that the financial disclosure allows observers to "learn more" than they would from a tax form. Tax filings include additional financial information that are not found on other financial disclosures. His claim rates False. Trump: Top Clinton advisors "were pressing" birther movement stories "very hard." Trump invoked Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal and 2008 campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle as evidence. A reporter has claimed Blumenthal pushed the birther story to him in the heat of the Democratic primary that year. But Blumenthal denies it, and the reporter acknowledged he has nothing in writing. Doyle suggested on CNN that the campaign fired a volunteer for forwarding an email that promoted the "conspiracy" but later clarified that the conspiracy was about Obama’s religion, not birthplace. We rated Trump's claim False. Trump: "I've been saying for a long time, and I think you'll agree, because I said it to you once, had we taken the oil -- and we should have taken the oil -- ISIS would not have been able to form either, because the oil was their primary source of income." Trump is right that he’s been floating this proposal for a long time, and that oil is a big revenue source for the terrorist group. But when we looked at whether the United States should take the oil, experts told us the idea is not only an endorsement of imperialism, but it’s nonsensical and illegal with massive practical challenges. Trump: "I'm all for NATO. But I said they have to focus on terror, also. And they're going to do that. And that was — believe me — I'm sure I'm not going to get credit for it — but that was largely because of what I was saying and my criticism of NATO." This is False. The change he referred to was the creation of a new intelligence post — an incremental change in how the alliance addresses terrorism. It’s been engaging in counter-terrorism measures for more than 30 years. Trump: "China is totally powerful as it relates to North Korea." During a Republican primary debate, Trump claimed China has "total control" over North Korea. That’s Mostly False. Though China does have significant economic ties to North Korea, Trump is exaggerating the amount of leverage it has. The fact that North Korea conducted a nuclear test over the strenuous objections of China suggests that Beijing lacks anything approaching "total control" over North Korea. Trump: The Obama administration’s payment to Iran was "one of the great giveaways of all time, of all time, including $400 million in cash. Nobody's ever seen that before. That turned out to be wrong. It was actually $1.7 billion in cash, obviously, I guess for the hostages. It certainly looks that way." We rated a previous claim from Trump — that the $400 million was "ransom" — Mostly False. On the same day as several American prisoners were released, the United States paid Iran $400 million. But experts told us this wasn’t ransom. Iran had a legitimate claim to the money,because the United States owed it to Iran as part of a resolution to a decades-long financial dispute.

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