September 27, 2016 7:50:28 am
Donald Trump’s habit of peddling hype and fabrication emerged unabated in the first presidential debate while Hillary Clinton played it cautiously in her statements, though not without error. They both denied making statements that they are on the record as saying.
A look at some of the claims in the debate and how they compare with the facts:
CLINTON, denying Trump’s accusation that she called the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the “gold standard” of trade agreements: “I did say I hoped it would be a good deal.”
THE FACTS: Trump is correct. As secretary of state, Clinton called the deal that was taking shape the “gold standard” of trade agreements, in a 2012 trip to Australia, and championed the agreement in other venues around the world. She did not merely express the hope it would turn out well.
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Clinton flip-flopped into opposing the trade deal in the Democratic primary when facing Bernie Sanders, who was strongly opposed to it.
TRUMP, when Clinton accused him of calling climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese: “I did not say that.”
THE FACTS: Yes he did, in the form of a 2012 tweet: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” He later claimed he was kidding, but he’s also repeated the claim that climate change is a hoax, and one that benefits China.
He tweeted in January 2014: “Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax!”
TRUMP: “I’ve been under audit for almost 15 years.”
THE FACTS: Trump has never provided evidence to the public that he is actually under audit. A letter released by his tax attorneys never used the word, merely describing his tax returns under continuous review. “Review” is not a formal term for any kind of action by the Internal Revenue Service.
Trump has declined to provide the IRS’ formal notice of audit to The Associated Press and other news outlets. And former IRS officials have expressed skepticism that anyone would be audited so frequently. Trump cites an audit as the reason he won’t release his tax returns.
CLINTON: As part of a list of economy-building moves, called for “making college debt free so more young people can get their education.”
THE FACTS: Clinton has proposed making college tuition free for in-state students who go to a public college or university. But tuition free doesn’t equate to debt free.
Under her plan, the government would pay for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year. That would leave students still bearing the cost of room and board, which makes up more than half of the average $18,943 sticker price at a four-year public university, according to the College Board.
Experts worry about other effects: Will colleges raise tuition once the government starts paying, increasing the cost to taxpayers? Will more students flock to public colleges because of the subsidy, also raising costs?
TRUMP to Clinton: “You’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.”
THE FACTS: Hillary Clinton was born in 1947 and is 68 years old. She reached adulthood in 1965. The Islamic State group grew out of an al-Qaida spinoff, al-Qaida in Iraq in 2013, the year Clinton left the State Department.
TRUMP: “My father gave me a small loan in 1975.”
THE FACTS: Trump got a whole lot more than a small loan. Aside from $1 million in financing from his father, Trump received loan guarantees, bailouts and a drawdown from his future inheritance. Tim O’Brien noted in a 2005 book that Trump not only drew an additional $10 million from his future inheritance during hard times, but also inherited a share of his father’s real estate holdings, which were worth hundreds of millions when they were eventually sold off.
TRUMP: “Stop-and-frisk had a tremendous impact on the safety of New York City. Tremendous beyond belief.”
THE FACTS: Trump is correct that the murder rate has plummeted in New York in the last two decades. But the same could be said for many other large American cities during the same period, and there’s certainly no way to credit stop-and-frisk for the decline.
Stop-and-frisk was a popular tactic for much of the last 15 years in New York. But even as it’s fallen out of favor under the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, the murder rate remains a long way off from where it was in the 1990s, when it topped 2,000 a year. City police department statistics show there were 352 murders and non-negligent homicides in 2015, compared with 673 in 2000 and 539 in 2005.
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