Home 2019 Elections Independent Fact Checkers Weigh in on GOP Convention: “False,” “Simply Wrong,” “No...

Independent Fact Checkers Weigh in on GOP Convention: “False,” “Simply Wrong,” “No Evidence,” “No Factual Basis,” Distorted”


From the Clinton campaign:

The Republican National Convention has reached its midway point and the number of lies, distortions and exaggerations has been staggering.  With positive words for Donald Trump few and far between, Republican speakers have resorted to their only real strategy – lie about Hillary Clinton.

Below are a sampling of the critical reports from independent fact checkers from just the last 48 hours:

“The Republican recipe: Take an ambiguous set of facts. Add in some innuendo. Arrange the facts in the most suspicious-seeming way. Then level an allegation that cannot be disproven.” – Michael Tomasky, Daily Beast

  • Politifact: “Trump said he liked having the convention in Cleveland and that he had recommended Ohio. […] The selection of Cleveland was conducted by the party in 2014, when it wasn’t known who would ultimately win the nomination. We rate Trump’s statement False.”
  • Politifact: “Donald Trump Jr. said Clinton is proposing ‘destroying Medicare for seniors.’ […] We rate the claimFalse.”
  • Politifact: “McConnell said that Clinton changed her views on allowing Iran to enrich uranium. […] We rate this claimMostly False.”
  • Politifact: “Day said that as a senator Clinton ‘paid women less than the men in your office.’ […] We rate this claimMostly False.”
  • Politifact: “Manafort said, ‘The Clinton camp was the first to get it out there and try to say there was something untoward about the speech that Melania Trump gave.’ […] We rate Manafort’s claim False.”
  • Politifact: “Duffy said: ‘Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have left us with $19 trillion in debt.’ […] Our rating isMostly False.
  • Politifact: “Sabato said Obama is “absolutely” a Muslim. That’s wrong. We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
  • Politifact: “Sessions said, ‘There are about 350,000 people who succeed in crossing our borders illegally each year.’ […] The number of immigrants illegally in the country is staying the same or getting smaller. We rate Sessions’ statement False.”
  • Politifact: “Geist said, “We defied the stand-down orders” during the Benghazi attack. […] Testimony in the House Select Committee on Benghazi report shows there was no stand-down order to defy because there was never an order to not intervene in the unfolding disaster. […] We rate it Mostly False.
  • Politifact: “Giuliani said, “Hillary Clinton is for open borders.” […] We rate this claim False.
  • Politifact: “Sessions said Clinton “has been a champion of globalist trade agreements. … Worst of all, they are now pushing the disastrous 5,554-page Obamatrade — the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.” […] We rate Sessions’ claim Mostly False.”
  • CNN: “While Clinton was head of the State Department at the time, Christie says she “fought” to keep [Boko Haram] off the list and there is no evidence that she herself was personally responsible for the delay in the designation. Our verdict: false.”
  • CNN: “Christie went on to add: […] “what was the solution from the Obama/Clinton team? A hashtag campaign.” […] Therefore we rate the claim that the “solution from the Obama/Clinton team” was a “hashtag campaign” as false.”
  • CNN: “Christie assumed the role of prosecutor on the RNC stage, arguing that Clinton’s policy in Libya made her “guilty” of “ruining Libya” and “creating a nest for terrorist activity by ISIS. […] because Clinton was neither the first to call for military intervention, nor the only one to plan the administration’s handling of the aftermath, we rate Christie’s claim false.”
  • CNN: “Donald Trump Jr. said his father would be “a President not beholden to special interests, foreign and domestic and one who funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket just to prove it.” […] His son’s claim is false.”
  • CNN: “We rate Donald Trump Jr.’s claim that Clinton has proposed destroying Medicare false, however you read the phrase — Clinton has not proposed to destroy Medicare, but to expand it.”
  • CNN: “So, is Cox correct in his claim that Clinton would abolish the Second Amendment? […] Verdict: False.”
  • CNN: “Our verdict on McConnell’s charge that Clinton changed positions on Keystone XL: false.”​
  • CNN: “‘Hillary Clinton is promising more of the same. Open borders, executive amnesty and the surge of Syrian refugees,’ said Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the chairman of the Homeland Security Commission. […] Clinton’s proposed policies and past rhetoric do not reflect open borders. That’s false.”
  • CNN: “Therefore, Sessions’ statement that immigrants have taken all the jobs is false.”
  • CNN: “Glenn also said American neighborhoods have become more violent since Obama has been in office.  […]  Glenn’s assertion here is false.”
  • CNN: “Because Clinton’s role in the attack in Benghazi has been thoroughly investigated and she has been cleared of wrongdoing, we find Smith’s claim of culpability false.”
  • CNN: “Ernst said the terrorist group’s threat is not limited to the Middle East, but is spreading. “Terrorists from ISIS are in every one of our 50 states,” Ernst said. […] Therefore, we judge her statement false.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “But the security decisions were made well below Clinton’s level and no evidencehas emerged that Clinton was aware of the requests or decided not to provide the requisite level of security.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “But, unlike the implication of Ernst’s statement, Comey did not say that the ISIS terror group was present in each state or that these troubled souls had already become terrorists.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump has made the same claim about Clinton recently, but Giuliani repeating itdoesn’t make it any more correct. Giuliani exaggerates Clinton’s stance on border security and immigration enforcement.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Recent data show the unauthorized immigrant population has leveled off, whichdoes not support Sessions’s claim.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “But even so, Christie appears to not have been listening to Obama speak about the issue. He’s simply wrong that Obama has been silent on violence in Chicago.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “For example, homicides are a small percentage of the crimes committed by noncitizens, whether they are in the United States illegally or not.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Our friends at FactCheck.org took an extensive look into the internal data from 2002 to 2008 and found that the median salary for men and women were the same. And the Clintons’ staff had roughly twice as many women as men.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Christie grossly simplifies a complex debate at the State Department — which actually did not involve Clinton personally.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “This is a mysterious claim by Trump’s son that appears to have no factual basis. There is no specific proposal by Clinton that could be said to ‘destroy’ Medicare, the health-care program for the elderly.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “We’ve looked at this number before, and it’s pretty bogus. […] The $15,000 figure has serious methodological problems — even the report admits it is “not scientific” and “back of the envelope” — and it is especially misleading when the benefit side of the equation is ignored.”
  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump’s campaign manager tried to pin the blame on the Clinton campaign for the flap over allegations of plagiarism in Melania Trump’s prime-time address Monday night at the Republican National Convention. But no evidence has emerged that is the case; indeed, Manafort has offered no evidence.
  • New York Times: “Fact Check: He suggested Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server was a crime, something the F.B.I. director had concluded it was not.”
  • New York Times: “Fact Check: While Mrs. Clinton has said she supports President Obama’s executive actions to allow some illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States, she has not called for “open borders” and her support for accepting Syrian refugees has been limited to 65,000 people, far fewer than the number who were accepted by some European countries.”
  • New York Times: “Fact check: The Obama administration and Mrs. Clinton opposed the “Buy America” provision because, they said, it was a protectionist measure that could cause a trade war with China in the midst of an economic crisis.”
  • New York Times: “Fact check: Mrs. Clinton’s comments about Mr. Assad came in an interview in 2011, before much of the bloodshed, when she said that some members of Congress in both parties “believe he’s a reformer.” Some in the George W. Bush administration had also expressed hope that he would be a better leader than his father, Hafez al-Assad. And Mrs. Clinton did not “defend” the atrocities committed by Mr. Assad during the later period of the civil war.”New York Times: “Fact check: Mrs. Clinton was already gone from the administration when Mr. Obama pursued secret negotiations with Cuba, though she did express support for his efforts.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Donald Trump Jr. distorted Clinton’s gun control proposal, claiming, as his father did, that she wants to ‘take away Americans’ guns.’ Clinton’s gun control proposal doesn’t call for taking away guns.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Two speakers claimed that Clinton paid women less than men in her Senate office […] The Clinton campaign provided FactCheck.org a list of the names, titles and annual salaries of every full-time person employed in Clinton’s Senate office between 2002 and 2008. Those data show the median salary for men and women to be the same at $40,000. The data also show Clinton hired roughly twice as many women as men.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey both mentioned Clinton’s ‘what difference does it make’ quote on Benghazi, but left out the context of that remark. […] Republicans, like Mukasey, have portrayed the remarks as being uncaring toward the lives lost that night. Johnson himself went on to describe in his speech several victims of terrorists attacks, saying ‘it made a difference’ to them. But Clinton’s full remarks indicate she was concerned about the lives lost.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia took Clinton’s words on coal-mining jobs out of context. […]  Sullivan and Capito ignore her promise to create new jobs for communities hurt by the shift away from coal.”
  • Factcheck.org: Sen. Shelly Moore Capito “used a one-sided report … to claim that ‘the burden of government regulations in this country amounts to $15,000 a household.’ And she exaggerated the number of coal mining jobs that have been lost since 2011, putting the figure at 60,000, when it’s 36,700.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrongly said that Clinton was for the Keystone XL pipeline before she was against it. She did not take a position until she opposed the pipeline in 2015.”
  • Factcheck.org: Sen. Shelly Moore Capito said “the Obama ‘economic agenda’ has led to ‘the lowest workforce participation in decades,’ […] But Obama’s ‘economic agenda’ hasn’t caused the decline in the labor force participation rate, which actually started going down in the late 1990s, a full decade before he took office.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Sen. Jeff Sessions claimed that ‘respect for America has fallen,’ but the U.S. is viewed more favorably in many countries now than it was before President Obama took office. […] As we’ve written before, the U.S. is viewed more favorably now than it was before Obama took office in 2009.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Donald Trump Jr. also wrongly said that his father ‘funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket.’ Trump provided about 73 percent of the funding, but not all of it.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Two security contractors at the CIA annex in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, repeated their claim that they were told to ‘stand down’ and not help Americans under attack. But multiple official reports say such an order was never issued.”
  • Factcheck.org: “The sister of a slain Border Patrol agent said President Obama has left ‘border patrol agents thinly equipped,’ and undermanned. In fact, both funding and staffing have increased under Obama.”
  • Factcheck.org:  Darryl Glenn, Colorado Republican nominee for Senate, “wrongly suggested that violent crime in the United States had gone up during President Obama’s time in office. The violent crime rate has gone down 20 percent from 2008, the year before Obama was sworn in, and 2014, the most recent statistics available from the FBI.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Michael McCaul both wrongly claimed that Hillary Clinton supports ‘open borders.’ She supported a bill that would have created a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, but it also would have increased border security.”
  • Factcheck.org: Rudy Giuliani said that Hillary Clinton “‘advocated for the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya’ and should be ‘accountable’ for the country’s chaos. But he failed to mention that Trump, at the time, also supported the ouster of Gadhafi.”
  • Factcheck.org: “Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions claimed that wages ‘have fallen,’ when they’re up under Obama. He blamed immigration for a low labor force participation rate, when it’s mainly the result of demographics, including the aging of baby boomers.”
  • ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton is an “apologist” for Boko Haram. She and Obama responded to its mass kidnapping with a “hashtag campaign.” Rating: False.
  • ABC News: “Claim: Clinton said that “what difference, at this point, does it make?” in discussing the deaths of Americans in Benghazi. Rating: False.
  • ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton’s immigration policy promises “open borders.” Rating: False.”
  • ABC News: “Claim: U.S. military responders were ordered to “stand down” during the 2012 Benghazi attack. Rating: Highly Questionable. Every investigation ever done on Benghazi concluded there was no “stand down order.”
  • ABC News: “Claim: ‘No one was ever held accountable’ for Fast & Furious. Rating: False.”
  • ABC News: Claim: ‘All security had been pulled from the embassy’ in Benghazi. Rating: False
  • NPR: “There’s been no evidence uncovered of a direct order to “stand down” from mounting a defense of the facilities.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Rudy Giuliani): ‘Hillary Clinton’s answer to Congress about the death of these four brave Americans [in Benghazi] because of her failures as Secretary of State was ‘what difference at this point does it make?’ […] THE FACTS: According to the video of Clinton’s congressional testimony, Clinton’s ‘what difference at this point does it make’ was over whether the violence in Benghazi was inspired by anti-Islam video or not.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Melania Trump): ‘Donald intends to represent all the people, not just some of the people. That includes Christians and Jews and Muslims, it includes Hispanics and African Americans and Asians, and the poor and the middle class.’ THE FACTS: In addition to the temporary Muslim travel ban that Trump first proposed in Dec. 2015, Trump has once talked about a ‘Muslim problem’ in a 2011 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Rudy Giuliani): ‘…Obama’s Nuclear Agreement with Iran that will eventually let them become a nuclear power and put billions of dollars back into a country that the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.’ […] THE FACTS: The Iran Deal requires that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency continuously monitor Iran’s nuclear sites to verify that Tehran is keeping its enrichment activities within limits set out in the deal and that none of the fissile material is being moved to covertly build a bomb.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Jeff Sessions): ‘…From 2000 to 2014, while our existing population increased by millions, the number of jobs held by Americans actually declined. Amazingly, all the net job growth during that period went to immigrants.’ THE FACTS: Sessions is citing the research of the Center for Immigration Studies […] PolitiFact has checked out claims made from this study before and found that this reading of the data is misleading. The organization found that the study looks at jobs for workers 16-65, ignoring the gains for workers over age 65 that existed and ignoring the recession.”
  • NBC News: “CLAIM (Darryl Glenn, Colorado Senate candidate): ‘Neighborhoods have become more dangerous under [Obama’s] watch’ THE FACTS: While there is some evidence of an increase in violent crime in some large American cities in the last few years, the national trend shows overall crime going down.”
  • NBC News: Donald Trump: “I wanted it to be in Ohio, I recommended Ohio, and people fought very hard that it be in Ohio.” The Facts: “The Republican National Committee’s Site Selection Committee announced in July 2014 its recommendation of Cleveland, Ohio, as the site of the convention. Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president nearly a year later, in June 2015.” 
  • Star Ledger: “The facts: In actuality, she simply related others’ opinions. ‘There is a different leader in Syria now,” Clinton said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in 2011, according to Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking site. “Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.’”

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