- Fact-Check: Yes, Under Obamacare ‘Health Insurance Is Going Up’
- Fact-Check: Yes, the United States Has ‘Just About the Highest’ Corporate Taxes in the World
- Fact-Check: Yes, Trump Did Tell His Followers to ‘Check Out’ a ‘Sex Tape’
- Fact-Check: Yes, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Have Refused to Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’
- Fact-Check: Yes, Hillary Clinton Said She Wants to Put ‘Coal Miners Out of Business’
Welcome to the Breitbart News Presidential Debate Fact-Check Livewire.
As Republican and Democratic nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face-off at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Sunday evening for their second presidential debate, Breitbart will provide live fact-checks of their debate.
Stay with us throughout the evening as we update this livewire to correct the record.
During the second presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump said that America’s trade deficit in goods was nearly $800 billion last year.
The actual trade deficit in goods for 2015 was $763 billion, so Trump’s statement is essentially correct. The overall trade deficit, including both goods and services, was lower at $500 billion. Trump has generally focused more on the deficit in goods, and the difficulty it represents for America’s manufacturing sector.
During the second presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump said that Bill Clinton was impeached, disbarred, and fined as a result of the Lewinsky scandal.
Bill Clinton was indeed impeached for lying under oath to a grand jury and obstructing justice, although he was not removed from office.
After impeachment, Bill Clinton was held in contempt of court by federal Judge Susan Webber Wright, in what the New York Times described as a “scathing” ruling. Wright said Clinton testified falsely in his deposition about not having sex with Monica Lewinsky, and that his actions “subverted the rule of law and violated Ms. Jones's right to information relevant to her case.”
“The court takes no pleasure whatsoever in holding this nation's President in contempt of court,” Wright wrote. However, she added, “the record demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the President responded to plaintiffs' questions by giving false, misleading and evasive answers that were designed to obstruct the judicial process.”
Clinton’s law license in Arkansas was suspended for five years, and he paid a $25,000 fine. The Supreme Court also barred Clinton from practicing law before the nation’s highest court.
Trump made a reference to an $850,000 fine Bill Clinton paid to Paula Jones. This was, in fact, an out-of-court settlement Clinton reached with Jones, not a fine leveled by the court.
The purpose of reaching an out-of-court settlement is to avoid an unpleasant trial that could very well end with even worse consequences, so Trump is basically correct that Clinton's conduct cost him $850,000, and he didn't want to pay it - it most certainly was not a charitable contribution! - but it technically wasn't a "fine."
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton claimed that Donald Trump “never apologizes for anything, to anyone.”
Fact-Check: MOSTLY FALSE.
Just two days ago, Trump apologized publicly for comments he made on a video recorded 2005 in which he joked about groping women.
It is true that Trump tends to avoid apologizing, and that he did not apologize in some of the cases that Clinton mentioned.
He did not apologize for the Birther controversy, for example — though he has maintained that there is no need to do so, because he provoked President Barack Obama into finally producing his long-form birth certificate.
Occasionally, Trump offers a sarcastic apology — as he did when he “apologized” to Pocahontas for using her name to ridicule Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who allegedly faked Native American heritage to obtain a professorship at Harvard Law School.
And in August, he expressed “regret” for some of the things he had said that had offended people (including, presumably, the Khizr Khan episode, which Clinton mentioned). He avoided saying the word “apologize.”
Still, the claim that Trump “never” apologizes is incorrect.
During the second presidential debate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said, “Hillary Clinton attacked them viciously,” referring to former president Bill Clinton’s female victims and a child rape victim whose attacker Clinton defended.
“One of them is a wonderful woman, [who] at 12 years old was raped. At twelve. Her client — she represented — got him off, laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl that was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman, is here with us tonight. So, don’t tell me about words,” Trump said.
In the mid-1980s, journalist Roy Reed interviewed Hillary Clinton, and a tape of that interview has been uploaded to YouTube and is available in the Special Collections Department of the University of Arkansas libraries.
“He took a lie detector test! I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” Clinton said about her client Thomas Alfred Taylor, who raped Shelton in 1975, laughing.
Clinton also laughed in the video about saving the child rapist from a “miscarriage of justice.” He served one year in county jail, with two months shaved off his sentence for the time he already served. Shelton’s injuries were so traumatic, she could never have children.
Clinton also argued in court that the 12-year-old rape victim sought out older men.
Shelton came forward after 40 years of silence, as reported by the Daily Mail:
Shelton also tweeted about her suffering at Hillary’s hands. https://twitter.com/KathyShelton_/status/785258744405954560 https://twitter.com/KathyShelton_/status/785259999849316352 https://twitter.com/KathyShelton_/status/785261033615192064 https://twitter.com/KathyShelton_/status/785263037720752128 https://twitter.com/KathyShelton_/status/785280440773013504 https://twitter.com/KathyShelton_/status/785282404588158976
A child rape victim says she cannot forgive Hillary Clinton for defending her rapist in court 40 years ago, saying the Democratic presidential candidate attacked her credibility despite knowing that her assailant was guilty – and later laughed about it in a taped interview.
Kathy Shelton was just 12 years old when a 41-year-old drifter raped her on the side of a desolate Arkansas road in 1975.
Now, four decades later, she has agreed to be named and pictured for the first time in this Daily Mail Online exclusive because she is furious that her rapist's defense attorney - Hillary Clinton - has been portraying herself as a lifelong advocate of women and girls on the campaign trail.
'It's put a lot of anger back in me,' said Shelton, now 54, in an exclusive interview at her Springdale, Arkansas, home in August. 'Every time I see [Clinton] on TV I just want to reach in there and grab her, but I can't do that.'
In 1975, Clinton served as the defense lawyer for Thomas Alfred Taylor, a 41-year-old factory worker accused of raping Shelton after luring her to his car.
Taylor pleaded down to 'unlawful fondling of a minor' and served less than a year in prison after Clinton was able to block the admission of forensic evidence that linked her client to the crime.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton claimed during her answer to a question about “Islamophobia” that the late Capt. Humayun Khan “has been subject to attack by [Republican nominee] Donald [Trump]."
Capt. Khan was an Army officer who gave his life defending fellow soldiers in Iraq, and whose parents attacked Trump in a speech at the Democratic National Convention.
When asked about the speech by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos (a former aide to President Bill Clinton), Trump made a comment about the silence of Khan’s mother, who stood mute onstage alongside Khan’s father.
But Trump never said anything negative at all about Capt. Khan, and in fact praised his sacrifice on nearly every occasion.
Trump reiterated his praise for the late Capt. Khan in his rebuttal to Clinton: “Captain Khan is an American hero.”
During the second presidential debate on Sunday evening, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said that she deleted "personal emails, not official" emails following her tenure as Secretary of State.
According to FBI Director James Comey, "the FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not among the group of 30,000 e-mails returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014."
Federal investigators concluded that Clinton's lawyers deleted nearly half of the 60,000 emails on her server.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed that “many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people [in San Bernardino].”
Fact-Check: HALF TRUE
Trump was answering a question about Islamophobia, and while he acknowledged that prejudice against Muslims is a problem, he argued that political correctness places American lives at risk.
He cited the neighbors of the San Bernardino terrorists — and he was correct to do so, because they did tell reporters after the attack that they had seen unusual activity, but chose not to report it for fear of being accused of racial profiling.
However, the neighbors did not actually see “bombs” (though that was, in fact, what the San Bernardino terrorists were building in their home).
So while Trump’s statement about political correctness was essentially true, he was incorrect about the details.
Fact-Check: No, We Cannot Successfully Implement ‘Tough Vetting’ of Refugees — Hillary Clinton Herself Admitted It’s Not ‘Possible’
During the second presidential debate, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said that the massive influx of Muslim refugees she wants to import as president would be subjected to “tough” vetting and she would not let in any foreign-born refugee who would “pose a risk” to the U.S.
Clinton stated during the debate:
“I will not let anyone into the country that I think will poses a risk to us, but there are a lot refugees, women and children… There are children suffering in this catastrophic war, largely I believe because of Russian aggression, and we need to do our part. We are by no means carrying anywhere near the load Europe and others are. But we will have vetting that is as tough as it needs to be, from our professionals, our intelligence experts and others.”
Fact-Check: FALSE (According to Clinton herself)
The Wikileaks dump revealed that Clinton herself said refugees “can’t possibly” be vetted, as Breitbart News reported:
Breitbart News asked the Clinton campaign to reconcile the differences between Secretary Clinton’s 2013 private remarks, where she said Syrian refugees “can’t possibly” be vetted, to her 2015 and 2016 campaign claims that “vigilant” screening and “vetting” of “refugees from Syria, guided by the best judgment of our security and diplomatic professionals,” will be sufficient to safeguard American citizens from “jihadists coming in along with legitimate refugees,” but there has not yet been a response.
We also asked the Clinton campaign to explain if Secretary Clinton believes the United States has unique vetting capabilities superior to those of Jordan, which enable us to successfully vet Syrian refugees; she admits we cannot.
The entire quote from Clinton’s speech to the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s Vanguard Luncheon on October 28, 2013, included in the WikiLeaks document dump of Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches reads as follows:
“So I think you’re right to have gone to the places that you visited because there’s a discussion going on now across the region to try to see where there might be common ground to deal with the threat posed by extremism and particularly with Syria which has everyone quite worried, Jordan because it’s on their border and they have hundreds of thousands of refugees and they can’t possibly vet all those refugees so they don’t know if, you know, jihadists are coming in along with legitimate refugees,” she said. “Turkey for the same reason.”
In September, a top Obama immigration official also admitted to Congress that some refugees launch terrorist plots after they’ve been “vetted” and invited into the United States.
During the second presidential debate, Donald Trump claimed that during her time as Senator, Hillary Clinton did nothing to reform the tax code.
Fact-Check: MOSTLY TRUE
This is an extremely difficult statement to fact-check, because a great deal depends on what is meant by “reforming the tax code.” A thorough rundown of Clinton’s voting records on tax issues prepared by Forbes in April 2015 reveals little in Senator Clinton’s record that could be fairly described as a significant reform.
In summary, Clinton voted against the Bush tax cuts, but voted for a few amendments to the bill that did not pass; she eventually voted yes to extend those tax cuts, while complaining that she thought they benefited the wealthy too much. She voted in favor of a minor alteration to the Alternative Minimum Tax, to raise the exemption, while voting against a bill that would have repealed it, something that would have been a major tax reform. At the end of her term, she tried to raise the top marginal tax rate back to its pre-Bush level, which is hardly a “reform” of the system.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager in 2008 admitted that the campaign had launched the Birther movement.
Fact-Check: HALF FALSE
It is true that the Birther movement started among Hillary Clinton’s supporters. And, as Breitbart News reported, Clinton’s former campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, admitted that at least one member of the campaign had helped propagate the rumor (though she said that person was fired.) It is also likely true that Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal shopped the story to reporters. And it is unknown how much involvement Hillary Clinton herself had with the movement.
However, it is a stretch to say, as Trump did, that Hillary Clinton herself personally started the Breitbart movement, and it is incorrect to claim that her campaign manager corroborated that particular accusation.
(The real truth about the Birther rumor, which the mainstream media choose to ignore, may be that Barack Obama started it himself by allowing his literary agent to claim, for nearly two decades, that he was born in Kenya.)
During the second presidential debate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton "complains that Donald Trump took advantage of the tax code."
The New York Times obtained Trump's tax returns which revealed that the Republican nominee avoided paying federal income taxes by reporting losses on his 1995 tax return.
Clinton criticized Trump as the hypocritical embodiment of "the same rigged system he claims he will change."
However, Clinton herself has taken advantage of the same tax loopholes she's hammered Trump over.
According to Clinton's 2015 tax returns, she reported capital gains losses to lessen her tax burden through a "carryover."
On page 17, "Capital Gains and Losses" for "William J Clinton & Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Clintons reported a "long-term capital loss carryover" of $699,540. In other words, Hillary Clinton reported a "net long-term capital gain or (loss)" of negative "$699,540."
During Sunday's debate clinton also falsely stated that Trump is "somebody who maybe hasn't paid federal income taxes in 20 years."
That statement is also false.
The Times admits that Trump's tax statements reveal that he may have avoided paying income taxes for "up to 18 years."
During Sunday night's presidential debate, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton denied that she was in office as Secretary of State when President Barack Obama refused to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against civilians after calling chemical weapons use a "red line" which could not be crossed.
"They had a chance to do something with Syria, and that was the line," Republican nominee Donald Trump said of his Democratic rival and the administration in which she worked. "You were there as Secretary of State with the so-called 'line in the sand.'"
"No, I wasn't, I was gone," Clinton replied.
Fact-Check: MOSTLY FALSE
President Obama delivered his famous "red line" speech – in which he described the use of chemical weapons against civilians by Assad as a "red line" that Assad could not cross without suffering serious international consequences – in August 2012.
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus,” President Obama said at the time.
Hillary Clinton served President Obama as Secretary of State from January 21, 2009 to February 1, 2013, according to the State Department. She was not in office when Assad used chemical weapons yet again in 2015, violating international law. The White House did not respond to Assad with any direct military retaliation.
Fact-Check: No, Hillary Clinton Was Not a Leader in Rallying Support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program
During the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton claimed to have had a leadership role in rallying bipartisan support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program with bipartisan, which was signed into law in 1998 by her husband, President Bill Clinton
Fact-Check: MOSTLY FALSE
Clinton has frequently made this claim on the campaign trail, so media organizations have already had an opportunity to vet it. In June, the Washington Post gave her copious benefit of the doubt for being in favor of the concept behind the bill, but if she played any role in winning congressional approval, it was “hidden” and “debatable.”
“By all accounts, the prime mover behind CHIP was the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). He was inspired by a similar Massachusetts program and then enlisted Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) as his partner in the effort. The idea was to fund children’s health care with money raised from taxes on tobacco products. Bill Clinton endorsed the idea in his 1997 State of the Union address but then backed off when it appeared that the concept would imperil budget talks with Republicans. With urging from the president, a Senate vote in May doomed the plan,” said the Washington Post fact-check.
Efforts to fact-check Hillary Clinton’s role in pushing the bill have produced conflicting accounts - which, in and of itself, refutes her claim of bold bipartisan leadership. If Clinton was the driving force behind getting Democrats and Republicans together on CHIP, rather than Kennedy and Hatch, there wouldn’t be any real dispute about her role.
Also, the accounts that do give her credit for helping with the bill are mostly words of appreciation from friendly Democrats, such as Kennedy’s office.
For example, a senior health adviser to Kennedy, Nick Littlefield, said of Clinton: “She wasn’t a legislator, she didn’t write the law, and she wasn’t the president, so she didn’t make the decisions. But we relied on her, worked with her and she was pivotal in encouraging the White House to do it.”
That encomium hardly supports Clinton’s claim of playing a leading role in rallying congressional support; she was, at best, useful for encouraging her husband’s White House to stick with the bill.
Clinton has occasionally claimed to have played a role in creating the CHIP legislation, a claim no knowledgeable contemporaneous source seems willing to support. More damningly, a 2008 review by the Boston Globe - fact-checking Clinton’s claims during her primary run against Barack Obama - found that Clinton “had little to do with crafting the landmark legislation or ushering it through Congress, according to several lawmakers, staffers, and healthcare advocates involved in the issue.”
Orrin Hatch himself said of Clinton, “I do like her. We all care about children. But does she deserve credit for SCHIP? No - Teddy does, but she doesn't.” (“Teddy” is a reference to Senator Ted Kennedy.)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton claimed that she apologized for calling half of Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables,” saying “within hours, I said that I was sorry about the way I talked about that.”
Clinton never apologized for the statement, despite what her running mate and other surrogates have claimed.
Here is her full statement after her remarks emerged in the media. Note that the words “sorry” and “apologize” do not appear in any form, and that she merely says she “regret[s]” using the term “half.” She doubled-down on the term “deplorable.”
Even the Huffington Post, openly hostile to Trump, said: “Clinton Stands By ‘Deplorables,’ But Walks Back The Basket Size A Bit.”
HuffPo noted that Clinton said: “I regret saying ‘half’ ― that was wrong.” But she did not apologize, and the reason she responded immediately was that she had been caught.
During the second presidential debate, Donald Trump said America is currently experiencing the “slowest economic growth since 1929.”
Fact-Check: MOSTLY FALSE
Trump made himself a victim of hyperbole with this statement. If he had said America was currently experiencing one of its slowest growth periods since 1929, he would have been entirely correct, but there have been a few slower periods - and, of course, a few outright recessions, or negative growth - since then.
It would be playing word games to argue that the recessions shouldn’t be counted, because they weren’t economic growth. Even so, it wouldn’t be correct to say the current growth rate is the absolute worst since 1929, although it is among the worst.
It has been argued that the post-2009 recovery was the weakest of the post-war era, and that Obama’s is the only presidency since the Great Depression that never reached 3% GDP growth, but that’s not what Trump said.
At the second presidential debate, while discussing the topic of energy, fossils fuels, and jobs, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton "wants to put all the miners out of business."
Clinton continued to explain that "we've got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don't want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on."
Ohio, a key battleground state, was the ninth largest coal producing state in 2013.
During Sunday night's presidential debate, the second of three such meetings, Republican nominee Donald Trump condemned his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama for refusing to use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" when discussing jihadist mass murders.
Responding to an audience question asking what he would do to diminish "Islamophobia," Trump noted that the United States has been targeted on multiple occasions in the past year by "radical Islamic terrorists. "And she," referring to Clinton, "won't even mention the word and nor will President Obama."
"He won't use the term, 'radical Islamic terrorism,'" he continued. "Now, to solve the problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name. She won't say the name and President Obama won't say the name."
In their coverage of Sunday night's debate, website Politifact noted that "Trump is right that Clinton and Obama prefer to avoid those words." While Clinton has, during the course of her campaign for president this year, claimed that she was comfortable saying "radical Islamism" (though not "radical Islamic terrorism") she has previously refused to use the term because "it sounds like we are declaring war against a religion."
President Obama has refused to describe jihadist attacks as radical Islamic terrorism because "terrorist organizations like al Qaeda or ISIL -- They have perverted and distorted and tried to claim the mantle of Islam for an excuse for basically barbarism and death."
A recent Breitbart/Gravis poll found that the issue of addressing jihadist attacks as "radical Islamic terrorism" is of particular concerns of Americans of Hispanic descent. 67.7 percent of Hispanic American respondents – more than any other ethnic group, including White Americans – in the September 20 poll agreed with the phrase “We must identify Islamic radical terrorism for what it is. You cannot defeat something if you cannot talk about it.”
During the second presidential debate, moderator Anderson Cooper asked Republican nominee Donald Trump: "In the days after the first debate, you sent out a series of tweets from 3 AM to 5 AM including one that told people to check out a sex tape. Is that the discipline of a good leader?"
“‘No, there wasn't 'check out a sex tape,’ It was just, take a look at the person she built up to be this wonderful Girl Scout who was no Girl Scout,” Trump replied.
Fact-Check: MOSTLY TRUE
Trump tweeted after the first presidential debate that voters should look into former Miss Universe Alicia Machado’s background and see she was not the angel the Clinton campaign painted her as:https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/781788223055994880 Trump tweeted, “Check out sex tape and past,” encouraging voters to look into Machado’s background, not watch her have sex on tape as she did on a reality show (which the media claimed wasn’t a “sex tape”), as she cheated on her then-fiancee for the camera.
Machado later had a child out of wedlock with one of Mexico’s most dangerous drug lords.
During the second presidential debate, Donald Trump said the United States has among the highest taxes in the world, and it’s hindering our economic growth.
Fact-Check: MOSTLY TRUE
Trump said the following:
We are going to be thriving again. We have no growth in this country. If China has a GDP of 7 percent, it's like a national catastrophe. We're down to 1 percent. And that's like no growth. We're going lower in my opinion. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that our taxes are so high. Just about the highest in the world. And I'm bringing them down to one of the lower in the world. And I think it's so important, one of the most important things we can do. But she is raising everybody's taxes massively.
“She,” of course, refers to Hillary Clinton. Trump was speaking in the context of his own plan to lower taxes to spur economic growth, versus Clinton’s plan to raise taxes.
Trump said U.S. GDP growth is “down to 1 percent.” In fact, GDP growth was originally reported as 1.1 percent for the second quarter of 2016, and later revised up to 1.4 percent. Trump’s statement is very close to the original number, and only a bit of an overstatement for the revised number.
As for Trump’s assessment of the U.S. as having “just about the highest” taxes in the world, he did leave himself a bit of wiggle room by saying “just about.” More importantly, to assess the truth of his statement, we must consider which taxes he’s talking about.
There are numerous countries with higher income tax rates - America is not even Top 10 on that score. But U.S. does have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world - currently the third highest, behind the United Arab Emirates and Puerto Rico. Given Puerto Rico’s unique status, it would be fair to say the United States has the second highest tax rate of any nation.
America’s top marginal corporate tax rate is 35%, while the world average is only 22.5%, and the European average is about 19%. Trump wants to dramatically reduce the U.S. rate to 15%.
Given the context of his remarks, it seems fair to assume he was talking about corporate tax rates when he said America’s were among the highest in the world, although he did not explicitly state that.
During the second presidential debate, Donald Trump said because of Obamacare, "health insurance and health care is going up."
According to the the Urban Institute, which examined the average Obamacare premium increases from 2015 to 2016, American consumers can expect to see major spikes in their healthcare costs.
Those people in Oklahoma, who bought their own low-cost exchange insurance plan, have seen their premiums rise 41.8 percent from 2015 to 2016. The increase was 38.6 percent in Tennessee, 25.8 in Minnesota, and 24.8 percent in Colorado.
Californians purchasing an Obamacare health exchange plan are looking at an average rate hike of 13.2 percent.
USA Today, which has not been complementary to Trump, admits that "many of next year's premium rate increases on the Affordable Care Act exchanges threaten to surpass the high and wildly fluctuating rates that characterized the individual insurance market before the health law took effect."