FactCheck.org http://www.factcheck.org A Project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center Sun, 24 Jul 2016 13:02:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 Clinton’s Greatest Hits http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/clintons-greatest-hits/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/clintons-greatest-hits/#comments Sun, 24 Jul 2016 13:02:45 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=110579 In advance of the Democratic National Convention, which begins July 25 in Philadelphia, we present a wrap-up of some of the more egregious falsehoods from Hillary Clinton, who is set to accept her party’s nomination for president later this week.

We focused on claims most relevant for the general election and those that Clinton has repeated, or that could likely be repeated by her or others this week. For more on each statement, follow the links to our full stories. And all of our articles on Clinton can be found here.

We posted an article on claims by Donald Trump, the GOP nominee for president, on July 17 in advance of the Republican convention in Cleveland.

Claims About Her Emails

The New York Times on March 2, 2015, reported that Clinton “exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state.” The emails were stored on a private server at her New York home. At the State Department’s request, Clinton turned over 30,490 work-related emails totaling roughly 55,000 pages, and deleted 31,830 emails she deemed personal. Clinton’s defense of her unusual email arrangements resulted in numerous false and misleading claims. 

Clinton said she “fully complied with every rule that I was governed by” in preserving her emails. But department policy says all “correspondence and memorandums on substantive U.S. foreign policy issues” should be retained “at the end of the Secretary’s tenure or sooner.” Clinton left office Feb. 1, 2013; she gave her emails to the department on Dec. 5, 2014. The department’s Office of Inspector General in a May 26 report confirmed that “Clinton should have surrendered all [work-related] emails” before leaving government and, by not doing so, “she did not comply” with the Federal Records Act.

Clinton claimed the “vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately” by the State Department. The department’s IG report said that is “not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a Federal record.”

Clinton has frequently remarked that her decision to use a personal email account exclusively for government business was “allowed” and “permitted” by the State Department. But the IG report cited department policies dating to 2005 that require “normal day-to-day operations” to be conducted on government servers. The IG report also said Clinton, who was secretary of state from January 2009 to February 2013, “had an obligation” to discuss her email system with security and information technology officials, but she did not and, if she had, the request would have been denied.

Clinton said “turning over my server” to the government shows “I have been as transparent as I could” about her emails. But she did so in August of 2015 after the FBI opened an investigation. Five months earlier, she rejected calls to turn over the server to a neutral party, saying “the server will remain private.”

Clinton has said that previous “secretaries of state” did the “same thing” in using personal emails for government business. But the State Department has said that only Colin Powell used a personal email account for official business, and Powell did not use a private server. In addition, the IG report said the rules governing personal email and the use of nongovernment systems were “considerably more detailed and more sophisticated” during Clinton’s tenure, making comparisons to her predecessors invalid. “Secretary Clinton’s cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives,” the report said.

“Clinton Spins Immigration, Emails,” July 8, 2015

“More Spin on Clinton’s Emails,” Sept. 8, 2015

“IG Report on Clinton’s Emails,” May 27, 2016

Clinton has repeatedly denied mishandling classified information. At a March 10, 2015, press conference, she said, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” But FBI Director James Comey said that the FBI found that about 2,000 of the 30,490 emails Clinton turned over to the State Department contained classified information, including 110 emails that contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. In addition, the FBI recovered “several thousand” emails that Clinton did not turn over to the State Department, including three that had classified material. Finally, Comey said three emails had “portion markings” that indicated the presence of classified information, although the State Department has since said that at least two of them were marked in error.

Clinton said her lawyers “went through every single email” on her private server to determine which ones were personal and which were work-related, and that they were “overly inclusive” in which ones were provided to the State Department. But Comey said the lawyers did not go through every email. Rather, they used header information and search terms to identify work-related emails, and, he said, it is “highly likely” they missed some.

“Clinton’s Handling of Classified Information,” July 5, 2016

“Revisiting Clinton and Classified Information,” July 7, 2016

Claims About Trump

Clinton has falsely claimed that Trump cited hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow when “asked about his foreign-policy experience.” She was referring to a Trump interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier. But Baier never asked Trump for an example of his foreign-policy experience. Baier asked Trump whether he had talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump refused to answer, and went on to say that “I know Russia well” because “I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago,” referring to the 2013 pageant. Clinton recently repeated the false claim, saying Trump “says he’s qualified to be commander in chief because he took Miss Universe to Moscow.”

“Pageants and Foreign Policy, ” June 10

“Groundhog Friday,” July 15

At a campaign rally in Kentucky, Clinton said that she “read” that Trump “said he wants to … abolish the VA.” That claim, which Clinton said she did not verify, was based on a Wall Street Journal article that said Trump’s campaign co-chair and chief policy adviser indicated that Trump “would likely push VA health care toward privatization and might move for it to become more of an insurance provider like Medicare rather than an integrated hospital system.” But the same policy adviser told the paper that Trump doesn’t “want to take away the veterans hospitals and the things that are working well.” In fact, in a speech last year, Trump said, “I don’t want to get rid of it,” when talking about the Department of Veterans Affairs and its health care system.

“Trump ‘Wants to Abolish VA’?” May 20

Clinton also went too far in a CBS News interview when she claimed that Trump said “we should pull out of NATO.” Trump has said that he would “certainly look at” pulling the United States out of the international security alliance because it is “obsolete” and “is costing us a fortune.” But Clinton’s campaign provided nothing indicating that Trump advocates pulling out now.

“What’s Trump’s Position on NATO?” May 11

In a speech criticizing Trump, Clinton again twisted the Republican nominee’s words when she claimed that he said “women will start making equal pay as soon as we do as good a job as men.” Trump doesn’t support equal pay legislation, but he has said that he believes in paying people based on performance rather than gender.

“Clinton’s Equal Pay Claim,” June 23

 Guns

Clinton, pushing for changes to background checks, falsely claimed that the FBI needed “just one more day” to stop Dylann Roof from being able to purchase the handgun that he allegedly used to kill nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. One more day wouldn’t have mattered in that case. The FBI director said that clerical errors led to Roof being able to legally purchase the gun in April 2015, and the FBI didn’t confirm that the sale shouldn’t have been allowed until after the shooting two months later.

“Clinton’s ‘Charleston Loophole’ Claim,” Feb. 18

 Health Care

Clinton, at a Democratic debate, claimed that private insurance premiums have “gone up so much” in some states that didn’t expand Medicaid because hospitals shifted their costs for providing emergency care for the uninsured. In doing so, she was singling out Republican-controlled states. But we found no evidence to support that claim, and experts disagree on whether such cost shifting occurs.

“Clinton’s Shaky Cost-Shifting Claim,” Dec. 23

A Clinton TV ad made the misleading claim that “in the last seven years drug prices have doubled.” To support that claim, her campaign cited a report that said brand-name drug prices, on average, have more than doubled in that time. But more than 80 percent of filled prescriptions are for generic drugs, the prices of which have declined by nearly 63 percent, according to the same report.

“Clinton’s Misleading Ad on Drug Prices,” Jan. 7

During another Democratic debate, Clinton defended the Affordable Care Act by saying, “We now have driven costs down to the lowest they’ve been in 50 years.” Instead of going down, costs have continued to increase, although at historically low rates. Also, economists say the cause of the slowdown was mainly the economy — not the actions of politicians or the Affordable Care Act.

“FactChecking the Fourth Democratic Debate,” Jan. 18

Clinton claimed a recent study showed “white middle-aged Americans without a high school education … are dying earlier than their parents and their grandparents.” The study found an increased mortality rate since 1999 among middle-aged white Americans with a high school degree or less — not just those without a high school education — and it made no comparisons with past generations. Princeton economist Angus Deaton, a co-author of that study, told us his work “doesn’t establish any of what she says.”

“FactChecking the MSNBC Democratic Forum,” Nov. 9

Economy

Clinton has continued to make variations of the false statement that “Americans haven’t had a raise in 15 years.” The latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show real average weekly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees have actually gone up 9 percent since January 2001.

“Groundhog Friday,” July 1

“FactChecking the Sixth Democratic Debate,” Feb. 12

Clinton has repeatedly made the claim that the U.S. economy does better when a Democratic president is in the White House, citing research by two Princeton economists who do not credit Democratic fiscal policies for the economic growth.

“Clinton: Economy Better Under Democrats,” Oct. 20

In addition, Clinton has often wrongly said that “the average American CEO makes 300 times more than the typical American worker.” Clinton was referring to a study that looked at pay disparity between CEOs and average workers only at the top 350 companies. That’s a small fraction of the 246,240 chief executives in the U.S., who, on average, earn far less than the average CEO at the biggest 350 firms.

“Clinton Misuses Stat on CEO Pay,” May 21

Wall Street

Arguing that she has been tough on Wall Street, Clinton falsely stated that she is “the only candidate” in the presidential campaign “on either side” who has been attacked in advertising funded by “Wall Street financiers and hedge fund managers.” Actually, several candidates have been the target of ads funded in part by those in the financial industry, and Trump appeared at that time to be the top target.

“Clinton Wrong About Wall Street Attacks,” April 5

Prior to that, Clinton said that “the Wall Street guys are trying so hard to stop me.” But Clinton and political action committees that support her have raised more than $39 million from Wall Street workers in the securities and investment industry, the most of any candidate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“FactChecking the MSNBC Democratic Debate,” Feb. 5

Clinton distorted the facts when she claimed Bernie Sanders “took about $200,000 from Wall Street firms” through the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The DSCC did provide about $200,000 to support Sanders’ 2006 Senate race, and the DSCC did receive about $10 million from the political action committees and employees of companies in two financial industries: securities and investment, and commercial banks. But the DSCC also received $2 million in that campaign cycle from Clinton’s PAC, Friends of Hillary. By Clinton’s logic, Sanders “took about $200,000″ from Friends of Hillary.

“Clinton’s Exaggerated Wall Street Claim,” Feb. 11

Science

Clinton was flat out wrong when she told a “Good Morning America” town hall participant that “you can’t do any research about” marijuana because it’s a Schedule I drug. That classification makes it difficult, but not impossible, to conduct research on the substance.

“Clinton on Marijuana Research,” April 22

Clinton was also off in another interview when she said late-term abortions “are because of medical necessity.” That gave the impression that most, if not all, late-term abortions are medically necessary. What little data that exist on the topic do not support her claim.

“Clinton Off on Late-Term Abortions,” Sept. 29

Foreign Policy

Clinton claimed that all government investigations into the terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi concluded that “nobody did anything wrong” at the State Department. But an independent board found “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels.” Four State Department employees were placed on administrative leave on the day the report came out, and all four were later reassigned. Also, a bipartisan Senate report said department officials ignored “increasingly dangerous threat assessments” that indicated the Benghazi facility was “particularly vulnerable.” That report said the department should have increased security or “closed or temporarily shut down” its Benghazi mission, calling the decision to leave the facility open “a grievous mistake.”

“Clinton and the Benghazi Reports,” Oct. 7

A TV ad from the Clinton campaign said that she was responsible for “securing a massive reduction in nuclear weapons” as secretary of state. That’s an overstatement. The agreement, known as New START, does not require the U.S. or Russia to destroy nuclear warheads or reduce their nuclear stockpile, nor does it place limits on short-range nuclear weapons. Besides, Russia was below the limit for deployed strategic, or long-range, nuclear warheads when the treaty took effect in 2011, and it has increased them since then.

“Clinton Overstates Nuclear Achievement,” April 27

And more than once, Clinton revised history when she claimed that she said she had “hoped” that the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be the “gold standard” of trade agreements. What Clinton originally said in 2012 was that “[t]his TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”

“FactChecking the Democratic Debate,” Oct. 14

— By D’Angelo Gore and Eugene Kiely, with the staff of FactCheck.org

Editor’s Note: D’Angelo Gore, Robert Farley and Eugene Kiely will be covering the Democratic convention in Philadelphia for FactCheck.org from July 25 to July 28. 

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Trump Defends Oswald Claim http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/trump-defends-oswald-claim/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/trump-defends-oswald-claim/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2016 21:38:22 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=111466 Donald Trump doubled down on his baseless insinuation that a photograph published by the National Enquirer shows Ted Cruz’s father with “crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast.”

A day after accepting the Republican presidential nomination, Trump touted the national tabloid as a credible source worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, and said the newspaper would not have run the photo if it was “wrong.” Moreover, Trump said, the Cruz camp “never denied” that it was Rafael Cruz in the photo with the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

That’s all nonsense.

As we wrote on May 3, the thinly sourced story hangs largely on comments from an expert who told the paper that a photo of an unidentified man handing out pro-Fidel Castro leaflets with Oswald has “more similarity than dissimilarity” with a passport photo of Cruz’s father, Rafael.

The photo expert, Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of ScanMyPhotos, a California-based digitizing photo service, was quoted in the Enquirer story — “Ted Cruz Father Linked to JFK Assassination!” — as saying, “[I]t looks to be the same person and I can say as much with a high degree of confidence.”

Note the parsing of words. He wasn’t saying with a high degree of certainty that it is Rafael Cruz. He’s saying with a high degree of certainty that it “looks to be the same person.”

Goldstone told us in a phone interview that he never claimed the man in the picture with Oswald was definitely Rafael Cruz, and he called Trump’s unqualified assertion that it is Cruz “stupid.” Goldstone said he compared, by eye, the photo of the unidentified man in the picture with Oswald with a passport photo of a young Rafael Cruz, and concluded “They look pretty close.”

That’s the thin reed upon which this story hangs.

Nonetheless, Trump proclaimed in a May 3 interview on “Fox and Friends” that Cruz’s “father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being, you know, shot! I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous … And nobody even brings it up. I mean, they don’t even talk about that, that was reported and nobody talks about it. But I think it’s horrible, I think it’s absolutely horrible, that a man can go and do that, what he’s saying there.”

Trump later added, “I mean what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald, shortly before the death – before the shooting? It’s horrible.”

The day after his controversial convention speech, Cruz said those comments by Trump played a role in his decision not to endorse Trump.

“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and who attack my father,” Cruz said.

The day after his convention speech, in remarks to supporters in Cleveland, Trump fired back at Cruz, saying, “I don’t want his endorsement. If he gives it, I will not accept it.” Trump then launched into a defense of an unflattering image of Cruz’s wife that Trump retweeted,  as well as his comments about Cruz’s father.

“All I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer, there’s a picture of him [Rafael Cruz] and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast,” Trump said. “I had nothing to do with it. This was a magazine that frankly in many respects, should be very respected. They got O.J. They got Edwards. They got this. I mean, if that was the New York Times, they would have gotten Pulitzer prizes for their reporting.”

Although Trump said the photo showed the two “having breakfast,” the picture in question actually shows Oswald distributing pro-Castro literature in New Orleans in August 1963, a few months prior to Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas. According to the Miami Herald, another man in the picture was never identified by the Warren Commission, whose investigation concluded Kennedy was assassinated by Oswald and that Oswald acted alone.

In his post-convention remarks, Trump said the whole issue “had nothing to do with me, except I might have pointed it out.” No “might” about it. Trump did “point it out” on national TV, and he definitively proclaimed the man in the picture to be Rafael Cruz, even though the text of the National Enquirer story doesn’t go quite that far.

Trump went on to say that neither Cruz nor anyone in his camp ever denied that it was Rafael Cruz in the photo.

“Now, Ted never denied that it was his father,” Trump said in his post-convention remarks, adding later, “But they never denied. Did anybody ever deny that it was the father? They’re not saying, ‘Oh, that’s not really my father.’ It’s little hard to do. It looks like him.”

In fact, they have.

“This is another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage,” Communications Director Alice Stewart told McClatchy. “The story is false; that is not Rafael in the picture.”

“It’s ludicrous, it’s ludicrous,” Rafael Cruz told ABC News on May 3. “I was never in New Orleans at that time.”

Ted Cruz dismissed the Enquirer story as “idiotic” and called Trump a “pathological liar” who is “utterly amoral” and a “bully.”

“Donald Trump alleges that my dad was involved in the assassinating JFK,” Cruz said. “Now, let’s be clear, this is nuts. This is not a responsible position. This is just kooky.”

As for Trump’s claim that the unidentified man in the photo with Oswald “looks like” Rafael Cruz, experts told us not to put much stock in that kind of assessment.

Anil Jain, a computer scientist and expert on facial recognition and biometric identification at Michigan State University, told us the images are of a poor quality, black and white, and grainy, and that “It would be very difficult, even for a photo expert, to extract facial attributes.” Any conclusion about similarities is subjective, he said.

So to sum up: despite Trump’s claim to the contrary, the Cruz campaign categorically denied that it is Rafael Cruz in the photo. And Ted Cruz called the Enquirer story “nuts.” And there is still no evidence — at all — that the man in the photo with Oswald is Rafael Cruz.

https://www.sharethefacts.co/share/9a194e4c-4486-4024-8e6d-d94124b8932f

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FactChecking Trump’s Big Speech http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/factchecking-trumps-big-speech/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/factchecking-trumps-big-speech/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2016 08:02:32 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=111401 Summary

CLEVELAND — In accepting his party’s nomination for president, Donald Trump said “here, at our convention, there will be no lies.” But we found plenty of instances where Trump twisted facts or made false claims.

  • Trump said after Clinton’s four years as secretary of state, “Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons.” But Iran was already on a path to acquiring nuclear weapons. At issue is whether the nuclear deal will prevent Iran, as intended, from becoming a nuclear power.
  • He also blamed Clinton for the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. But Clinton and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates both urged President Obama not to be quick to abandon support for Mubarak.
  • Trump claimed Clinton “plans a massive … tax increase,” but tax experts say 95 percent of taxpayers would see “little or no change” in their taxes under Clinton’s plan.
  • He correctly noted a 17 percent increase in homicides in the 50 largest cities from 2014 to 2015, but called it a reversal after a decades-long decline in crime. Experts say that’s not enough data to draw conclusions about a trend.
  • Trump claimed Clinton “illegally” stored emails on her private server while secretary of state, and deleted 33,000 to cover-up “her crime.” But the FBI cleared Clinton of criminal wrongdoing, and found no evidence of a cover-up.
  • Trump said that “there’s no way to screen” Syrian refugees to determine “who they are or where they come from.” But all refugees admitted to the U.S. go through an extensive vetting process that takes 18 to 24 months to complete.
  • He said the “trade deficit in goods … is $800 billion last year alone.” It was nearly that, but it discounts the services the U.S. exports. The total trade deficit for goods and services is just over $500 billion.
  • Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, also spoke, and he erroneously claimed that the Iran nuclear deal “lined the pockets of the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism with your money.” The assets that were unfrozen by the deal weren’t held by the U.S. government.

That’s not all: Trump made other factual errors and omissions on NAFTA, Libya, household income, government regulation and the Affordable Care Act.

Note to Readers

Our managing editor, Lori Robertson, is on the scene in Cleveland. This story was written with the help of the entire staff, based in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Next week, we will dispatch our staffers in Philadelphia for the Democratic convention. We intend to vet the major speeches at both conventions for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.

Analysis

Foreign Policy Flubs

Trump criticized Hillary Clinton’s performance as secretary of state, contrasting the state of foreign affairs now with what they were like “pre-Hillary,” as he called it:

  • Trump said, “Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons.” But Iran was already on a path to nuclear weapons before Clinton became secretary of state in January 2009. 
  • Trump also said, “Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood.” True, but it was through an election after an uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. Clinton and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates both wrote that they urged President Obama not to be quick to abandon support for Mubarak.

The disagreement between Trump and Clinton on Iran’s nuclear ambitions is over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is designed to lengthen the so-called “breakout” time — the amount of time that it takes to assemble a bomb.

Prior to the agreement, the breakout time was thought to be months, but now it is more than a year for at least 10 years, as the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service explains in its May report “Iran Nuclear Agreement.”

However, critics, such the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, say that delay is only temporary — a position shared by Trump and many Republicans.

“While the agreement lengthens Iran’s breakout time today, restrictions on Iran’s program begin to lift within a decade,” AIPAC said earlier this month to mark the one-year anniversary of the deal. “After 15 years Iran will be a nuclear-threshold state: no restrictions will remain on the number or type of centrifuges Iran will be able to install or the number of enrichment facilities it can build.”

But Iran was on a path to a nuclear weapon before Obama took office. The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency has been concerned since 2002 about what it called the “possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.”

In a Nov. 8, 2011, report, the IAEA reported, “Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency has regularly received new information.”

In November 2008, the New York Times reported that Iran had enough nuclear material to make a bomb, citing expert analysis of a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The issue now is how that path has been altered, for better or worse, by the Iran nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration and supported by Clinton (who left the State Department in February 2013, more than two years before the Iran deal was struck).

As for Egypt, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected president of Egypt. That was a year after citizen protests forced longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign from office. A year after his election as president, Morsi was then overthrown by the Egyptian military and replaced by interim president Adly Mansour, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court. Current Egyptian Presdident, Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, was elected to that office a year later.

In his book “Duty,” Gates was critical of Obama for being too quick to abandon support for Mubarak — a point also made by Clinton in her book “Hard Choices.”

In an interview last May to discuss his book, Gates said of Clinton: “I think that we certainly agreed in terms of how to deal with the very first phases of — of the Arab Spring, and, particularly, disagreeing with the President on how to handle Mubarak.”

Tax Overreach

Trump claimed that Clinton “plans a massive — and I mean massive — tax increase.” But experts say 95 percent of taxpayers would see “little or no change”  in their taxes under Clinton’s plan.

Meanwhile, Trump boasted that under his tax plan, “middle-income Americans will experience profound relief.” Experts say Americans at all income levels would see their taxes reduced under Trump’s plan, but the biggest cuts — both in raw dollars and as a percentage of income — would go to the wealthiest Americans.

Trump: While Hillary Clinton plans a massive — and I mean massive — tax increase, I have proposed the largest tax reduction of any candidate who has run for president this year – Democrat or Republican. Middle-income Americans and businesses will experience profound relief, and taxes will be simplified for everyone.

It’s accurate to say that Clinton has proposed tax increases, for some. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center concluded that the sum of Clinton’s proposed tax changes — including changes to both individual and business taxes — would increase revenue by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. But almost all of the higher taxes would fall the top earners.

“Nearly all of the tax increases would fall on the top 1 percent; the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers would see little or no change in their taxes,” the Tax Policy Center concluded. In fact, the Tax Policy Center wrote, the “top 1 percent of households would pay more than three-fourths of Clinton’s total tax increases.”

The Tax Foundation reached a similar conclusion about Clinton’s tax plan. By the Tax Foundation’s calculation, Clinton’s tax plan would increase revenues by nearly $500 billion over the next decade, but only by $191 billion when accounting for the plan’s overall economic effect.

“The largest sources of revenue in the plan are the new taxes targeted at high-income taxpayers,” wrote the Tax Foundation, which analyzed the plan’s impact with (dynamic) and without (static) taking into account the expected effect on the economy.

Tax Foundation: On a static basis, Clinton’s tax plan would only reduce the after-tax incomes of top-income taxpayers. Those in the top 10 percent would see a reduction in income of 0.7 percent. The top 1 percent of all taxpayers would see a 1.7 percent reduction in after-tax income.

On a dynamic basis, the plan would reduce after-tax incomes by an average of 1.3 percent. All deciles would see a reduction in after-tax income of at least 0.9 percent over the long-term. Taxpayers that fall in the bottom nine deciles would see their after-tax incomes decline by between 0.9 and 1 percent. The top 10 percent of taxpayers would see a reduction in after-tax income of 1.7 percent. The top 1 percent of all taxpayers would see the largest decline in after-tax income: 2.7 percent.

Trump is correct that he has called for substantial tax cuts — deeper than any of the other presidential candidates — that would result in lower taxes at all income levels.  But the biggest cuts would come for the wealthiest taxpayers, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation.

“Mr. Trump’s plan would cut taxes by $11.98 trillion over the next decade on a static basis,” the Tax Foundation stated.

Tax Foundation: Taxpayers in the bottom deciles (the 0-10 and 10-20 percent deciles), would see increases in after-tax adjusted gross income (AGI) of 1.4 and 0.6 percent, respectively. Middle-income taxpayers with incomes that fall within the 30th to 80th percentiles would see larger increases in their after-tax AGI, of between 3.0 and 8.3 percent. Taxpayers with incomes that fall in the highest income class (the 90-100 percent decile) would see an increase in after-tax income of 14.6 percent. The top 1 percent of all taxpayers would see a 21.6 percent increase in after-tax income.

While the tax cuts are undeniably large, the Tax Foundation cautioned that the loss in revenue — even with expected benefits to the economy — would “increase the federal government’s deficit by over $10 trillion” over 10 years.

And More on Taxes …

Like his son Eric claimed on Day 3 of the RNC, Trump said, “America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” The U.S. has one of the highest business tax rates, but for personal taxes, the U.S. ranked in the bottom half among industrialized nations.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the U.S. came in at 27th out of 30 industrialized countries in tax revenue as a percentage of GDP in 2014. Denmark (50.9 percent), France (45.2 percent) and Belgium (44.7 percent) were the three highest taxed countries. The U.S. figure, 26 percent, was well below the OECD average.

The U.S. also ranked 17th out of 29 industrialized countries when it came to tax revenue per capita, according to the OECD. The top three were Luxembourg ($49,911), Norway ($38,016) and Denmark ($31,054). In the U.S., the tax revenue per capita in 2014 was $14,204.

As for corporate tax rates, the U.S. does, in fact, have the highest statutory tax rate among industrialized nations. And it was second to France among industrialized nations when considering the marginal effective tax rate, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation.

Not a Reversal in Crime Trend

Trump was correct to say that “homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities,” but criminology and statistics experts disagree with his conclusion that a one-year increase in some cities means that “decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed.”

Trump: Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s 50 largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.

The figures are correct for 2014 to 2015, though technically, 36 cities had an increase in murders and 13 had a decrease. As we’ve written before, law enforcement officials are concerned about the uptick, but far from ready to declare this a “reversal” of a long decline in murders and violent crime, since those figures peaked, both in cities and nationwide, in the early 1990s.

Darrel Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, told us in an email that it was “too soon to talk about trends.” Stephens said there had been “a spike in the past year in some large cities (particularly in five or six) — something we should be concerned about to be sure but not a trend or even close to 20 years ago.”

Richard A. Berk, professor of criminology and statistics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, told us, “Snapshots are not trends. And two or three years of data are far too few to establish a trend.”

It’s difficult to know what is causing the increases in some cities, he said. “In LA, for example, the number of shootings has been flat but the number of homicides has jumped,” Berk said. “Are the bad guys becoming better marksmen?”

Similarly, when the Washington Post wrote about the 2014-to-2015 increase in major cities, it said that experts were concerned but said “it’s too early to know what caused the change, or whether it will endure.” Franklin Zimring, a criminologist at the University of California at Berkeley, told the Post, “There’s no national pattern.”

We took a longer view of what has happened in some major cities, compiling the FBI city-specific data, which comes from voluntary reports from police departments, available through 2012, and 2015 numbers reported by police departments to the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association. Every city shows a big drop in the number of murders since the 1990s, and mixed movement from 2012 to 2015.

Murders in Major Cities Chart

Clinton Emails and the Law

Trump twisted the facts when he said that Clinton “illegally” stored emails on her private server while secretary of state, and deleted 33,000 of them “so the authorities can’t see her crime.” The FBI on July 5 cleared Clinton of wrongdoing, and found no evidence of a cover-up.

Trump: And when a secretary of state illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence – I know that corruption has reached a level like never before.

A quick recap of the facts: Clinton exclusively used personal email for government business, and stored those emails on her private server. The FBI investigated whether “classified information was improperly stored or transmitted” on Clinton’s server in violation of federal law, as FBI Director James Comey explained on July 5.

But Comey said the facts of the case did not warrant criminal charges. “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” he said.

As for Trump’s reference to 33,000 deleted emails, Clinton in 2014 turned over 30,490 work-related emails to the State Department in 2014, and destroyed 31,830 emails she deemed private and personal. The FBI “discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton” to the State Department.

It is a crime to intentionally destroy government records. However, Comey said the FBI “found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

See our item “A Guide to Clinton’s Emails” for more information.

Refugee Exaggerations

While criticizing Hillary Clinton’s support for admitting more Syrian refugees to the U.S., Trump said that “there’s no way to screen” those refugees to determine “who they are or where they come from.” That’s false. All refugees admitted to the U.S. go through an extensive vetting process that involves multiple federal agencies and can take up to 24 months to complete.

Trump: My opponent has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people.

The Obama administration pledged to admit up to 10,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016 (ending Sept. 30), and Clinton has said that the U.S. should increase that number to 65,000. However, Clinton said the U.S. should increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted “only if we have as careful a screening and vetting process as we can imagine.”

The current process for admitting a refugee to the U.S. is very lengthy. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or sometimes a U.S. embassy, refers a qualified refugee for resettlement in the U.S. After that, there’s an initial multistep security clearance, including the collection of the refugee’s personal data and background information. That is followed by an in-person interview abroad with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which has to approve the application. The security clearance involves checking the refugee’s name and fingerprints against several government databases. That’s followed by a medical screening and a pairing with one of the voluntary agencies in the U.S. that sponsors refugees. And, finally, there’s another security clearance to check for any new information. That completes the process.

According to the State Department, the total process from the UNHCR referral to finally being admitted into the U.S. takes 18 to 24 months on average.

And while it may be the case that some Syrian refugees lack the documentation necessary to identify them, that is not the case for everyone. At an October 2015 Senate subcommittee hearing on refugee resettlement, Barbara Strack, chief of the refugee affairs division of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said that Syrian refugees tend to have “many, many documents.”

Trade Deficit Cherry-Picking

Trump also used a bit of cherry-picking when he said, “Our trade deficit in goods reached nearly — think of this, think of this — our trade deficit is $800 billion … last year alone.”

The important word here is “goods.” The total trade deficit, counting both goods and services, is smaller.

Official figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show the value of goods that the U.S. imported was $763 billion (not $800 billion) more than the value of goods it exported. However, the U.S. does well when it comes to exporting services, including travel, education and intellectual property such as software. The U.S. imported $262 billion less in services than it exported — creating a positive balance in that column.

Overall, the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services was just over $500 billion last year.

And another fact Trump didn’t mention — that figure peaked a decade ago. The overall trade deficit reached its high in 2006, and last year’s figure was 34 percent lower.

And as we reported earlier this month, the downward trend is continuing in 2016.

During the first five months of this year, the trade deficit has shrunk further, down 3.5 percent compared with the same period in 2015.

Clinton’s Role in NAFTA

Trump said: “Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country.” Actually, the North American Free Trade Agreement Trump was negotiated and signed by President George H.W. Bush. President Clinton signed the legislation to implement the agreement.

As we noted when Trump made the same claim last month, Republicans played an important role in the passage of the NAFTA bill. The Senate passed the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, 61-38, on Nov. 20, 1993, with 34 Republican votes, and the House passed it three days earlier, 234-200, with 132 Republican votes.

Trump On Libya Regime Change

Trump criticized Clinton for her “failed policy of nation-building and regime change” and he counted Libya among them. Left unsaid was that Trump also supported the military ouster of Moammar Gadhafi at that time.

Trump: We must abandon the failed policy of nation-building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, in Egypt, and Syria.

But as Sen. Ted Cruz pointed out at a Republican debate in February, Trump also supported regime change in Libya at the time. Although Trump denied it in the debate, Trump said in 2011 that the U.S. should go into Libya “on a humanitarian basis” and “knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively and save the lives.”

Trump made that comment in a video posted to his YouTube channel in February 2011:

Trump, Feb. 28, 2011: I can’t believe what our country is doing. Gadhafi, in Libya, is killing thousands of people. Nobody knows how bad it is and we’re sitting around. We have soldiers all over the Middle East and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage. And that’s what it is, a carnage. … Now we should go in. We should stop this guy which would be very easy and very quick. We could do it surgically, stop him from doing it and save these lives. This is absolute nuts. We don’t want to get involved and you’re going to end up with something like you’ve never seen before. Now, ultimately the people will appreciate it and they’re going to end up taking over the country eventually. But the people will appreciate it and they should pay us back. But we have to go in to save these lives. These people are being slaughtered like animals. … We should do it on a humanitarian basis. Immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively and save the lives.

Household Income

Trump used an often-cited but outdated figure when he said, “Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000 — that’s 16 years ago.” Actually, incomes have been rising lately.

Trump was speaking of incomes in 2014. According to the Census Bureau’s annual figures, the median household income in 2014 was $53,657. And in 2000, the “real” income (adjusted for inflation, and stated in 2014 dollars) had been $57,724.

That indeed is a difference of $4,067. But the notion of a 16-year decline is misleading. What Trump failed to mention is that in 2014, real median household income had already risen by $1,052 since hitting a recession-driven low in 2012.

Furthermore, a lot has happened since 2014. As we’ve often reported, more timely measures show paychecks rising faster than inflation — especially in the past two years. The most recent report on average weekly earnings for all workers in June was 3.1 percent above the figure for the same month in 2014.

Choosing Your Doctor

Trump used a popular false talking point about the Affordable Care Act when he said that he’d repeal it and “you will be able to choose your own doctor again.” The law didn’t take away the ability to choose a doctor, as we’ve said before.

The ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, expanded Medicaid but also expanded private insurance coverage. And as most Americans know — since 55 percent have private insurance — the insurers usually have a network of doctors to choose from. The ACA didn’t change that.

We often have heard another version of this claim, asserting that the government was coming between you and your doctor, but, again, the ACA didn’t come close to establishing a government-run system like Britain or Canada have.

Regulation Repeat

Trump repeated an overstatement on the costs of regulation — a claim we heard on the second day of the convention from Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. Trump said that “excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year,” but that figure comes from a conservative group’s admitted “back-of-the-envelope” calculation and is an estimate of regulatory costs that does not include potential savings.

The calculation comes from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a staunch opponent of government over-regulation. In the report, “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State,” author Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. calculates the 2013 cost of federal regulatory compliance at nearly $1.9 trillion.

That figure is based on the Office of Management and Budget’s annual reports to Congress on the benefits and costs of federal regulation. The problem is that the Competitive Enterprise report focused on the “costs” and ignored the “benefits” listed in those reports. That tells only half the story.

For more on this topic, check out our 2015 CPAC article where we examined a similar claim from Rick Perry.

Priebus: Iran’s Frozen Assets

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, erroneously claimed that the Iran nuclear deal “lined the pockets of the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism with your money.” Your money? No.

The assets unfrozen as part of the deal with Iran were not held by the U.S. government. They were Iranian assets held mostly by financial institutions in countries outside the U.S., and were frozen due to the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and other countries. So Priebus was wrong to characterize to an American audience that the unfrozen assets were “your money.” It was never the United States’ money, nor were the assets even controlled by the U.S. government.

Priebus’ error mirrors the fundamental misunderstanding that underpinned Trump’s fanciful recounting in recent weeks of how he would have negotiated a tougher nuclear agreement with Iran.

In one speech, Trump said he would have told Iranian officials that “we don’t have the money” to pay back Iran, because of a “bad budget” and large U.S. debt. “I’m not gonna be able to give you the $150 billion back,” Trump said he would have told Iranian officials. “I can’t do it.” A week later, Trump laid out a similar hypothetical negotiation with Iran, saying the U.S. “should’ve never given [Iran] back the $150 billion,” and that he would have told the country, ” We don’t have it, I’m sorry.” As a result, he said, “We would’ve saved $150 billion.”

Again, the money was never the United States’ to “give back.” And so keeping those assets frozen would not have “saved” American taxpayers anything.

Trump was more careful with his wording in his convention speech, saying only that the Iran deal “gave back to Iran $150 billion.” The deal did result in Iran gaining access to tens of billions in frozen assets. However, experts told us the $150 billion figure is inflated.

Richard Nephew, a sanctions expert who was on the State Department team negotiating with Iran, told us the “total amount of foreign-held assets was probably something closer to $100 billion.”

Nader Habibi, a professor of economics at Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies, told us the amount received by Iran is even lower than that.

“Based on my research the total amount of Iran’s assets that were released as a result of the nuclear agreement were between $25 billion to $50 billion,” said Habibi, who detailed that calculation in an article for The Conversation, a site that publishes articles from academic and research experts.

Clinton and Trump on Debt

Priebus also said that “a Clinton presidency only means more debt.” Yes, but Clinton’s plan would result in a “relatively small” increase in the debt, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. On the other hand, the group found that Trump’s tax and spending plan would cause a “massive increase” in the debt.

“Our national debt is at post-war record-high levels and projected to grow unsustainably,” wrote Marc Goldwein, senior policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “And neither former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nor businessman Donald Trump would reverse course — Trump, in fact, would make our debt dramatically worse.”

Clinton has proposed $1.45 trillion in new spending — mostly on infrastructure, paid leave and education proposals — according to a June 27 report by CRFB called “Promises and Price Tags.” But that new spending is largely offset by $1.2 trillion in new revenue from proposed tax increases for the wealthiest Americans. So, the report concludes, Clinton would increase the debt by $250 million by 2026.

However, the group found that Trump’s tax plan would result in $10.5 trillion less in tax revenues, which would be partially offset by $650 billion less in primary spending. Together with $1.7 trillion in higher interest costs, the report concludes that the sum of Trump’s policies would increase the debt by $11.5 trillion over 10 years.

Goldwein noted that the estimates are “subject to uncertainty.” But, he said, “there does not seem to be a plausible path for either candidate to put the debt on a sustainable path without modifying or adding to their plans.” And, he said, neither can get there “simply by growing the economy.”

Update, July 23: This story was updated to add that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was replaced by interim president Adly Mansour prior to the election of Abdul Fattah el-Sisi.

— Lori Robertson, with Eugene Kiely, Brooks Jackson, Robert Farley, D’Angelo Gore, Zachary Gross, Caroline Wallace, Sydney Schaedel and Jenna Wang

Sources

FactCheck.org. “FactChecking the 10th GOP Debate.” 26 Feb 2016.

YouTube.com. “From The Desk Of Donald Trump.” 28 Feb 2011.

Habibi, Nader. “Iran’s frozen funds: how much is really there and how will they be used?” The Conversation. 11 Aug 2015.

Farley, Robert. “Trump’s Fanciful Iran Negotiation.” FactCheck.org. 8 Jul 2016.

Auxier, Richard, Burman, et al. “Research Report: An Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals.” Tax Policy Center. 3 Mar 2016.

Pomerleau, Kyle and Schuyler, Michael. “Details and Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals.” Tax Foundation. 26 Jan 2016.

Tax Foundation. “A Comparison of Presidential Tax Plans and Their Economic Effects.” Accessed 21 Jul 2016.

Kiely, Eugene, et al. “Donald Trump on Orlando Shooting.” FactCheck.org. 21 June 2016.

Washington Post. “The CBS Democratic debate transcript, annotated.” 15 Nov 2015.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. “Security Screening of Refugees Admitted to the United States: A Detailed, Rigorous Process.” Accessed 14 Jun 2016.

U.S. Department of State. Background Briefing on Refugee Screening and Admissions. 17 Nov 2015.

Kirkpatrick, David. “Named Egypt’s Winner, Islamist Makes History.” New York Times. 24 Jun 2012.

Kirkpatrick, David. “Army Ousts Egypt’s President; Morsi Is Taken Into Military Custody.” New York Times. 3 Jul 2013.

Kirkpatrick, David. “Egypt Erupts in Jubilation as Mubarak Steps Down.” New York Times. 11 Feb 2011.

U.S. Census Bureau. “U.S. Trade in Goods and Services – Balance of Payments (BOP) Basis.” 4 Mar 2016.

U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Economic Affairs. “Table 1. U.S. International Transactions: Exports of Goods and Services.” 16 Jun 2016.

U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Economic Affairs. “Table 1. U.S. International Transactions: Imports of Goods and Services.” 16 Jun 2016.

U.S. Census Bureau. “U.S. International Trade In Goods And Services, May 2016.” News Release. 6 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census Bureau. Real Median Household Income in the United States, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Accessed 21 Jul 2016.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National); Average Weekly Earnings of All Employees, 1982-1984 Dollars.” Data extracted 22 Jul 2016.

Federal Bureau Investigation. “Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System.” 5 Jul 2016.

Kiely, Eugene. “A Guide to Clinton’s Emails.” FactCheck.org. 5 Jul 2016.

U.S. State Department. “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.” Undated. Accessed 22 Jul 2016.

Congressional Research Service. “Iran Nuclear Agreement.” 31 May 2016.

American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “Taking Stock: The Iran Deal One Year Later.” 12 Jul 2016.

International Atomic Energy Agency. “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”  8 Nov 2011.

Broad, William J. and David E. Sanger. “Iran Said to Have Nuclear Fuel for One Weapon.” New York Times. 19 Nov 2008.

Mullen, Jethro and Nic Robertson. “Landmark deal reached on Iran nuclear program.” CNN. 14 Jul 2015.

Solomon, Jay. “Hillary Clinton: 6 Mistakes the White House Made.” Wall Street Journal. 10 Jun 2014.Landler, Mark. “White House, in Gates’s Telling, Restrained Clinton.” New York Times. 10 Jan 2014.

CBS News. “Face The Nation Transcript May 17, 2015: Walker, Nunes, Gates.” Transcript. 17 May 2015.

Ehrenfreund, Max and Denise Lu. “More people were murdered last year than in 2014, and no one’s sure why.” Washington Post. 27 Jan 2016.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics. Large Local Agency Reported Crime by Locality (city, county). Accessed 18 Jul 2016.

Major Cities Chiefs Police Association. Violent Crime Survey – Totals. Comparison between 2015 and 2014. 30 Jan 2016.

Robertson, Lori. “Dueling Claims on Crime Trend.” FactCheck.org. 13 Jul 2016.

Kiely, Eugene, Robert Farley and D’Angelo Gore. “Donald Trump on Orlando Shooting.” FactCheck.org. 21 June 2016.

Washington Post. “The CBS Democratic debate transcript, annotated.” 15 Nov 2015.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. “Security Screening of Refugees Admitted to the United States: A Detailed, Rigorous Process.” Accessed 14 Jun 2016.

U.S. Department of State. Background Briefing on Refugee Screening and Admissions. 17 Nov 2015.

Robertson, Lori. “False Assumptions on the Health Care Law.” FactCheck.org. 11 Jul 2013.

Robertson, Lori. “Romney, Obama Uphold Health Care Falsehoods.” FactCheck.org. 28 Jun 2012.

Kaiser Family Foundation. Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population (2014). Accessed 21 Jul 2016.

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Pence on Employment Record http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/pence-on-employment-record/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/pence-on-employment-record/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:45:49 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=111210 Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana claimed his “common-sense Republican leadership” is responsible for record employment in his state.

But, in fact, Indiana’s job growth has lagged slightly behind the national trend in Pence’s three-and-a-half years as governor.

Furthermore, several states with Democratic governors have grown jobs faster during that time.

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee said:

Pence, July 20: We have fewer state employees than when I took office, and businesses large and small have created nearly 150,000 new jobs, and there’s more Hoosiers going to work than ever before. That is what you can do with common-sense Republican leadership.

Sounds great — but let’s look at the evidence.

We dealt with other Pence claims about Indiana in our Day 3 convention story. Here we will focus on his claim that there are “more Hoosiers going to work than ever before,” and that “Republican leadership” is the reason.

It’s true that there were more people employed in Indiana in May than at any earlier period on record. Total nonfarm employment in the state has jumped 150,900 — or 5.2 percent — since Pence first took office on Jan. 14, 2013.

But that’s actually not unusual; total U.S. employment grew even faster — by 6.4 percent — during the same period.

And U.S. employment is also at record levels, but so is the total U.S. population. Given that population rises steadily, setting a new record every month, it would be unusual if employment were not at a record level also.

In fact, a check of employment figures for all 50 states and the District of Columbia reveals that only 18 states have failed to set a record for the number of jobs this year.

‘Republican Leadership’

We also looked at the experience of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to see if Indiana stood out, or if there was some connection between Republican governors and job gains. It didn’t, and there wasn’t.

In fact, several states with Democratic governors have had faster job growth than Indiana.

Since January 2013, California’s employment has grown by 9.6 percent; Colorado has gained 10.4 percent; Oregon also has grown 10.6 percent; Delaware’s jobs are up by 8.4 percent, and Hawaii employment has gained 6.5 percent.

Also, some states with conservative Republican governors have lagged even further behind the national trend than Indiana. Alabama’s job growth during this time was 4.0 percent; Mississippi’s was 3.3 percent; Oklahoma’s was 2.4 percent; and North Dakota eked out only a 0.5 percent gain.

Looking at the 18 states that have not set records for employment, 13 had Republican governors for the entire period since Pence took office, and three changed party control during that time, based on National Governors Association party affiliation data for 2013 to 2016.

One, Connecticut, had a Democratic governor for the entire time. And one, Rhode Island, began the time with ex-Republican Lincoln Chafee in office. He was elected as an independent and declared himself a Democrat in May 2013, soon after Pence took office.

In short, we find no correlation between the party holding a state’s governor’s mansion, and the growth of jobs.

In North Dakota’s case, employment has actually gone down by 6.1 percent since peaking at the end of 2014. The reason is that the oil-drilling boom there turned into a bust after a glut of oil forced prices down. But that just shows how easily economic factors can overwhelm any influence a governor may or may not have on job creation, regardless of party.

https://www.sharethefacts.co/share/84c63517-bea8-41fb-972c-fd0f7ec65ed4

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Video: Day 3 of the Convention http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/video-day-3-of-the-convention/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/video-day-3-of-the-convention/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2016 23:10:31 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=111316 CLEVELAND — FactCheck.org’s Lori Robertson talks with USA Today‘s Paul Singer about claims made during the third day of the Republican National Convention. The video can be found here.

Robertson and Singer discussed these statements:

  • Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said that “nearly 150,000 new jobs” were created in Indiana during his time as governor. That’s true, but 20 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates of job growth during the same time period.
  • Eric Trump, echoing a claim his father has made, said that the U.S. is “one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” But U.S. personal taxes aren’t even in the top ten among industrialized nations. The U.S. has one of the highest business tax rates.
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott claimed the U.S. has “world-record high debt” — it ranks 39th out of 178 nations in terms of debt as a percentage of GDP, economists’ preferred measure.
  • Pence said “we cannot have four more years of apologizing to our enemies,” an old claim from Mitt Romney in 2012 that Obama apologized to other countries. But we read through all the speeches in question and found none rose to the level of an apology.

See our full story, “FactChecking Day 3 of the GOP Convention,” for more on these and other claims from the speakers.

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FactChecking Day 3 of the GOP Convention http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/factchecking-day-3-of-the-gop-convention/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/factchecking-day-3-of-the-gop-convention/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:13:28 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=111246 Summary

CLEVELAND — On the third night of the Republican convention, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence accepted his party’s nomination for vice president, and Sen. Ted Cruz rejected calls to endorse the GOP ticket. But Pence and Cruz had one thing in common: They and other speakers distorted the facts.

  • Vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said that Hillary Clinton’s “only answer” to the debt “is to keep borrowing and spending.” But the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that Trump’s tax and spending plan would cause a “massive increase” in the debt, while Clinton’s plan would result in a “relatively small”  increase.
  • Pence said “we cannot have four more years of apologizing to our enemies,” an old claim from 2012 that Obama apologized to other countries. But we read through all the speeches in question and found none rose to the level of an apology.
  • Pence said that “nearly 150,000 new jobs” were created in Indiana during his governorship. True, but 20 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates of job growth during the same time period.
  • Eric Trump claimed that the U.S. is “one of the highest-taxed nations in the world,” but U.S. personal taxes aren’t even in the top ten among industrialized nations. The U.S. has one of the highest business tax rates.
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott claimed the U.S. has “world-record high debt” — it actually ranks 39th out of 178 nations in terms of debt as a percentage of GDP. And he said the U.S. economy is “not growing,” when it is.
  • Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm wrongly said that “America now has more oil than Saudi Arabia or Russia.” The U.S. is now producing more petroleum, but the other two countries have much larger proved crude oil reserves.
  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz claimed Iran had “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” holidays. It doesn’t have such named holidays, but demonstrators are known to chant those messages on certain occasions.
  • Both Cruz and Pence took a Hillary Clinton quote on the Benghazi terrorist attacks out of context, leaving the false impression that she didn’t care about the deaths of four Americans.
  • Pastor Darrell Scott falsely claimed that there was “higher minority unemployment” under President Obama, when, in fact, the unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanics and Asians were all down.

Note to Readers

Our managing editor, Lori Robertson, is on the scene in Cleveland. This story was written with the help of the entire staff, based in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Next week, we will dispatch our staffers in Philadelphia for the Democratic convention. We intend to vet the major speeches at both conventions for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.

Analysis

Pence on Clinton ‘Borrowing and Spending’

In accepting the nomination, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said that as the “national debt has nearly doubled in these eight years” under Obama, Hillary Clinton’s “only answer is to keep borrowing and spending.” An analysis by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget concluded that Clinton’s tax and spending plans would result in a “relatively small”  increase to the nation’s debt, while Trump’s plan would result in a “massive increase” to the debt.

Pence is correct about the debt nearly doubling under Obama; in fact the debt held by the public has more than doubled. And Clinton has proposed $1.45 trillion in new spending — mostly on infrastructure, paid leave and education proposals — according to a June 27 report by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget called “Promises and Price Tags.” But that new spending is largely offset by $1.2 trillion in new revenue from proposed tax increases for the wealthiest Americans. So, the report concludes, Clinton would increase the debt by $250 million by 2026.

However, the report concluded that Trump’s plan would have far more dire consequences for the debt. The group found that Trump’s tax plan would result in $10.5 trillion less in tax revenues, which would be partially offset by $650 billion less in primary spending. Together with $1.7 trillion in higher interest costs, the report concludes that the sum of Trump’s policies would increase the debt by $11.5 trillion over 10 years.

“Our national debt is at post-war record-high levels and projected to grow unsustainably,” wrote Marc Goldwein, senior policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “And neither former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton nor businessman Donald Trump would reverse course — Trump, in fact, would make our debt dramatically worse.”

“The result is that under Clinton’s plans, debt would grow from 75 percent of GDP today — it was half that before the great recession! — to 87 percent of GDP by 2026,” Goldwein wrote. “Under Trump’s plans, debt would grow to a whopping 127 percent of GDP by 2026.”

Goldwein noted that the estimates are “subject to uncertainty.” But, he said, “there does not seem to be a plausible path for either candidate to put the debt on a sustainable path without modifying or adding to their plans.” And, he said, neither can get there “simply by growing the economy.”

No Apologies

Pence revived an old chestnut from the 2012 presidential campaign, saying that “we cannot have four more years of apologizing to our enemies.” The claim hearkens back to Mitt Romney’s frequent jab that Obama began his presidency on an “apology tour” in foreign countries. But as we wrote then, and again when Trump made a similar claim in June, we read through all of the speeches in question and concluded that “we didn’t see that any of them rise to the level of an actual apology.”

In a speech in Cairo, in June 2009, for example, Obama spoke about tensions between the U.S. and the Muslim world, and placed blame on both sides. And then he called for a “new beginning.” That’s not the same as “apologizing to our enemies.” Our fact-checking colleagues at PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker reached the same conclusion: Obama never apologized.

Pence’s Economic Boasts

Pence boasted that Indiana has “the highest credit rating in the nation,” and that “businesses large and small have created nearly 150,000 new jobs” on his watch. He’s right, but both statements could use some context.

Indiana added 147,800 jobs from January 2013, when he became governor, to May. But as we wrote before, the state’s private job growth rate during that time was 5.9 percent. There were 20 states and the District of Columbia that experienced faster job growth, including nine that had percentage increases in the double digits. Florida (12.7 percent increase) and Utah (12.4 percent) were the top two states with the fastest-growing rates.

As for the state’s bond rating, Indiana has held a AAA rating with all three ratings agencies since 2010 — nearly three years before Pence took office, as the governor’s office said in a press release last month.

Not Among Highest Personal Taxes

Eric Trump wrongly claimed that the U.S. is “one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” Though the U.S. has one of the highest business tax rates, U.S. personal taxes don’t even break the top ten among industrialized nations.

Eric Trump: Who better to implement commonsense tax reductions for one of the highest-taxed nations in the world, allowing our citizens a chance to keep more of what they earn, as opposed to having it squandered away by our inefficient government.

Eric Trump may have borrowed the claim from his father, whom we have twice flagged for this incorrect assertion.

The younger Trump may have been on firm ground had he been talking about business taxes. The U.S. has the highest business statutory tax rate among industrialized nations, but it was second to France when considering the marginal effective tax rate, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation.

But Trump did not specify that he was talking about business taxes, and he said if his father is elected president, he would “[allow] our citizens a chance to keep more of what they earn,” suggesting he was talking about personal taxes. On that count, he is wrong. The U.S. ranked 27th out of 30 countries among industrialized nations when it comes to tax revenues as a percentage of GDP in 2014, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. And it ranked 17th out of 29 industrialized countries when it comes to tax revenue per capita.

Debt Not a ‘World Record’

Florida Gov. Rick Scott claimed the U.S. has “world-record high debt,” when, in fact, it doesn’t, at least by the measure economists prefer. And he said the U.S. economy is “not growing,” when it is.

Scott: Today America is in terrible, world-record high debt. Our economy is not growing.

Debt: According to the CIA World Factbook, the U.S. ranks 39th in public debt, measured as a percentage of each country’s economic output, out of 178 nations listed.

The CIA estimated that U.S. debt stood at 73.6 percent of its gross domestic product in 2015, while the most indebted country was Japan, with public debt equal to 227.9 percent of its GDP.

Greece stood at third, with debt equal to 171.3 percent of its GDP.

It may well be true that the simple dollar value of U.S. debt is larger than that of any other country, but it’s also true that the U.S. has by far the world’s largest economy. So economists use debt as a percentage of GDP to make comparisons of how large a nation’s debt is in relation to its ability to repay it.

Growth: The most recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis show the U.S. economy was growing at a yearly rate of 1.1 percent in the first three months of 2016, after growing at a rate of 1.4 percent in the final three months of 2015. These are “real” growth figures, adjusted for inflation.

Furthermore, the U.S. economy has shown positive growth each year since the end of the 2007-2009 recession. GDP rose by 2.5 percent in 2010, 1.6 percent in 2011, 2.2 percent in 2012, 1.5 percent in 2013, 2.4 percent in 2014 and 2.4 percent for all of 2015.

U.S. Oil

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm said that “America now has more oil than Saudi Arabia or Russia.” Not so.

The U.S. has passed Saudi Arabia and Russia in production of petroleum, but estimates put Saudi Arabia’s and Russia’s proved reserves of crude oil way ahead of the U.S.

In 2014, the U.S. had 37 billion barrels of proved crude oil reserves, according to the most recent figures from the Energy Information Administration.

Proved energy reserves, as defined by the EIA, are “estimated quantities of energy sources that analysis of geologic and engineering data demonstrates with reasonable certainty are recoverable under existing economic and operating conditions.”

In that sense, the U.S. is far behind Saudi Arabia and Russia, which, in 2014, had proved reserves totaling 238 billion barrels of crude oil and 80 billion barrels of crude oil, respectively. Those estimates were the same in 2015, according to the EIA, which does not yet have a 2015 estimate for U.S. crude oil reserves.

On the other hand, the U.S. is currently the largest producer of petroleum. But that’s different from having more oil than Saudi Arabia and Russia, as Hamm said.

The U.S. produced 15.04 million barrels of petroleum per day in 2015, according to EIA figures. Saudi Arabia, with 11.95 million barrels per day, and Russia, with 11.03 million barrels per day, were second and third.

However, figures for petroleum production include crude oil, natural gas plant liquids, condensates and other refined liquids. So based on just production of crude oil, including lease condensate, the U.S., with 8.65 million barrels per day, still trailed Russia, with 10.1 million barrels per day, and Saudi Arabia, with 9.7 million barrels per day, in 2014, which is the most recent year for EIA data.

Iranian Holidays

Sen. Ted Cruz claimed that Iran “celebrates as holidays” a “Death to America Day and Death to Israel Day.” These aren’t official names of Iranian holidays, but rather chants used by demonstrators, often on certain days.

Our fact-checking colleagues at PolitiFact.com looked into part of that claim and found there wasn’t an official “Death to America Day.” Cruz was referring to anti-American demonstrations on Nov. 4, the anniversary of Iranian students’ takeover of the U.S. embassy in 1979 and the Iran hostage crisis.

Cruz’s office had referred PolitiFact to a 1987 Associated Press story that said Tehran Radio had called the occasion “Death to America Day.” Other news reports indicated that commemoration of the day sparked anti-American demonstrations, but those reports didn’t use the name “Death to America Day.”

One scholar, Gary Sick, who was also on President Carter’s National Security Council at the time of the hostage crisis, told Politifact that the phrase is shouted “at most events related to the revolution.”

In short, the anti-American sentiment is expressed on the anniversary of the hostage-taking, but Politifact found there wasn’t a designated “Death to America Day.”

As for a “Death to Israel Day,” we found a similar situation. News stories reported that demonstrators in Iran chanted “death to Israel” on “Al-Quds Day,” which is held the last Friday of Ramadan. Al Jazeera and CNN described the day as one to show solidarity with Palestinians, but CNN said in a 2015 story that the day often becomes a “bashing” of Israel and the United States.

Al Jazeera reported on July 1 of this year: “Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have staged anti-Israel rallies across the Islamic Republic to mark al-Quds day, the country’s annual Palestinian solidarity day, which falls on the last Friday of Ramadan. Footage from Iranian state television showed massive crowds demonstrating in the capital Tehran, chanting ‘Death to Israel.’”

While demonstrators have chanted the phrase on that day, the actual holiday is Al-Quds Day.

Context Makes a Difference, Again

Both Cruz and Pence took a Hillary Clinton quote on the Benghazi terrorist attacks out of context, leaving the false impression that she didn’t care about the deaths of four Americans.

Cruz: Theirs is the party … that responds to the death of Americans in Benghazi by asking, “What difference does it make?”

Pence: And it was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell said, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

We wrote about this claim on Day 2 of the convention, when Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey made similar claims.

At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Jan. 23, 2013, Clinton did say, “What difference at this point does it make?” But she did so when Johnson asked if the attack on the diplomatic facilities in Benghazi was a “spontaneous” response to an anti-Muslim internet video, as initially claimed by the Obama administration, or, as the administration later admitted, a terrorist attack. (See our latest Benghazi timeline.)

Johnson asked, “But, Madame Secretary, do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determine what happened wouldn’t have ascertained immediately that there was no protest?”

Clinton said she didn’t want to “interfere” with the FBI or State Department investigations. After some back-and-forth, she made the “what difference does it make” comment, which was a reference to his line of questioning — not the deaths of Americans.

Clinton, Jan. 23, 2013: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.

Cruz and Pence have every right to take issue with her answer, but they twist her words by claiming she said something that she did not.

Minority Unemployment

Pastor Darrell Scott was incorrect when he said that minority unemployment had increased under President Obama. In fact, unemployment for African Americans, Hispanics and Asians, the nation’s three largest minority groups, has declined significantly since Obama took office in January 2009.

Darrell Scott: … our government, which over the last eight years, has brought the rhetoric of hope, but the reality of higher minority unemployment.

Minority_unemployment_rates

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis chart, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As the chart above shows, African American unemployment has fallen from 12.7 percent in January 2009 to 8.6 percent in June 2016, the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over that same time period, the unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans has dropped from 10.1 percent to 5.8 percent, and the rate for Asian Americans has declined from 6.2 percent to 3.7 percent.

Minority unemployment has fallen in absolute terms as well. The total number of unemployed African Americans was 1.68 million in June, down from 2.26 million in January 2009. And unemployment among Hispanics is also down from 2.22 million in January 2009 to 1.54 million in June.

Asian unemployment is down too, from 435,000 in January 2009 to 358,000 in June, based on non-seasonally adjusted figures.

It is true that Hispanics and African Americans continue to be unemployed at higher rates than all Americans. As of June, the unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics, 8.6 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, were above the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.

— Lori Robertson, with Eugene Kiely, Brooks Jackson, Robert Farley, D’Angelo Gore, Zachary Gross and Ilana Nathans

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics. State and Area Employment, Hours and Earnings. accessed 20 Jul 2016.

Kiely, Eugene. “Trump Oversells Pence’s Record.” FactCheck.org. 17 Jul 2016.

Fitch Ratings Reaffirms Indiana’s AAA Credit Rating.” Press release. Office of the Indiana Governor. 30 Jun 2016.

Doman, Linda. “United States remains largest producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons.” Energy Information Administration. 23 May 2016.

U.S. Energy Information Administration. Production of Crude Oil including Lease Condensate (Thousand Barrels Per Day). Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

U.S. Energy Information Administration. Total Petroleum and Other Liquids Production, 2015. Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

U.S. Energy Information Administration. Crude Oil Proved Reserves (Billion Barrels). Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Civilian Unemployment Rate, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment Rate: Black or African American, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment Rate: Hispanic or Latino, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment Rate: Asian, retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Accessed 20 Jul 2016.

Selby, W. Gardner. “Ted Cruz says Iran annually has Death to America holiday.” PolitiFact.com. 13 Mar 2015.

CNN.com. “‘Death to Israel’ chanted at al-Quds day in Iran.” 10 Jul 2015.

AlJazeera.com. “Thousands rally in Iran on al-Quds day.” 1 Jul 2016.

Farley, Robert. “Romney’s Sorry ‘Apology’ Dig.” FactCheck.org. 31 Aug 2012.

White House website. “Remarks by the President at Cairo University.” 4 Jun 2009.

Drobnic Holan, Angie. “Obama’s remarks never a true ‘apology,’” PolitiFact. 15 Mar 2010.

Kessler, Glenn. “Obama’s ‘Apology Tour.’” Washington Post. 22 Feb 2011.

Jackson, Brooks. “Obama’s Numbers July 2016 Update.” FactCheck.org. 11 Jul 2016.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Promises and Price Tags: A Fiscal Guide to the 2016 Election.” 27 Jun 2016.

Goldwein, Marc. “Both Clinton and Trump Would Grow National Debt.” Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. 7 Jul 2016.

FactCheck.org. “FactChecking the 10th GOP Debate.” 26 Feb 2016.

Mintz, Jack and Chen, Duanjie. “U.S. Corporate Taxation: Prime for Reform.” Tax Foundation. 4 Feb 2015.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. “Revenue Statistics – OECD countries: Comparative tables.”

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Video: Day 2 of GOP Convention http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/video-day-2-of-gop-convention/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/video-day-2-of-gop-convention/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 21:30:06 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=111169 CLEVELAND — FactCheck.org’s Lori Robertson discusses fact-checking Day 2 of the Republican National Convention with USA Today‘s Paul Singer. The video can be found here.

They covered these Republican claims:

  • Two speakers claimed Hillary Clinton paid women less than men in her Senate office. We found that that was true if one includes only workers who worked for Clinton full-time for a full year, but it’s not accurate if including workers who worked part of the year or took unpaid leaves of absences.
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia claimed that President Obama’s “economic agenda” has led to “the lowest workforce participation in decades.” Actually, the rate began its decline in the late 1990s and is due mainly to baby boomers retiring and other demographic factors. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, is below the historical norm.
  • Donald Trump Jr. falsely claimed that his father “funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket.” Donald Trump provided about 73 percent of the funding, but not all of it.

For full details see our article, “GOP Convention, Day 2.”

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GOP Convention, Day 2 http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/gop-convention-day-2/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/gop-convention-day-2/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 06:26:56 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=111114 Summary

CLEVELAND — The theme of the second night of the Republican convention was “Make America Work Again,” but the false and misleading claims we flagged touched on topics beyond the economy and jobs:

  • 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.
  • Two speakers claimed that Clinton paid women less than men in her Senate office. That’s true if one includes only workers who worked for Clinton full-time for a full year, but it’s not accurate if including workers who worked part of the year or took unpaid leaves of absences.
  • 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. Clinton didn’t say that the loss of life in Benghazi didn’t make a difference.
  • Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia took Clinton’s words on coal-mining jobs out of context. Capito said Clinton “promised to devastate communities and families across coal country.” But Clinton said she wants to bring renewable energy jobs to coal country to replace lost coal jobs.
  • Capito used a one-sided report and back-of-the-envelope calculation 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.
  • 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.
  • Capito also said the Obama “economic agenda” has led to “the lowest workforce participation in decades,” but the rate began its decline in the late 1990s and is due mainly to baby boomers retiring and other demographic factors. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, is below the historical norm.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Note to Readers

Our managing editor, Lori Robertson, is on the scene in Cleveland. This story was written with the help of the entire staff, based in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Next week, we will dispatch our staffers in Philadelphia for the Democratic convention. We intend to vet the major speeches at both conventions for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.

Analysis

Distorting Clinton’s Gun Stance

Donald Trump Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps in distorting the facts on Clinton’s gun control proposals. He claimed that Clinton would “take away Americans’ guns,” but she doesn’t propose a ban on all guns or taking away guns.

Trump Jr.: She says she’ll issue executive orders to take away Americans’ guns. She wants to appoint judges that will abolish the Second Amendment.

Trump’s language was similar to that of his father, who has claimed that “Clinton wants to take your guns away and she wants to abolish the Second Amendment.” As we’ve written before, her gun control proposal calls for restrictions, such as a ban on semi-automatic “assault weapons” and expanded background checks, but she doesn’t propose taking away guns.

Her gun violence prevention proposal, which is on her campaign website, calls for expanding background checks to some private sales online and at gun shows, changing the federal law that allows gun buyers to purchase a gun if a background check remains incomplete after three days, and reinstating a ban on certain semi-automatic “assault weapons” that expired in 2004. That law didn’t ban any guns in circulation before it took effect.

As for “abolish[ing] the Second Amendment,” that claim is likely based on Clinton’s comment in a 2015 speech that “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I am going to make that case every chance I get.” But that comment was about a specific case, the 2008 Supreme Court ruling that found the handgun ban in Washington, D.C., unconstitutional. The conservative Washington Free Beacon wrote that Clinton “appeared to be criticizing” that ruling, and her campaign confirmed to us that she was referring to that case.

Campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin said Clinton “believes Heller was wrongly decided in that cities and states should have the power to craft common sense laws to keep their residents safe.”

In her own words, in April, Clinton talked about protecting the gun rights of lawful gun owners: “There is a Second Amendment, there are constitutional rights. We aren’t interested in taking away guns of lawful, responsible gun owners.”

Gender Pay in Clinton’s Senate Office

Two featured speakers at the convention claimed that Clinton paid women less than men in her Senate office. That’s true if one includes only workers who worked for Clinton full-time for a full year, but it’s not accurate if one also includes workers who only worked part of the year, or who took brief unpaid leaves of absences.

Annual salary data provided to us by the Clinton campaign show median salaries for men and women in Clinton’s office were virtually identical if one included employees who only worked part of the year.

The issue of pay disparity in Clinton’s Senate office was first raised at the convention by Sharon Day, co-chair of the Republican National Committee.

Day: She [Clinton] repeatedly plays the gender card. In fact, she boasts, “Deal me in.” Well Mrs. Clinton, consider yourself dealt in. Because as a senator you paid women less than the men in your office.

Later in the night, Kimberlin Brown, an actress best known for her roles on two soap operas, said that in “then Senator Clinton’s office …  men have been paid better than women.”

We took an in-depth look at this issue back in April 2015 when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus made a similar claim. Those attacking Clinton base their claims of gender pay disparity on a report by the Washington Free Beacon of publicly available expense reports submitted biannually to the secretary of the Senate. Looking at median salaries among full-time, year-round employees, the Free Beacon concluded that women working in Clinton’s Senate office were paid 72 cents for each dollar paid to men.

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.

The Clinton list of salaries included full-time workers who may have worked only part of the year, or who took brief unpaid leaves of absence. Experts told us that Clinton’s methodology was reasonable, because Senate staffers often toggle between Senate and campaign work. But experts also told us the Free Beacon methodology was legitimate, too.

“There are many different ways to measure these things and you will get slightly different answers,” Eileen Patten, a research analyst at the Pew Research Center, told us last year. “It’s not that either data set is flawed. They just show different things.”

Context Makes a Difference

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson led his speech with an oft-used quote from Hillary Clinton on the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks, but he left out the full context.

Johnson: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” I am the guy that got under her skin and provoked that infamous response from Hillary Clinton by asking a pretty simple question: “Why didn’t you just pick up the phone and call the survivors?”

Former U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey was more egregious in misrepresenting Clinton’s quote, saying: “So I guess about her emails we’re soon gonna hear the same infamous question that we heard about the death of four Americans in Benghazi, what difference at this point does it make?” Clinton didn’t say that the deaths didn’t make a difference.

Johnson’s initial question in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Jan. 23, 2013, was about ascertaining whether the attack on the diplomatic facilities in Benghazi started “spontaneously” in response to an anti-Muslim video on the internet, as the Obama administration initially said, or whether it was a terrorist attack, which the administration later acknowledged. (See our latest “Benghazi Timeline” story for more on that.)

Johnson asked: “But, Madame Secretary, do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determine what happened wouldn’t have ascertained immediately that there was no protest? That was a piece of information that could have been easily, easily obtained?”

Clinton said she didn’t want to “interfere” with the FBI or State Department investigations. After some back-and-forth, she made the “what difference does it make” comment, saying, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

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.

Here’s the fuller exchange between Johnson and Clinton:

Johnson: But, Madame Secretary, do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determine what happened wouldn’t have ascertained immediately that there was no protest? I mean, that was a piece of information that could have been easily, easily obtained?

Clinton: But, Senator, again—

Johnson: Within hours, if not days?

Clinton: Senator, you know, when you’re in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on, number one—

Johnson: I realize that’s a good excuse.

Clinton: Well, no, it’s the fact. Number two, I would recommend highly you read both what the ARB said about it and the classified ARB because, even today, there are questions being raised. Now, we have no doubt they were terrorists, they were militants, they attacked us, they killed our people. But what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing is still unknown —

Johnson: No, again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and that something sprang out of that — an assault sprang out of that — and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact, and the American people could have known that within days and they didn’t know that.

Clinton: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.

Targeting Coal Miners?

Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia took Clinton’s words on coal-mining jobs out of context. Sullivan claimed that Clinton “promised” to “target” coal miners and oil drillers for “extinction.” Capito said Clinton “promised to devastate communities and families across coal country.”

Clinton has said she wants to “move away from coal,” but added, “we don’t want to forget those people.” She promised to bring renewable energy jobs to coal country to replace lost coal jobs.

Sullivan: We will put coal miners and oil drillers back to work, not target them for extinction as Hillary has promised.

Capito: Hillary Clinton has already promised to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. She wants to put thousands more Americans out of work. She has promised to devastate communities and families across coal country.

Sullivan and Capito were referring to Clinton’s much-criticized comments at a CNN town hall forum in March. Journalist Roland Martin asked Clinton to make her case for why “poor whites who live in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama” should vote for her and support her economic policies.

Her critics focused on a part of her response in which she said, “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” But she said more than that. Sullivan and Capito ignore her promise to create new jobs for communities hurt by the shift away from coal.

Clinton, March 13: Look, we have serious economic problems in many parts of our country. And Roland is absolutely right. Instead of dividing people the way Donald Trump does, let’s reunite around policies that will bring jobs and opportunities to all these underserved poor communities.

So for example, I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right, Tim?

And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories.

Now 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.

Clinton later apologized for her remark about putting coal miners out of work, explaining “what I said was totally out of context from what I meant.” As we wrote, former President Bill Clinton campaigned for his wife in Kentucky and elaborated on her point that renewable energy can create jobs in fossil fuel states (although he exaggerated the amount of electricity that Texas gets from wind energy).

Regulation Exaggeration

Capito used a one-sided report to claim that “the burden of government regulations in this country amounts to $15,000 a household.” The figure, oft-cited in conservative circles, is based on a conservative group’s admitted “back-of-the-envelope” calculation of estimated regulatory costs that does not include any potential savings.

Capito: Right now, the burden of government regulations in this country amounts to $15,000 a household. So let me ask you … a couple of questions — are you ready? Alright. Is burdening every household in America with a cost of $15,000 — worth more applause lines at campaign rallies? Is burdening every household in America with a cost of $15,000 — worth more campaign cash? Is burdening every household in America with a cost of $15,000 — worth a few more one-liners?

As we wrote in February 2015, the figure cited by Capito comes from an admitted “back-of-the-envelope” calculation from a report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a staunch opponent of government over-regulation. In the report, “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State,” author Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. calculates the 2013 cost of federal regulatory compliance at nearly $1.9 trillion. To arrive at the cost-per-family figure, that $1.9 trillion was simply divided by the number of American households. By that math, Crews argues, “each U.S. household ‘pays’ $14,974 annually in a hidden regulatory tax.”

The $1.9 trillion figure is based on the Office of Management and Budget’s annual reports to Congress on the benefits and costs of federal regulation. The problem is that the Competitive Enterprise report focused on the “costs” and ignored the “benefits” listed in those reports. The OMB typically makes the case that benefits exceed costs. For example, the White House argued in 2012 that regulations that have short-term costs often result in long-term savings. “In areas that include food and workplace safety, clean air, fuel economy, energy efficiency, and investor protection, well-designed regulations are preventing tens of thousands of premature deaths and hundreds of thousands of illnesses and accidents — and saving billions of dollars,” the report states.

While one can take issue with the OMB’s cost-benefit analyses, to highlight the costs while ignoring benefits tells only half the story.

Capito also exaggerated when she claimed that Obama’s “recklessness” had deprived more than 60,000 coal workers of their jobs since 2011.

Capito: His recklessness has cost more than 60,000 — 60,000 — coal workers their jobs since 2011.

To be sure, there has been a 41 percent decline in coal mining jobs since the end of 2011, and the administration’s policies favoring cleaner sources of energy and discouraging the burning of coal have played a role. But so have competing energy sources, such as natural gas, and technology, and according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of coal mining jobs lost during that period is under 36,700 — well below the figure Capito cited.

Clinton’s Position on Keystone

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Hillary Clinton backed the Keystone XL pipeline before she came out against it. She said in 2010 that the administration was “inclined” to support the project, but that it was still under review. Clinton never took an official position until 2015, when she opposed it.

McConnell: Hillary has changed her position on so many times, it’s impossible to tell where the conviction ends and the ambition begins. … Once a backer of the Keystone pipeline, last year she opposed it.

The claim that Clinton backed the Keystone XL pipeline is based on an answer she gave during a community forum at the Commonwealth Club in 2010.

Clinton was asked about the Alberta Clipper, a different pipeline project. But the answer she gave was about the Keystone XL pipeline, which would be built by TransCanada Corp. and would run 1,179 miles from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

At the time, Clinton said that the administration was “inclined” to approve the Keystone proposal, but she stopped short of fully embracing it, saying that “a final decision” had not been made because the administration had not completed its analysis.

Question, Oct. 15, 2010: Another international issue that you signed in on last year was the Alberta Clipper, a pipeline from Alberta that brings tar sands, oil sands directly into Wisconsin to the U.S. Midwest. This is some of the dirtiest fuel in the world. And how can the U.S. be saying climate change is a priority when we’re mainlining some of the dirtiest fuel that exists. (Applause.)

Clinton: Well, there hasn’t been a final decision made. It is —

Question: Are you willing to reconsider it?

Clinton: Probably not. (Laughter.) And we — but we haven’t finish all of the analysis. So as I say, we’ve not yet signed off on it. But we are inclined to do so and we are for several reasons — going back to one of your original questions — we’re either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada. And until we can get our act together as a country and figure out that clean, renewable energy is in both our economic interests and the interests of our planet — (applause) — I mean, I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone how deeply disappointed the president and I are about our inability to get the kind of legislation through the Senate that the United States was seeking.

For years after those comments, Clinton declined to publicly take a position on the Keystone pipeline until September 2015, during a campaign event in Iowa, when she opposed it.

Clinton, Sept. 22, 2015: As I said, you know, I was in a unique position having been secretary of state, having started this process and not wanting to, you know, interfere with the ongoing decision making that both the president and Secretary [John] Kerry have to do in order to make whatever the final decision might be. So, I thought this would be decided by now and therefore I could tell you whether I agreed or I disagreed. But it hasn’t been decided, and I feel now I’ve got a responsibility to you and other voters who ask me about this. And I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I believe it is — a distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change. And, unfortunately, from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward to deal with all the other issues. Therefore, I oppose it. And I oppose it because I don’t think, I don’t think it’s in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change.

As Clinton said during the first Democratic presidential debate in October 2015: “I never took a position on Keystone until I took a position on Keystone.”

Labor Participation

Capito also said Clinton would “double down on an [Obama] economic agenda — that’s 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. Furthermore, the decline is due mainly to millions of baby boomers reaching retirement age and other demographic factors.

Capito didn’t mention that the rate of joblessness among those who want work and are looking for it is now 4.9 percent — well below the historical norm. Meanwhile the number of job openings has more than doubled under Obama, to the highest number in the more than 15 years the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been tracking it.

No Respect?

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said that “respect for America has fallen. Crime is rising.” Neither statement is true.

As we’ve written before, the U.S. is viewed more favorably now than it was before Obama took office in 2009. According to the Pew Global Attitudes Project’s June 2016 update, the percentage of those with favorable views of the U.S. increased in countries such as Japan, Italy, France, Britain, Germany and China. Among the few countries in which the U.S. favorable rating has slipped is Russia, where U.S. favorability plunged to 15 percent in 2015, down 31 percentage points from 2008.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a similar claim about crime rates in a July 11 speech in Virginia Beach. As we wrote then, the violent crime rate is lower now than it has been since 1970. The rate has been on a steady decline since it peaked at 758.2 in 1991. It was less than half that, 365.5 in 2014. (The FBI describes its data as “estimated,” and as we mentioned it comes from voluntary reports from local law enforcement agencies. The “rate” is the number of offenses per 100,000 people.)

The murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate nationwide was 4.5 in 2014, the lowest point since at least the early 1960s, when the rate dipped as low as 4.6. (Note the numbers do not include lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.)

Trump’s Self-funding

Donald Trump Jr. said that his father “funded his entire primary run out of his own pocket.” Trump provided most of the funding for his primary campaign, but not all of it.

Trump Jr.: 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.

On May 26, CNN reported that Trump had reached the required number of delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination. And as of May 31, Trump’s campaign had raised nearly $65 million, according to funding records from the Federal Election Commission.

Trump contributed $395,508 directly to his campaign and loaned it another $45.7 million. But the Trump campaign spent more than $63.2 million through the end of May, according to FEC records.

The rest of the money the campaign spent came from individual donations from campaign contributors. And as of the end of May, the campaign had received a total of nearly $17.1 million from donors other than Trump.

So, Trump funded roughly 73 percent of his primary campaign through contributions and loans.

— Lori Robertson, with Eugene Kiely, Brooks Jackson, Robert Farley, D’Angelo Gore and Ilana Nathans

Sources

U.S. Department of State. Hillary Clinton Remarks on Innovation and American Leadership to the Commonwealth Club. Transcript. 15 Oct 2010.

Schleifer, Theodore. “Hillary Clinton’s 5 takes on the Keystone Pipeline.” CNN. 22 Sep 2015.

Bradner, Eric, et al. “Hillary Clinton opposes Keystone XL pipeline.” CNN. 22 Sep 2015.

CNN. “Democratic Presidential Debate in Las Vegas.” Transcript. 13 Oct 2015.

Federal Election Commission. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Report of Receipts and Disbursements. 20 Jun 2016.

“Full Rush Transcript Hillary Clinton Part//CNN TV One Democratic Presidential Town Hall.” CNN Press Room. 13 Mar 2016.

Reilly, Katie. “Clinton Apologizes for Saying She’d Put Coal Out of Business.” Time. 3 May 2016.

Kiely, Eugene. “Bill Clinton’s Economic Exaggerations.” FactCheck.org. 18 May 2016.

Crews, Clyde Wayne. “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State.” Competitive Enterprise Institute. 2014.

White House Office of Management and Budget. “2014 Draft Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations and Unfunded Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Entities.” 2014.

Sunstein, Cass. “Making Regulation Smarter to Save Lives and Money.” White House Blog. 10 May 2012.

Farley, Robert. “Gender Pay Gap in Clinton’s Senate Office?” FactCheck.org. 22 Apr 2015.

Scher, Brent. “Hillary Clinton’s War on Women.” Washington Free Beacon. 23 Feb 2015.

US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, All Employees: Mining and Logging: Coal Mining [CEU1021210001], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. 20 Jul 2016.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey; Labor Force Participation Rate.” Data extracted 20 Jul 2016.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey; Unemployment Rate, Seasonally Adjusted.” Data extracted 20 Jul 2016.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey: Job Openings, Seasonally Adjusted.” Data extracted 20 Jul 2016.

Kiely, Eugene. “Trump Distorts Clinton’s Gun Stance.” FactCheck.org. 10 May 2016.

Clinton, Hillary. Gun violence prevention. HillaryClinton.com. accessed 19 Jul 2016.

C-Span.org. Clip of Senate Hearing on Benghazi Consulate Attack. 23 Jan 2013.

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Trump ‘Recommended’ Ohio for Convention? http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/trump-recommended-ohio-for-convention/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/trump-recommended-ohio-for-convention/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:09:28 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=111029 Donald Trump told Fox News that he “recommended” that the Republican National Convention be held in Ohio, saying, “I wanted it to be here.” But Trump announced his intention to run for president nearly one year after the Republican National Committee had selected Cleveland for the site of the convention.

We haven’t found evidence that he pushed the RNC to pick Ohio before its July 2014 selection. We reached out to Trump’s campaign and the RNC communications office, asking if either had evidence of Trump recommending Ohio or Cleveland as the site of this year’s convention, but we have not received a response. The Cleveland 2016 Host Committee press office referred us to the RNC, saying the city’s host committee wouldn’t be privy to conversations Trump may have had with RNC members.

RNC Convention Site Selection Committee member Sandy Boehler, from North Dakota, represented the Midwestern region on the committee, along with another member and an alternate. Boehler told us in an email, “I was never contacted by Trump camp.”

Our fact-checking colleagues at PolitiFact.com didn’t find any support for the claim either, and quoted one site selection committee member, Steve Duprey of New Hampshire, as saying, “It’s possible he said something to somebody, but I never heard of it.”

Trump made the claim in a July 18 interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly when discussing Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s decision not to attend the convention:

Trump, July 18: I wanted it to be here. And we had lots of choices. I wanted it to be in Ohio. I recommended Ohio. And people fought very hard that it be in Ohio. It’s a tremendous economic development event and you look at the way it’s going so far, it’s very impressive. I wanted it to be here. The Republicans wanted it to be here.

It is possible that Trump voiced an opinion to someone with the Republican Party. Trump wasn’t a presidential candidate at the time: He declared his candidacy in a June 16, 2015, speech; the RNC site selection committee announced that its pick was Cleveland on July 8, 2014. The final decision was between Cleveland and Dallas, but the state of Ohio had a strong chance of getting the nod from the beginning — three of the original eight cities under consideration were in the Buckeye State.

The RNC elected the members of the site selection committee in late January 2014. We searched news articles on Nexis from January 2014 through August 2014, looking for anything that mentioned Trump, Cleveland and the convention, but we found nothing indicating that Trump had commented on the site selection. Trump did speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2014, so he was active politically, even if he wasn’t running for office.

We did find news articles on other prominent figures lobbying for Cleveland’s selection. The day before the RNC’s announcement, Roll Call ran a story on Republican leaders from Ohio working with the host committee and putting “the full-court press” on the RNC selection committee “for months.” And the Knoxville News-Sentinel wrote about local Tennessee businessman Jim Haslam contacting Republican officials to urge the city’s selection. Haslam’s son Jimmy owns the Cleveland Browns, and his son Bill is the governor of Tennessee.

We’ll update this item if we receive any information indicating that Trump recommended Ohio or Cleveland to the RNC.

https://www.sharethefacts.co/share/b2ab5c0d-0784-4c00-b4a0-b61f83eaf170

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Video: GOP Convention, Day 1 http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/video-gop-convention-day-1/ http://www.factcheck.org/2016/07/video-gop-convention-day-1/#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2016 19:37:56 +0000 http://www.factcheck.org/?p=111034 CLEVELAND — FactCheck.org Managing Editor Lori Robertson discusses some of the false and misleading claims made on the first day of the Republican National Convention, which focused on public safety.

Robertson discusses Benghazi, border security and violent crime rates with USA Today Washington correspondent Paul Singer.

The video, the first in a series from the convention site, is based on our story “GOP Convention Opens in Cleveland.”

Next week, we will dispatch our staffers in Philadelphia for the Democratic convention. We intend to vet the major speeches at both conventions for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.

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