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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactChecking Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has made it official: She will run for president in the 2016 race.

Here’s a look back at some of the claims from Clinton that we’ve fact-checked over the years.

  • In March, Clinton brushed aside calls for her to turn over all her emails she sent as secretary of state — including personal emails — to an independent third party for review. Her office claimed government employees are granted privacy for personal emails, including on .gov accounts. But that’s not what State Department guidelines say. Instead they stipulate that there is “no expectation of privacy” for emails on a department email system. Clinton exclusively used a private email account at clintonemail.com while at the State Department and deleted about half of them because they were personal, she said.
  • In a 2008 debate with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, Clinton claimed that raising the cap on wages subject to Social Security taxes “would impose additional taxes on people who are, you know, educators here in the Philadelphia area or in the suburbs, police officers, firefighters and the like.” But the cap then was $102,000 a year, and few police officers or teachers earned that much.
  • In the same debate, Clinton said she believed that “market manipulation” was prompting an increase in fuel prices. She offered no evidence, and, in fact, the Federal Trade Commission had repeatedly looked into such allegations and hadn’t found anything to prosecute. On the campaign trail, she (and Sen. John McCain) proposed a “gasoline tax holiday” that economists said was unlikely to lower prices at the pump.
  • Clinton’s foreign policy experience has increased greatly since 2008, thanks to Obama nominating her for secretary of state. But during the presidential campaign, Clinton exaggerated her foreign policy resume in an attempt to contrast it with Obama’s experience. She said she “negotiated open borders” in Macedonia in 1999 “to let fleeing refugees into safety from Kosovo.” The border had opened a day before she arrived. She also claimed to have “helped bring peace to Northern Ireland.” There is agreement that she helped, but Irish officials gave mixed reviews as to how helpful her actions were. She wasn’t directly involved in negotiations.
  • She also talked about a “dangerous” trip to Bosnia in March 1996, claiming that her aircraft made a corkscrew landing to avoid potential sniper fire. We wrote in 2008 that she failed to mention that the war had officially ended three months before she visited, and that she came with her daughter, who was 16 at the time, and two celebrities as part of a good-will tour. CBS News footage later revealed she arrived calmly with Chelsea in tow, and Clinton said she “misspoke” about the incident.
  • In early 2008, Clinton wrongly blamed the Bush administration for a nonexistent policy of requiring wounded soldiers to return enlistment bonuses if they were discharged. One incident in which an injured soldier received a letter seeking recoupment was against the official policy of the Defense Department.

There’s plenty more in our file on Clinton, which is like a trip down memory lane. But it has been a while since she last campaigned for office (2008), so much of our material is dated or no longer pertinent. For instance, Clinton said that her health care plan was the only one that would achieve universal coverage, when experts said it would come close but wouldn’t cover everyone. And during her last run, she repeatedly made the misleading claim that a 2005 energy bill included “enormous giveaways to the oil and gas industries.” It actually increased taxes, on net, on oil and gas companies.

We expect to find more timely claims as we continue to monitor Clinton and all potential 2016 presidential candidates.

— Lori Robertson