Trump Unloads on 'Scum' Fact Checkers. We Checked That Claim Too
"Even the so-called fact checkers, who are crooked as hell themselves, they’ll check facts with me, and I’ll be like 99 percent right, and they’ll say therefore he lied! These people are bad….What a group of dishonest scum we have, I’m telling you," Trump said on Tuesday.
While our moms would surely like to dispute the contention that we're "scum" and "crooked as hell," let's focus instead on his claim that fact checkers exaggerate small errors.
This blog primarily focuses on large whoppers, and makes it clear when Trump's claims are rooted in fact. As this blog is just six weeks old, let's also take a look at the most comprehensive listing of Trump fact checks catalogued by our friends at PolitiFact. They have found 150 claims with significant inaccuracies earning them a "false" or "pants on fire" ruling. Just 78 claims earned the "mostly true" or "half true" rating that Trump might argue were an exaggeration.
In contrast, Hillary Clinton actually gets a lot more "mostly true" or "half true" claims": half of her claims, 140, are rated as that. (Just 35 are "false" or "pants on fire.")
By the numbers, the fact checkers are focusing on Trump's biggest lies -- not exaggerating tiny errors.
Donald Trump Still Has No Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud
Republican nominee Donald Trump continued to question the integrity of American elections throughout the day Tuesday, repeatedly claiming without evidence that the polling places and electoral system is "rigged."
"We have to keep the system honest. We have a very, very, we have a very, very serious situation with the whole process, and I've been talking about the rigged system for a long time," Trump said on Fox News on Tuesday afternoon, adding moments later: "It's largely a rigged system. And you see it at the polling booths, too."
You don't, actually: Voter fraud in person is extremely limited.
Trump Says He Spent More Than $100 Million On His Bid. He Didn't.
"I will have spent over $100 million on my own campaign. Meaning ... I don't have to take the money from all the fat cats that are going to tell you what to do. I think it's a big asset. It doesn't get talked about much," Trump said on Monday on Fox News.
This is a promise Trump has been making for a year and a half — that he'd spend more or close to $100 million dollars on his presidential bid — and it's been hard to fact check that until now.
He hasn't: Trump has spent just more than $66 million on his campaign, according to required FEC filings. After the final October filing date, campaigns are required to report large donations within 48 hours, so as of Election Day, it's clear that Trump is still $34 million short of his promised goal.
The candidate is also wrong to say his decision to partially self-fund is not discussed often: It's been reported on at length in the media and supporters often cite it as a popular feature of the candidate.
Not Even Close: Trump Said He Draws Bigger Crowds Than Beyoncé, Jay Z
"She’s not getting any crowds so she gets Beyoncé and Jay Z, I like them, I like them and you know that they do, I get bigger crowds then they do. It's true. I get far bigger crowds," Trump claimed Monday in one of five rallies held the day before Election Day.
Hold up. Trump's largest crowd s a 28,000-person Mobile, Alabama crowd last spring, while Beyoncé and Jay Z routinely play to stadium crowds of 40,000-50,000 attendees. When the married couple toured together in 2010, they sold 850,000 tickets for 19 shows — that's an average crowd size of 44,000.
While Trump has attracted crowds larger than the 10,000-person Clinton campaign event Jay Z headlined this weekend, it was one of the pop couples' smaller events; Trump's statement is inaccurate.
Trump Falsely Claims Obama Screamed at Protester
Donald Trump at a Pennsylvania rally Friday accused President Barack Obama of scolding a protester at an earlier rally — but that's not what happened.
"He spent so much time screaming at this protester and frankly, it was a disgrace," Trump claimed.
A pro-Trump protester did interrupt Obama’s speech Friday afternoon, but Obama attempted to quiet those in the crowd who were booing the man. "You’ve got an older gentleman who is supporting his candidate. He’s not doing nothing. You don’t have to worry about him. We live in a country that respects free speech."
Trump Presses Forward With Inaccurate 'Criminal' Claims
Donald Trump continued to cite a discredited report and exaggerate news to portray rival Hillary Clinton as a criminal embroiled in investigations on Friday, making inaccurate claims central to his final pitch to swing state voters just four days before the election.
Trump Argues Without Evidence That Clinton Faces Indictment, Criminal Trial
Donald Trump argued on Friday that “FBI agents say their investigation is likely to yield an indictment” and that Clinton is “likely to be under investigation for a long while, concluding in a criminal trial."
These remarks are baseless: Fox News apologized Friday for a previous report stating an indictment was likely. The report relied entirely on anonymous sources, and law enforcement sources disputed its veracity to NBC News on Thursday.
“It was a mistake, and for that I’m sorry. I should have said they will continue to build their case,” Fox anchor Bret Baier explained Friday. “No one knows if there would or would not be an indictment no matter how strong investigators feel their evidence is.”
While the FBI is reviewing emails it says are related to Clinton’s time as Secretary of State to see if they pertain to a past investigation, there’s no evidence yet this probe will change the decision not to recommend bringing charges against the former Secretary of State. This summer, explaining that decision, FBI Director James Comey said that decision was “not a close call.”
Trump Claims Clinton Committed Perjury. He Has No Evidence
“Just a few minutes ago, CBS News just announced and confirmed that the 650,000, you wonder why things don't get done, 650,000 emails discovered by the FBI include brand new emails not previously seen. Remember when they said they're all duplicates, they're duplicates? Well how can there be duplicates when 650,000 is even more than all of them that are missing, right? How can there be duplicates? Hillary therefore committed perjury, absolutely, because of her statements, in addition to all of her other crimes, probably also in that batch are classified emails at the highest level that would now have been hacked by foreign countries, because you saw today where they said, 'Yup, she was hacked.' This is a person that's running for president?” Trump said Thursday night, overstating the FBI's inquiries into her for the second time in one day.
This is a pretty broad claim. Let’s break it down.
CBS News reported that the emails discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop were “related to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state” and that they were not duplicates of previously-reviewed emails. The report does not say there are 650,000 — that number comes from a Wall Street Journal report about how many total emails were discovered on a laptop seized in an inquiry about Weiner’s alleged sexting with an underage girl. It’s still unclear how many of those emails are related to Clinton; several reports have put that number in the “thousands.”
Clinton's team deleted more than 30,000 emails that were determined by staffers to be personal, though work-related emails from this group were later found on other government servers. Trump's claim that all 650,000 emails found on Weiner’s laptop are Clinton’s emails and therefore she committed perjury during investigations is baseless. We just don't know how many of Clinton's emails from her time as secretary of state turned up on Weiner's laptop.
Trump Claims Clinton Indictment Is Near. It's Not.
Trump claimed rival Clinton is "likely" to be indicted over an FBI inquiry that senior law enforcement officials tell NBC News' Pete Williams never made it past the initial stage.
Based on a Fox News report entirely drawn from anonymous sources, Trump told a Florida crowd Thursday that “the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s pay-for-play corruption during her tenure as secretary of state.”
“In other words,” he continued, “the FBI is investigating how Hillary Clinton put the office of Secretary of State up for sale in violation of federal law.”
The expose-style book "Clinton Cash" by conservative author Peter Schweizer first alleged such a scheme, while failing to prove it. An FBI inquiry never progressed past the preliminary stage and has not moved forward in months.
Trump Ad: FBI Opening New Investigation. They're Not.
"Now the FBI has launched a new investigation. After decades of lies and scandal, her corruption is closing in," Trump's newest campaign ad claims.
We fact checked a version of this ad last month, and much of it is misleading or inaccurate. What’s new is the assertion that the FBI has launched a new investigation: Trump has repeatedly and inaccurately claimed that the FBI announcement about reviewing new emails is akin to a new investigation or the reopening of a past investigation. It's not. As a technical matter, the case was never closed.
The FBI says they are reviewing emails that "appear to be pertinent" to previous investigations into Clinton's use of a private email server, but noted "the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant."
Trump Says Union That Endorsed Clinton Is "All With Me"
Trump told a Teamster that the union's workers are "all with him."
Trump Calls for Special January Session — But Congress Is Already in Session
“When we win on November 8th, and elect a Republican Congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace [Obamacare]. I will ask Congress to convene a special session so we can repeal and replace, and it will be such an honor for me and for you," Trump said Tuesday to a Pennsylvania crowd in a speech focusing on the Affordable Care Act.
Trump can't call a "special session" in January, because Congress will already be in session. Sitting presidents can only call a "special session" when the legislative body is adjourned.