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Fact-Checking Trump's Press Conference

The big news involved his comments about Russian hacking, but NBC News looked at some of his other claims too.
Image: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at Trump Doral golf course in Miami
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at Trump Doral golf course in Miami, Florida, U.S., July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo AllegriCARLO ALLEGRI / Reuters

The stunning headline from Donald Trump’s Wednesday news conference was that he asked Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," he said. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

But that’s not all he said about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic convention.

TRUMP'S CLAIM: "You look at what's happened with ISIS, which isn't even mentioned. You look at what's happening with law and order, they don't even mention our police. They mention everybody but our police” – seeming to refer to the Democratic convention

THE FACTS: On Tuesday at their convention, the Democrats featured Pittsburgh's chief of police. And in his primetime speech, Bill Clinton specifically praised the police. "If you’re a young African American disillusioned and afraid, we saw in Dallas how great our police officers can be, help us build a future where nobody is afraid to walk outside, including the people that wear blue to protect our future."

TRUMP'S CLAIM: "If I would've used language like they used about religion, about race, about everything else that they discuss in those e-mails I would've had to run and hide and probably drop out of the race."

THE FACTS: Trump was referring to an email exchange where top Democratic National Committee aides were questioning Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith. Yet Trump himself has directly questioned his rivals' faith multiple times.

  • On Ben Carson: “I’m Presbyterian. Boy, that’s down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist I don’t know about.”
  • On Mitt Romney: "Are you sure he's a Mormon, are we sure?"
  • On Hillary Clinton: “We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion. Now, she’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no — there’s nothing out there.”

TRUMP'S CLAIM: "By the way, yesterday for the first time she said she wants to renegotiate trade agreements. First time, yesterday. Well, all because of me."

THE FACTS: On Tuesday, the president of the United Auto Workers said that Clinton told him she'd promise to rewrite NAFTA. But this isn't the first time: In an NBC debate during the 2008 presidential, Clinton called to renegotiate NAFTA. I will say, we will opt out of NAFTA unless we renegotiate it, and we renegotiate it on terms that are favorable to all of America," Clinton said back then, per the Los Angeles Times.

TRUMP'S CLAIM: "I never met Putin, I don't know who Putin is."

THE FACTS: In 2015, Trump bragged about the time he spent as “stablemates” with Putin before a 60 Minutes interview. "But, as far as the Ukraine is concerned, and you could Syria — as far as Syria, I like — if Putin wants to go in, and I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night,” he said during a GOP debate in Milwaukee in Nov. 2015.

The implication seemed to be that the two met in a CBS greenroom. Rival Carly Fiorina picked up on that during the debate, saying "One of the reasons I’ve said that I would not be talking to Vladimir Putin right now, although I have met him as well, not in a green room for a show, but in a private meeting.” Turns out that even Fiorina was overstating the extent of the Trump-Putin meeting. While the two did appear on the same episode of "60 Minutes," they were interviewed in separate countries.

TRUMP'S CLAIM: "And I'll release [the tax returns] when the audits completed. Nobody would release when it's under [audit] -- I've had audits for 15 or 16 years. Every year I have a routine audit. I'm under audit, when the audits complete I'll release them... And as far as the tax returns, as soon as the audits complete, like any lawyer would tell you, Greta Van Susteren she was going over it a while ago, she's a lawyer. She said well no lawyer would let somebody release a tax return when they're under audit.”

THE FACTS: While Trump is correct that lawyers might not recommend it, former President Richard Nixon released his tax returns while under audit. And he was a lawyer.

TRUMP'S CLAIM: "[Tim Kaine is] not popular because he asked for tax increases. Big tax increases in Virginia. Big. And also the unemployment went up, I think it doubled or close to doubled during his tenure."

THE FACTS: The unemployment did go up during Kaine's tenure as governor (2006-2009), but that was largely a function of the Great Recession. When he entered office, Virginia's unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, and it increased to 7.3 percent by the end of 2009. But that was well below the national average of nearly 10 percent.