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Fact check: Trump accused Clinton of lying but the FBI said she did not

by Jane C. Timm /  / Updated 
Image: Presidential Debate
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonRick Wilking / Reuters

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President Donald Trump told reporters on Monday that Hillary Clinton had lied to the FBI, going on the offensive days after his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to that same crime.

"Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI. Nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it's a shame," Trump said. "Hillary Clinton, on the Fourth of July weekend, went to the FBI, not under oath. It was the most incredible thing anyone's ever seen. She lied many times; nothing happened to her. Flynn lied, and they ruined his life. It’s very unfair."

In alleging Clinton lies, the president is spreading a falsehood: The FBI asserts that she did not lie to them.

"We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI," then-FBI Director James Comey testified under oath to the House of Representatives in July 2016 about Clinton's handling of classified information on a private email server. "I have no basis for concluding that she was untruthful with us."

The only accurate thing in Trump's remarks about his former rival? That Clinton wasn't under oath during her interview last year with the FBI.

Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday in federal court to a charge of making false statements to the FBI about his communications with Russia.

Trump's remarks are the latest in a long stream of attacks on Clinton and defenses of Flynn since his firing. The president tweeted along the same lines on Saturday, criticizing the FBI's decision not to record Clinton's interview.

Trump fired Comey in May. His firing — and subsequent testimony that Trump had demanded loyalty and pressured Comey to drop his investigation into Flynn — prompted the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the Trump team's ties to Russia and who negotiated Flynn's guilty plea. Trump denies that he told Comey to go easy on Flynn.

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