Fact checking the first debate

Published 09/27 2016 05:02AM

Updated 09/27 2016 05:02AM

11:28 p.m. Donald Trump claims that NATO countries -- along with Japan and South Korea -- don’t pay enough to the United States for the defense our country provides them.

TRUMP STATEMENT: “We defend Japan. We defend Germany. We defend South Korea. We defend Saudi Arabia. We defend countries. They do not pay us what they should be paying us because we are providing a tremendous service. And we’re losing a fortune. That’s why we’re losing. We lose on everything. All I said is that it is very possible that if they don’t pay us, because this isn’t 40 years ago… they may have to defend themselves or they have to help us out.”

FACT CHECK: According to the Wall Street Journal, South Korea paid about $866.6 million in 2014 to the U.S. for the American military presence in the country (which is meant to deter North Korea). That’s about 40 percent of the total cost.

For Japan this year, the country actually covers 90 percent of the cost of Japanese nationals employed by U.S. military bases, including most of the utility costs, rent, and noise abatement. Altogether, the Japanese pay $4 billion of U.S. “base-related expenses.”

On the whole, Trump’s comment about the U.S. shouldering an undue burden under NATO in defense expenditures is not entirely off base. U.S. expenditures as a share of GDP is 3.61 percent, whereas the next closest contributor is Greece’s share (2.38 percent of Greece’s GDP). Most of the partner nations pay quite a bit less than the suggested two percent of GDP that NATO puts in its guidelines.

--CBS News’ Donald Judd

11:19 p.m. Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton has spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” on negative ads against him and that he is now “winning or tied” in the polls after spending “practically nothing.”

TRUMP STATEMENT: “She spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me, many of which are absolutely untrue, they’re untrue and they’re misrepresentations and I will tell you this, Lester, it’s not nice and I don’t deserve that. But it’s certainly not a nice thing that she’s done. It’s hundreds of millions of ads and the only gratifying thing is, I saw the the polls come in today and with all of that money over $200 million spent and I’m either winning or tied and I’ve spent practically nothing.”

FACT CHECK: This is partially false. Clinton has not yet spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” on advertising – she has spent just about $100 million overall. Clinton spent $109.4 million on ads through Sept. 13, according to Bloomberg, compared to Trump’s $18.7 million. A Politico article from Aug. 23 cited data from Advertising Analytics as saying that 55 percent of Clinton’s ads were attacks on Trump and 45 percent were positive spots.

However, he is correct in saying that he has spent “practically nothing” on ads compared to Clinton (so far – although his campaign said he’s preparing a $140 million investment) and he is tied in many polls (though not winning in most).

--CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan

 

10:55 p.m. Hillary Clinton claims Donald Trump would not rent apartments to African-Americans.

CLINTON STATEMENT: “Donald Trump started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African-Americans, and he made sure that the people who worked for him understood the policy. He was actually sued twice by the Justice Department. So he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior.”   

FACT CHECK: The Justice Department filed a lawsuit in 1973 against Trump Management, a company led by Trump, who was its president, alleging they used tactics to discriminate against black tenants, according to an August investigation by the Los Angeles Times. A 1973 New York Times story said that the Justice Department “charged that the company had required different rental terms and conditions because of race and that it had misrepresented to blacks that apartments were not available.” In what was the first quote from Trump ever published by the Times, he said of the charges “They are absolutely ridiculous...we have never discriminated...and we never would.” And he counter-sued.

Trump and DOJ came to an agreement two years later in which Trump Management “promised not to discriminate against blacks, Puerto Ricans and other minorities,” according to a June 11, 1975 New York Times story. 

--CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan

 

10:53 p.m. Donald Trump claims 800 immigrants who should have been deported became citizens.

TRUMP STATEMENT: “The other day we were deporting eight hundred people and perhaps they pressed the wrong button --they pressed the wrong button-- or perhaps worse than that it was corruption. But these people we were going to deport … for good reason ended up becoming citizens--ended up becoming citizens. And it was eight hundred and now it turns out, it might be fifteen hundred and they don’t even know.”

FACT CHECK: Trump was referring to a Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) report released on Sept. 19, which explained that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted citizenship to at least 858 people from “special interest countries” who had been ordered to be deported under a different name. This happened because federal government agencies’ databases do not have all old fingerprint records of people who have been previously deported.

--CBS News’ Caroline Horn

10:49 p.m. Donald Trump claims that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) controls a lot of the oil in Libya.

TRUMP STATEMENT:  ISIS has “oil all over the place, including the oil, a lot of the oil, in Libya.”

FACT CHECK: According to a Bloomberg analysis, Libyan oil fields and pipelines are controlled by a combination of the Government of National Accord, allies of the Tripoli Petroleum Facilities Guard, and the Libyan National Army (and groups aligned with them).

Claudia Gazzini, a Tripoli-based senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, told the Washington Post that it was simply not true that the Islamic State has control of any Libyan oil.

“While it is true that ISIS has attacked oil fields in the Sirte basin area and destroyed key equipment there, they have not sought to keep control of the oil fields,” Gazzini said.

--CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan

10:44 p.m. Donald Trump claims “stop and frisk” policies in New York City worked well and brought the crime rate “way down.”

 

TRUMP STATEMENT: Debate moderator Lester Holt said, “‘Stop and frisk’ was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and hispanic young men—”

Trump replied: “No, you’re wrong. It went before a judge who was a very against police judge. It was taken away from her and our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal.”

FACT CHECK: In Floyd v. City of New York, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin -- a Bill Clinton appointee -- found “stop and frisk” policies in New York City violated the Constitution’s Fourth  and Fourteenth Amendments. Scheindlin ordered the city to reform the policies.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration appealed the ruling, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals suspended the order. The court sent it back to be tried under a new judge. Ultimately, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided not to pursue the appeal upon election in 2014, meaning Scheindlin’s ruling was held and the appeal was dropped.

Trump said murder is up in New York City, but murder is actually down 4.3 percent this year-to-date. The murder rate, however, is up 7.9 percent over the last two years -- which is probably what Trump means since 2014 is the last time “stop and frisk” was implemented in New York.

--CBS News’ Donald Judd 

10:41 p.m. Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump’s various businesses have filed for bankruptcy six times.

CLINTON STATEMENT: “When we talk about your business, you’ve taken business bankruptcy six times. There are a lot of great business people who haven’t taken bankruptcy once.”

FACT CHECK: Clinton is correct. When Politifact looked into this issue, they found six times that Trump has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection: The Trump Taj Mahal in 1991; Trump Castle in 1992; Trump Plaza and Casino in 1992; the Plaza Hotel in 1992; Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts in 2004; and Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009.

--CBS News’ Jillian Hughes

10:36 p.m. Donald Trump claims that Hillary Clinton started the “birther” movement.

TRUMP STATEMENT: “Well, it’s very simple to say. Sidney Blumenthal works for the campaign and a very close friend of Secretary Clinton, and her campaign manager, Patty Doyle, went to—they were in the campaign, her campaign against President Obama, fought very hard, and you can go look it up and you can check it out, and if you look at CNN this past week, Patty Solis Doyle was on Wolf Blitzer saying that this happened. Blumenthal sent McClatchy, a highly respected reporter at McClatchy, to Kenya to find out about it, they were pressing it very hard, she failed to get the birth certificate. When I got involved, I didn’t fail, I got him to give the birth certificate.”

FACT CHECK: This has been Trump’s line since the “birther” issue resurfaced this fall, but Clinton’s campaign has repeatedly denied being involved. Patti Solis Doyle, Clinton’s 2008 campaign manager, told Wolf Blitzer a volunteer forwarded an email promoting “birtherism” and that that person was fired. “The campaign nor Hillary did not start the ‘birther’ movement, period, end of story,” Solis Doyle told CNN, saying the volunteer’s actions were “beyond the pale” and that Clinton called Obama campaign manager David Plouffe to apologize.

Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton confidante but not a current campaign staffer, denies ever contacting McClatchy; the former McClatchy bureau chief, James Asher, recently said he clearly recalled the conversation with Blumenthal.

--CBS News’ Donald Judd

10:28 p.m. Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump supported the invasion of Iraq.

CLINTON STATEMENT: “Donald supported the invasion of Iraq.” (Trump replied: “I did not support the war in Iraq.”)

FACT CHECK: Donald Trump supported the invasion of Iraq. Howard Stern interview interviewed Donald Trump on Sept. 11, 2002, noted Buzzfeed. “Are you for invading Iraq?” Howard Stern asked him, and Trump answered, “Yeah, I guess so.”

--CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan

 

10:17 p.m. Hillary Clinton claims Donald Trump did not pay workers what he owed them. 

CLINTON STATEMENT: “Your campaign manager said that you built a lot of businesses on the backs of other people. I have met a lot of the people who are stiffed by your business. I’ve met gardeners, dishwashers, architects, glass installers, drapery installers, like my dad was who you refused to pay when they finished the work you asked them to do. We have one of the architects in the audience who designed one of the clubhouses of your golf course. It’s a beautiful facility. It was immediately put to use, and you wouldn’t pay what you said you would pay him.”

FACT CHECK: Clinton was referring to architect Andrew Tesoro, who is featured in a Clinton campaign video saying thatTrump didn’t pay his firm thousands of dollars. But Tesoro was also interviewed by Forbes in July and said despite being shorted “a huge amount of money,” he thinks Trump is “basically a nice guy. I’m fond of him.”

USA Today did a further analysis of worker payments and found Trump, “has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans…who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them”

--CBS News’ Jillian Hughes

10:14 p.m. Donald Trump says national debt has doubled under Obama.

 

TRUMP STATEMENT: “The Obama administration from the time they’ve come in is over two hundred thirty years worth of debt. And he’s topped it. He’s doubled it in a course of almost eight years -- seven and a half years to be semi- exact.”

FACT CHECK: Not quite. It’s increased 83.7 percent. On the day President Obama took office, the national debt was $10,626 trillion; as of today, it’s $19,526 trillion.

--CBS News’ Mark Knoller

10:10 p.m. Hillary Clinton says the “gun epidemic” is the top cause of death among African Americans.

CLINTON STATEMENT: “The gun epidemic is the leading cause of death of young African American men, more than the next nine causes put together.”

FACT CHECK: This is true: 2014 CDC data shows that 1,505 black males age 20-24 died of homicide by firearm. The next nine leading causes of death together totaled 1,424.

--CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan

10:07 p.m. Donald Trump claims that his lawyers have told him not to release his tax returns.

TRUMP STATEMENT: “My lawyers say don’t do it. In fact watching the shows, reading the papers…almost every lawyer says you don’t release your returns until the audit is complete. When the audit is complete I’ll do it.”

FACT CHECK: In the letter from Trump’s lawyers released by his campaign, they do NOT say the taxes should not be released. Trump’s tax returns from 2002 through 2008 are closed administratively by agreement with the IRS. Audits for years 2009 and forward are ongoing.

An IRS spokesperson also told the Washington Post that nothing -- including an audit -- “prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.” 

--CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan

10:05 p.m. Hillary Clinton says Donald Trump thinks climate change is a “hoax.”

CLINTON STATEMENT: “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.” (Trump replied: “I did not. I did not. I do not say that.”)

FACT CHECK: On Nov. 6, 2012, Trump tweeted this: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

--CBS News’ Caroline Horn

10:01 p.m. Hillary Clinton claims her tax plan would create 10 million jobs.

CLINTON STATEMENT: “Independent experts have looked at what I’ve proposed and looked at what Donald’s proposed… They’ve looked at my plans and they’ve said, OK, if we can do this, and I intend to get it done, we will have 10 million more new jobs, because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy.”

FACT CHECK: Clinton is citing a Moody’s analytics report as her independent expert, saying that “During her presidency, the economy would create 10.4 million jobs, 3.2 million more than under current ;aw.” The unemployment rate would also be lower under Clinton’s proposals, falling to as low as 3.7 percent in the middle of Clinton’s term. At the end of her presidency in 2020, the unemployment rate would be at 4.4 percent. The report, however puts a caveat on the 10 million jobs, noting that Congress would put up roadblocks to her proposals. Mark Zandi of Moody’s has contributed to the Clinton campaign.  

--CBS News’ Kate Rydell

9:59 p.m. Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

TRUMP STATEMENT: “You want to approve Trans-Pacific Partnership. You were totally in favor of it.”

FACTCHECK: Clinton has said she no longer supports TPP. During a Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas last October, Clinton said that as secretary of State she’d “hoped it would be the gold standard,” but that when the full details of the deal became available it didn’t “meet [her] standards.”

“My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans. And I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, ‘this will help raise your wages,’” she said. “And I concluded I could not.”

--CBS News’ Kate Rydell

 

9:54 p.m. Donald Trump says Ford is “thousands of jobs” are leaving Michigan and Ohio.

TRUMP STATEMENT: “So Ford is leaving. Their small car division is leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan. Leaving Ohio. They’re all leaving, and we can’t allow it to happen anymore.”

FACT CHECK: “Their small car division is leaving” – This part is true, but Ford says it will affect “zero” U.S. jobs.

“Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States,” said Ford Motors CEO Mark Fields, at a daylong investor conference in Dearborn, Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press.

But this will, according to Fields, not result in any job loss in the U.S. Earlier this month, on Sept. 15, 2016, CNN’s Poppy Harlow asked Fields, “So it is not true that Ford will be, quote, ‘firing all of its employees in the United States?’ Will Ford cut any U.S. jobs as a result of this move? One? Any single one?”

“Absolutely not. Zero,” Fields responded. 

--CBS News’ Jillian Hughes

9:50 p.m. Hillary Clinton claims that Donald Trump’s tax plans would cause a spike in the national debt.

CLINTON STATEMENT: “Independent experts have looked at what I’ve proposed and looked at what Donald has proposed and basically they’ve said this: That if his tax plan which would blow up the debt by over $5 trillion and would in some instances disadvantage middle class families compared to the wealthy were to go into effect, we would lose three and a half million jobs and maybe have another recession.”

FACT CHECK: According to a recent report by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, “Trump’s plans would increase the debt by $5.3 trillion … [causing] debt to rise to above” 105 percent. Trump’s proposals, in other words, would “substantially worsen the debt.”

Another report by Moody’s analytics service says Trump’s plans would also lose 3.5 million jobs across the country, with the unemployment rate rising to as high as seven percent -- compared to the less than five percent unemployment rate today. The report says job losses would “likely hit lower- and middle-income households the hardest.”

--CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan

9:36 p.m. Hillary Clinton claims that Trump received $14 million from his father.

CLINTON STATEMENT: “He started his business with $14 million from his father.”

FACT CHECK: Trump has said on multiple occasions, including an NBC Today Show town hall last October, that his father gave him a “small loan of a million dollars” when he started off in business.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Trump took out numerous loans from his father and his father’s properties toward the beginning of his career. They found that information in a casino-license disclosure in 1985 by Trump’s then-wife, Ivana. At the time of that disclosure, the document said, he owed his father and his father’s businesses approximately $14 million.

--CBS News’ Donald Judd

8:30 p.m. The first presidential debate is almost here: tonight, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump will share the stage for the first time. 

The candidates are at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., for a showdown moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt. The three themes of the debate, which Holt announced last week, are “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity” and “Securing America.”

CBS News’ team of fact-checkers are listening closely to both candidates and will be posting here when their statements need additional scrutiny.

Check back here for updates throughout the debate.

CBS News’ Julia Boccagno contributed to this story.

 

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