7 misleading statements Donald Trump may repeat in his convention speech
Donald Trump has taken his philosophy of "a little hyperbole never hurts" from his 1987 best-seller The Art of the Deal and magnified it for his 2016 presidential campaign.
When Trump gives his Republican Convention speech, he will likely repeat some attacks on Hillary Clinton and statements about immigration, security and the economy.
We looked through Trump’s Truth-O-Meter record and selected seven of his most significant misstatements.
Trump said Hillary Clinton "wants to abolish the Second Amendment." We found no evidence of Clinton ever saying or suggesting that she wants to abolish the Second Amendment. She has repeatedly said she wants to protect the right to bear arms while enacting measures to prevent gun violence. Gun advocates say Trump’s claim is backed up by Clinton’s openness to a gun buyback program and her disagreement with a Supreme Court decision on gun rights. But these two cherry-picked comments don’t add up to opposition to the Second Amendment itself. We rated this claim False.
Trump said the Benghazi victims were "left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed." Clinton was not literally sleeping when the Benghazi attacks unfolded, as it was mid afternoon on a Tuesday in Washington. She worked late into the night, as is evidenced by an 11 p.m. email. If we take Trump’s claim more broadly, that Clinton was inattentive throughout the hours in which the attacks occurred, none of the many congressional investigations into Benghazi have made that assertion, nor did a subsequent investigation released after he made this statement. We rated Trump’s claim False.
Trump said Mexico can afford to build a wall because the country's trade deficit with America is billions of dollars. Trump likes to boast that he will force Mexico to pay to build the wall. But the trade deficit has nothing to do with whether the Mexican government could afford to write the United States a check. Experts said his argument makes no sense. We rated this statement False.
Trump said there is "no system to vet" refugees from the Middle East. Trump made this claim after the shooting at an Orlando nightclub; the perpetrator was a New York-born man whose parents emigrated from Afghanistan. Though there are concerns about information gaps, a system to vet refugees has existed since 1980. It involves multiple federal intelligence and security agencies as well as the United Nations. Refugee vetting typically takes one to two years and includes numerous rounds of security checks. We rated this statement False.
Trump said he opposed the Iraq war: "I said it loud and clear, 'You'll destabilize the Middle East.' " Maybe Trump felt this way privately, but he made no publicly reported comments in the lead-up to the war to reflect that sentiment. We could only find one example of Trump commenting on the Iraq War before the invasion, and he seemed apprehensive but not vehemently opposed to the operation. He only started publicly denouncing the war after it started. We rated this statement False.
Trump said, "We're the highest taxed nation in the world." This is a version of one of Trump’s oft-repeated talking points, and it’s inaccurate. We compared the United States to the 33 other industrialized nations and found that typical metrics showed that the United States placed near the bottom or around the middle of the pack. The United States does have one of the highest top marginal corporate tax rates in the world. However, companies pay less in practice because they can take deductions and exclusions. We rated this claim False.
Trump said the unemployment rate may be as high as "42 percent." Getting a percentage that high requires believing that being a high school, college or graduate student, a senior citizen, a stay-at-home parent, a job-training participant, or having a disability is no excuse for not holding down a job, or for working less than 40 hours in a week. The highest alternative unemployment-rate measure we could come up with that had any credibility was 16.4 percent, and even that exaggerated figure is only about one-third of the way to Trump’s 42 percent. We rated his claim Pants on Fire.