Fact-checking the pro-Clinton super PAC's attack on Donald Trump's comments about women

Supporters hold signs hours before a Donald Trump rally in Lynden, Wash., May 7, 2016. (David Ryder/The New York Times)
Supporters hold signs hours before a Donald Trump rally in Lynden, Wash., May 7, 2016. (David Ryder/The New York Times)

A political action committee supporting Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton plans to launch general election-style ads attacking Donald Trump Wednesday, seizing on the presumptive Republican nominee’s controversial comments about women.

Priorities USA first published the ads, dubbed "Respect" and "Speak," online May 16. They’re part of a $6 million ad buy that will target battleground in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Nevada between May 18 and June 8.

The ads highlight Trump’s own comments about women, including when he said Fox’s Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever," and his statement that women should be punished if they have an abortion.

Trump responded to the ads on Twitter, saying Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, "was the WORST abuser of woman in U.S. political history," and that his statements were "misquoted."

 

 

At PolitiFact, we’ve fact-checked most of the comments made by Trump about women’s issues that are raised in the ads.

Here’s your guide.

Trump’s comments about punishing women for abortion

During a March 30, 2016, town hall meeting, Trump said women should be punished for having an abortion. Critics swiftly denounced his remarks, and later that day, Trump’s campaign said he actually meant that if abortion were outlawed, doctors who perform abortions should be punished.

To bring clarity to what Trump said at the town hall, we published the full transcript of the exchange. Read it here.

Trump on Planned Parenthood funding

The ads accuse Trump of wanting to defund Planned Parenthood. That’s accurate to a point.

Trump says that Planned Parenthood does positive work as it pertains to things like cancer prevention, and Trump has described that work as "wonderful." But Trump does not support Planned Parenthood’s abortion services and thinks Planned Parenthood should not receive taxpayer dollars as long as they provide abortions.

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Trump’s claim that Hillary Clinton 'doesn’t do very well with women'

Trump has taken to accusing Clinton of playing the "woman card," even saying May 2, "Frankly, (Clinton) doesn’t do very well with women."

Trump has done well with women in the GOP primaries so far, but that says nothing about how well Clinton does among women. Looking at a cross-section of April polls, Clinton’s average lead over Trump among female voters is bigger than any nominee has registered in an actual presidential election election in at least 36 years. We rated Trump’s statement Pants on Fire.

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Trump and Megyn Kelly, part 1

The feud between Kelly and Trump reached a crescendo at the GOP’s first primary debate, when Kelly said to Trump: "You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animal.’"

A few days later, Trump said, "Well, some of the things that she said, I didn't say." The record, however, shows the opposite is true. We looked back and found that he said exactly what Kelly listed in the debate, so we concluded Trump’s claim was False.  

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Trump and Kelly, part 2

The feud continued, with Trump boycotting a Fox News/Google debate. The common understanding is that this was a result of his ongoing conflict with Kelly.  Trump, however, said a biting Fox News release is why he pulled the plug, and he "never once asked that (Kelly) be removed" as a debate moderator.

This statement greatly downplayed Trump’s comments ahead of the debate, even if his absence really had more to do with a mocking Fox News release in the end. Trump mused about skipping the debate and said Kelly "should not be allowed" to moderate, that she "should recuse herself," and she "shouldn’t be in the debate." We rated his claim False.

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Trump’s record on the Truth-O-Meter:

Here’s a snapshot of Trump’s record on the Truth-O-Meter as of the publication of this article. We’ve fact-checked him more than 140 times.

Click here to see all fact-checks of Trump and about Trump. Compare his records to other Republicans here and Democrats here.