Articles from October, 2017

Was George Papadopoulos just a ‘volunteer’? We review the evidence

The Donald Trump administration repeatedly denounced former campaign aide George Papadopoulos as a mere "volunteer" in the 24 hours after news broke that he had pled guilty to lying to the FBI in its Russia investigation.

Did a criminal leak land the CNN scoop on Mueller probe? Not necessarily

After CNN broke the news that special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury had approved its first charges, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., denounced the leak as criminal behavior. But a violation of the law was the only possible way to land CNN’s scoop.

We've got a treat for you, but it's just for today

Do you like to be frightened? Here’s a scary thought: Some people refer to this as the "Post Truth Era."

What you need to know about Manafort indictment, Papadopoulos guilty plea

The special counsel’s investigation into possible ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia escalated dramatically with news that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate were indicted on a dozen felony counts, including money laundering.

How important was George Papadopoulos on Donald Trump's foreign-policy team?

How important was George Papadopoulos in the foreign policy team of then-candidate Donald Trump? It depends on who you ask.

Donald Trump declares public health emergency over opioid crisis. Here’s what that means

Background on the U.S. opioid epidemic, overview of the Trump administration’s declaration, and past efforts to fight the national crisis.  

Mailbag: 'I am so very disappointed'

Taxes, guns and football dominated recent emails about our work from PolitiFact readers. Here’s a sampling of emails we received, edited for clarity and length.

Will a border wall stop drugs from coming into the United States?

President Donald Trump claims his promised border wall with Mexico will stop drugs from coming into the United States and help solve the nation’s drug epidemic.

Why you should be skeptical of the Trump White House's promised $4,000 'raise'

In its bid to sell a tax overhaul proposal, the White House has boiled down a series of complicated policy changes into an alluring talking point: The plan means a $4,000 raise for the typical family. It's hardly that simple.

What you need to know about Hillary Clinton, Russia, and uranium

Recently, a 2016 campaign attack involving former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her role in a uranium sale that involved Russia is back in the news. With new revelations, increased media attention, and reader requests, we decided to take another look.

The big picture: Niger and what we know about what happened to U.S. troops

Behind the name-calling and tweets, there are still unanswered questions regarding the ambush that sparked the political controversy.  

Fact-checking Trump and his team on taxes

Our partners at E.W. Scripps spoke to the president and quite a few of his top people about taxes. We vetted their claims for accuracy.

The media's definition of fake news vs. Donald Trump's

When PolitiFact fact-checks fake news, we are calling out fabricated content that intentionally masquerades as news coverage of actual events. When President Donald Trump talks about fake news, he means something else entirely.

Donald Trump's misleading comments on Obama's calls to fallen soldiers' families

President Donald Trump accused Barack Obama and other former presidents of insufficient outreach to fallen soldiers’ families. While we found no evidence to support the idea that other presidents did less than Trump, we won’t rate Trump’s statement on our Truth-O-Meter because presidential dealings with soldiers’ families are traditionally kept private out of respect.

Counting up how much the NRA spends on campaigns and lobbying

Since the mass shooting in Las Vegas, there has been much discussion about the National Rifle Association’s influence on gun policy.

Sinclair is targeting PolitiFact. But you need to know the facts

The Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the nation's largest owner of television stations, is attacking PolitiFact for a recent fact-check we published about federal funding related to superstorm Sandy.

Fact-checking the NRA's response to proposed gun laws after Las Vegas

We review the NRA's talking points (and one observation from Fox News host Chris Wallace) after the Las Vegas massacre.

Who plays more golf: Donald Trump or Barack Obama?

For years, President Donald Trump criticized his predecessor Barack Obama for playing golf while on the job. But since taking office, Trump has been a regular visitor at his own golf clubs in Florida and Virginia.

Donald Trump’s interview with Mike Huckabee, fact-checked

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee landed an interview with President Donald Trump on the GOP pundit’s new show on Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Congress may ban the bump stock, but what is it?

The legal device can make a semi-automatic rifle fire almost as fast and as easily as a fully automatic weapon.

Fact-checking Jimmy Kimmel, late-night hosts on gun violence after Las Vegas attack

The late-night TV hosts opened with somber calls for gun regulation instead of comedy Monday night. They offered statistics, so we fact-checked them.

The difference between automatic and semi-automatic weapons

There is no word yet on whether the Las Vegas mass shooter used an automatic rifle or some other weapon.

Hoaxes, fake news about the Las Vegas massacre

The gunfire in Las Vegas had barely stopped before the fake news began coursing through social media.

Fact-checking Donald Trump's tweets about Puerto Rico

We look into President Donald Trump's tweets about storm recovery in Puerto Rico.